Bowles has had quite the success story since his departure from New York and if the Bucs can pull off a victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, Bowles will have played a big role in their success.
“All credit to Brady [ the G.OA.T.],” Carolina Panthers wide receiver Robby Anderson, who played three seasons with the Jets under Bowles, said in a tweet. “But please make sure y’all don’t forget to give Todd Bowles his credit for the level he has that Defense playing at.”
When Bowles took over as defensive coordinator, he inherited a defense that was ranked 27th overall. The Bucs improved to 15th in his first year and then sixth this past season.
According to the team website, the Bucs defense has allowed the fewest yards on the ground per game, letting up an average of just 77.2. They’ve also allowed just 3.43 yards per rushing play, also the best mark in the league.
To put it simply, Bowles has earned bragging rights but the veteran coach says he’s never doubted his abilities — even with a 24-40 record with the Jets.
“I don’t feel any redemption,” Bowles told the New York Post on Sunday. “I’m harder on myself than anybody. When you don’t win games, you get criticism. In this sport, there’s going to be ups and downs. You’ve got to stay the course and stay who you are. You trust your coaching and the people that taught you. I stuck with that, and everything has worked out for me.”
Bowles’ abilities will be put to the test when the Bucs take on one of the greatest offenses in the league.
Tampa Bay’s defense was no match for Patrick Mahomes and his favorite targets Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce in their Week 12 matchup. Bowles called it a “nightmare” preparing to face the Chiefs again but noted what needs to be done to win.
“They’ve got a lot of talent. They’ve got a lot of speed,” he told The Post. “We played bad due to the fact that those guys made us look bad. We didn’t play well in that game. They give you problems all the way around for four quarters. We have to be at our best.”