Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Jets coach Todd Bowles: Patriots offense looks the same without Josh Gordon

Ryan Hannable
December 27, 2018 - 9:39 am

FOXBORO -- Last Sunday against the Bills was the Patriots' first game without Josh Gordon in three months after he was suspended indefinitely by the league for violating the terms of his reinstatement.

Tom Brady passed for just 126 yards and threw a touchdown and two interceptions in the 24-12 win. Only two receivers -- Julian Edelman and Cordarrelle Patterson -- were targeted and the Patriots' passing game just wasn't clicking.

Speaking on a conference call with the New England media Wednesday, Jets coach Todd Bowles was asked about the Patriots offense without Gordon and he didn't see much difference.

"They look the same," he said. "They just plug and play. I mean, [Chris] Hogan’s a good receiver, [Phillip] Dorsett’s a good receiver, obviously [Julian] Edelman. They’re not losing too much with those guys having played in games before. They run the ball well and they’re throwing it well so they look just as efficient as they have been."

Bowles and the Jets come into Sunday's regular-season finale losers of eight of their last nine games, including a 44-38 overtime loss to the Packers at home last week.

The Jets do have rookie quarterback Sam Darnold back healthy and playing his best football of the year.

"Just understanding our offense a little better," Bowles said. "Obviously, he got a chance to sit out and see Josh [McCown]. He got a chance to step back from the season early on and he’s going through his reads and he’s understanding defense a lot better and he’s making those plays."

The Patriots will clinch at least the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye with a win.

Related: Hannable: Are Tom Brady’s struggles more on him, or his pass catchers?