MIAMI GARDENS – On the day the Miami Dolphins planned on commemorating their 1972 undefeated championship team, the New York Jets attempted to crash the party. While the Dolphins were stunned early, they rebounded to defeat the Jets 31-28.
The Jets’ offense seized control of the game early in the contest, generating yards on the ground and in the passing game. On their first drive, the Jets drove down the field 75 yards in 2:11 for a touchdown. Jets quarterback Josh McCown seemed to have an unusual amount of time to throw the football, which allowed him to connect on two long touchdown passes over rookie cornerback Cordrea Tankersley.
The Dolphins’ offense was able to put up a touchdown on their first possession of the game as well, but they scored just one more touchdown in the first half, when Jay Cutler capped off a 70-yard drive with a four-yard touchdown pass to tight end Anthony Fasano to tie the game 14-14.
Backed up near their own end zone, the Dolphins seemed content to allow time to run off the clock and go into halftime with the game tied. With 2:39 left in the half, Cutler launched a pass to Jarvis Landry, but safety Jamal Adams tipped the pass into the hands of defensive tackle Muhammad Wilkerson, who came away with the interception.
The turnover put the Jets in prime position to add points on the scoreboard just before the half – and that’s exactly what the Jets did. With 2:00 remaining in the second quarter, McCown ran for a 1-yard touchdown to take the lead 21-14.
The Dolphins were unable to gain much ground in the run game. Gase attempted to throw on early downs in an attempt to create more running room for Jay Ajayi (51 yards on 23 carries), but the move left Cutler vulnerable in the pocket. Eventually the hits took their toll and he exited the game with a chest injury after being hit by Jets linebacker Jordan Jenkins.
Cutler never returned to the game, and back-up quarterback Matt Moore filled in admirably for Cutler. Moore finished the game with 188 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Moore’s touchdown pass to Kenny Stills with 6:19 remaining tied the game 28-28. It appeared that the game would go into overtime when McCown inexplicably tossed a pass to the left directly to Bobby McCain who picked off his first pass of the season.
As a result of the turnover, the Dolphins got the ball back at the Jets 30-yard line. The Dolphins advanced the ball just, nine more yards, but that was enough for Cody Parkey to seal the game with a 39-yard field goal.
The Jets defense was incredibly stout and were determined to keep the Dolphins’ run game from flourishing. The road won’t get any easier for the Dolphins on Thursday night when the face a Baltimore Ravens’ defense who possesses the same mentality. Miami will need to utilize this Monday-Thursday to find ways to throw on early downs with Moore to keep the Ravens vaunted defense off balance.