The New York Jets turned coach Todd Bowles’ return to the desert into a night to forget.
Listless and overmatched, the Jets lost 28-3 to the Arizona Cardinals on Monday for their fourth straight defeat in a season that has quickly spiraled away from them.
New York’s offense appeared at times to be going through the motions, plagued by penalties and an inability to convert third downs.
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick had a lackluster game, missing badly on several throws and tossing an interception in the end zone to end New York’s lone sustained drive.
The Jets’ run defense, one of their few strengths, was gouged for huge holes, allowing David Johnson to run for three touchdowns.
New York (1-5) dropped to the bottom of the AFC East and is ahead of only winless Cleveland for worst record in the AFC.
This was not what Bowles had in mind in his first game back in Arizona, where spent two seasons as defensive coordinator under Arizona coach Bruce Arians.
The Cardinals (3-3) dominated from the start, scoring on Johnson’s 58-yard touchdown in the opening quarter. He added a pair of 2-yard scoring runs and finished with 111 yards on 22 carries against a run defense that had allowed 68 yards per game, second-best in the NFL through the first five games.
New York’s offense sputtered most of the night, settling for a field goal on its one decent drive in the first half. The beleaguered Fitzpatrick threw his NFL-worst 11th interception in the third quarter, ending any hope of a comeback.
Fitzpatrick finished with 174 yards on 16-of-31 passing with a passer rating of 55.0 before being replaced by Geno Smith in the fourth quarter. Smith was intercepted by Tyrann Mathieu on his sixth pass attempt.
Leading receiver Brandon Marshall had three receptions for 70 yards, unable to break free from Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson most of the night. Matt Forte was mostly an afterthought, finishing with 19 yards on nine carries.
New York had 230 total yards, failed on its first eight third-down attempts — 2 for 13 overall — and had 10 penalties for 83 yards.