Dolphins Sneak By Jets on Road: 3 Things We Learned
For 58 minutes on Monday night, the Miami Dolphins chased the New York Jets around et Life Stadium trying to catch a 2-9 team that could not get out of its own way in most games they played this year.
Miami’s game plan, so it appeared, was to allow the Jets to run themselves out of luck, which they did in a 16-13 loss to the Dolphins at home, giving the Jets their 10th loss of the season, and more than likely, hammering another nail in the coffin of Rex Ryan career in green and white.
Ryan Tannehill continued his progression as a franchise quarterback this season by engineering the final drive that led to a Caleb Sturgis field goal to break a 13-13 tie.
Despite the fact the Jets were able to run on one of the NFL’s better defenses throughout the night, the Dolphins saved a little bit of offense in the closing moments for the win.
Miami is still firmly in the playoff picture with a 7-5 record while the Jets are squarely in contention for the first pick in next year’s NFL Draft.
Here are three things we learned about this game.
GENO’S INEFFECTIVE PLAY
Geno Smith returned as the Jets' starting quarterback Monday but completed only 7 passes, the fewest by a quarterback to start and finish a game this season. But when asked to pass late in the game, Smith bogged down again. With 6:27 remaining and the score tied, Smith took a crucial sack on 3rd and 7 from Miami's 19.
The Jets settled for a field goal, which kicker Nick Folk narrowly missed. With 39 seconds remaining and the ball on the Jets' 44 needing only a field goal to tie, Smith threw the ball downfield into coverage. The ball was tipped by Miami's Jelani Jenkins before being intercepted by Reshad Jones. Smith finished the 4th quarter with a Total QBR of 3.9. Smith has the 2nd-lowest 4th-qaurter Total QBR (18.3) among qualified quarterbacks this season (Kirk Cousins, 15.8). As a team, the Jets have the lowest Total QBR in the 4th quarter by a comfortable margin.
SOLID OFFENSIVE NIGHT
Lamar Miller rushed for 56 yards and the game-tying touchdown in the 2nd half after he was held to one rush for zero yards in the 1st half. Miller averaged 5.0 yards per carry between the tackles in the 2nd half. The Jets dropped two potential interceptions Monday to give New York 5 dropped interceptions this season, second-most in the league. Only the Bengals (8) have more this season.
Ryan Tannehill completed 70% of his passes for the 5th straight game. Tannehill converted on two key 3rd-and-7 plays to extend the Dolphins' final drive. The Jets rarely blitzed in the 4th quarter, and Tannehill responded with longer and more accurate passing. He averaged 12.6 air yards on his 4th quarter throws compared with 7.5 on his attempts in the first 3 quarters. He was 5-of-6 in the 4th quarter when New York sent a standard pass rush but 0-of-2 when the Jets blitzed.
ALL FOR NOTHING
The Jets rushed for 210 yards in the 1st half, the most by any team in a 1st half since 2009 (by the Jets). But the Dolphins limited New York to 67 rushing yards in the 2nd half. Chris Johnson had 62 rushing yards after contact in the 1st half but was limited to 9 in the 2nd half. Johnson's 71 yards after contact were more than he had total rushing yards in any previous game this season.
The Jets' 228 rushing yards are the most allowed by the Dolphins since 2007, Week 4 vs. Raiders (299).