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Jets coach Todd Bowles has uphill battle to keep job

The uproar over the disastrous loss a week ago has died down. The football world has moved on from the New York Jets, which is what happens when a team goes on a bye.

But while players and coaches collect themselves and self-scout during the off week, this much has become clear: Head coach Todd Bowles has an uphill battle to keep his job after 2018, sources say.

But no decision is expected to be made until the season ends.

The ugly 41-10 loss to the Buffalo Bills emblemized a frustrating season for the Jets. It hasn't dampened the enthusiasm for first-round pick quarterback Sam Darnold, but it has caused serious questions about whether Bowles is the man to lead it all going forward. Darnold, by the way, is nursing a foot injury but has a shot to be back next week.

Bowles is expected to be safe throughout this season, in part because the Jets are now a team that embraces patient and prudent decisions and in part because there is no obvious successor in the building. GM Mike Maccagnan is believed to be much safer than Bowles, sources say.

If Bowles is fired, he's still expected to garner interest as a head coaching candidate and will surely get interviews.

In a situation like the Browns had, there was reason to fire Hue Jackson. Dysfunction reigned. It's not like that with the Jets. It just isn't working.

There were contributing factors in the loss to Buffalo, including injuries. Darnold didn't play, and other key players were out.

Among the main issues during the loss to the Matt Barkley-led Bills was effort. Players did not seem to be playing hard, sources observed, and that extended to some of their most high-profile players. That's an issue.

It's all contributed to a four-game losing streak leading into a difficult matchup with the New England Patriots next Sunday. The second half of the season doesn't get easier, and it's all important for Bowles' future.

Follow Ian Rapoport on Twitter @RapSheet.

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