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Sunday, 28 December 2014

Geno Smith, Jets Topple Dolphins: Three Things We Learned

The Dolphins came into the game against the Jets having already missed the playoffs, had their head coach given a vote of confidence that he would be back in Miami next season, and a chance to win one more game than last year.

Everything went wrong for the Dolphins, despite the running of Lamar Miller.

The New York Jets won their season finale Sunday, which probably won't be enough to save coach Rex Ryan's job.

Geno Smith had his best game in a rocky season, throwing for a career-high 358 yards and three touchdowns to help Ryan and the Jets beat the Miami Dolphins 37-24, according to the Associated Press and

Smith's performance more than negated a 97-yard run by Miller, the longest play from scrimmage in Dolphins history. The Jets rallied from a 10-point third-quarter deficit, and Ryan ordered a fake punt with four minutes left that sealed the victory.

The game was entertaining but mostly meaningless because it involved two teams out of the playoff chase. And with the Jets sitting out the postseason for the fourth consecutive year, owner Woody Johnson is widely expected to fire Ryan, and perhaps general manager John Idzik.

The Jets (4-12) finished with their worst record since 2007. Ryan is 46-50 in six seasons but remains popular with his players, and they dumped a bucket of sports drink on him when the game ended.

Ryan continually tried to deflect questions about his future postgame, saying Johnson will talk to him "at the appropriate time."

Here are three things we learned about this contest.


It appears Jets coach Rex Ryan is resigned to his fate, despite the win.

Later, when pressed about a potential timetable for learning his fate, Ryan added: "I think we all expect what's going to happen is going to happen. We'll find out in due time. We'll find out, whenever that is. I think we generally know when these things happen."

The Dolphins (8-8) missed a shot at their first winning season since 2008, which is the last time they made the playoffs. Owner Stephen Ross has said coach Joe Philbin will be back for a fourth season in 2015.

New York came in ranked last in the NFL in passing, but Smith went 20 of 25 and had a passer rating of 158.3 -- the only perfect rating this year by a quarterback throwing at least seven passes, according to STATS. He lost a fumble on a scramble that set up a Miami touchdown, but also had completions of 74, 50, 40 and 36 yards to help the Jets achieve a season-high points total.

All appears for naught for Ryan and his staff.


Lamar Miller's 97-yard run is tied for the 3rd-longest run in NFL history, longest since Ahman Green (98 for Packers vs Broncos) in 2003. It is also the longest run in Dolphins history.

Miller ran for a career-high 178 yards and reached the 1,000-yard milestone for the first time. His touchdown was the longest run allowed by the Jets, and the longest play from scrimmage in the NFL this season.

Ryan gambled by going for a first down on fourth-and-1 at the Miami 3 early in the second half, and the Jets came away without points when Chris Ivory was stuffed for no gain.

On the next play, Miller found a huge opening up the middle, burst into the clear and crossed the goal line as he was tackled. The run put Miller over the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in his career and gave Miami a 24-14 lead in the third quarter.


The Dolphins will work on getting better on the offensive line, in the secondary and possibly add a running back to the mix. For the Jets, it is a season that is finally over. But there is speculation he may receive a stay of execution for a while.

According to Chris Mortensen of ESPN, John Idzik is expected to be fired by the New York Jets after two years as the team's general manager but Rex Ryan's fate as coach possibly could be decided by the GM who replaces Idzik, according to league sources.

Jets owner Woody Johnson could not be reached for comment and a team official says that Johnson has not internally revealed any decisions he is prepared to make.

Ryan cleaned out his desk this week at the Jets headquarters but sources say he has not been told he is out as the team's coach, despite his belief he is done.

While Johnson ultimately could make that decision, one source said the owner remains fond of Ryan and would prefer that Idzik's replacement make the call on the coach. The source did speculate that Ryan could try to persuade Johnson not to leave him in a state of indecision.

Aside from Idzik's imminent ouster, Johnson also is considering other changes in the personnel department, sources said.


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