Todd Bowles lashes out at officials: 'Thought we were playing 2 teams'

ByRich Cimini ESPN logo
Monday, December 24, 2018

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Jets coach Todd Bowles, not known for complaining about questionable calls, lashed out at the officiating Sunday after a penalty-marred overtime loss to the Green Bay Packers at MetLife Stadium.

"I thought we were playing two teams," a visibly upset Bowles said after the 44-38 loss."I thought we were playing the Packers and the striped shirts."

The Jets committed 16 penalties for 172 yards -- both league highs -- including a 33-yard pass interference call on cornerback Trumaine Johnson that set up the Packers' winning touchdown.

"I felt it was a bad call, as I did quite a few other calls," said Bowles, who likely will be fired at the end of the season. "It was one of those games. I haven't seen one in my 18, 19 years in the league."

Reminded that it's out of character for him to criticize the officiating, Bowles replied, "That's how bad it was.

"I'm sure I'm getting fined already, so I care not to say more, but something has to be done about that. That's ridiculous."

The Jets committed three penalties in overtime (one offsetting), contributing to another late meltdown. They blew a 35-20 lead, the third time in the past four games they lost after leading in the fourth quarter.

Bowles also took issue withAaron Rodgers' 1-yard touchdown leap with 1:12 remaining in regulation, saying he didn't think the Packers' quarterback extended the ball far enough to break the plane of the goal line.

"They said they reviewed it in New York and they said it was a touchdown. I saw it differently," he said.

Bowles' frustration level reached a new high as the Jets (4-11) dropped another heartbreaker, clinching their third straight season with 11 losses. Afterward, he ripped the officiating in his address to the team, players said -- another uncharacteristic move for the even-tempered coach.

"I thought it was bulls--- myself. Period," cornerback Morris Claiborne said of the officiating.

Johnson, a $73 million free-agent addition, was in no mood to comment about the game. He shoved a chair in front of his locker, grabbed his belongings and walked briskly out of the locker room, refusing to stop for reporters.

"I thought there were definitely some questionable calls," linebacker Avery Williamson said. "I mean, it's upsetting because we did some good things. That's why I'm pissed off."

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