In a game where at halftime the Jets inducted former receiver Wayne Chrebet into their Ring of Honor, the 2014 Jets pulled off their own Monday Night Miracle, managing not to get blown out against a Miami team they had no business competing against.
New York came into this game having cut Antwan Barnes earlier in the day, and with Geno Smith back under center and younger guys playing key roles, it was clear the tryouts for next season have begun.
The Jets had the makings of a solid opening drive, but it stalled when Eric Decker dropped a pass and Geno Smith missed him on third down just a little too high. Still, they drew first blood on the next drive, on two good runs by Chris Johnson and Greg Salas. Salas scored the touchdown. He later left with a hamstring injury.
It seemed Rex Ryan and Marty Mornhinwig, going for broke and with no faith in Smith, decided that since the season was lost, they were going to do what they pleased, come hell or high water…and so the Jets controlled the clock by running the ball. A lot.
The Dolphins missed a field goal, and Nick Folk nailed a 40 yarder, but missed his next one. Miami managed a field goal with four seconds left in the second quarter, and the Jets went into halftime dominating the game but only up 10-3 (which is what happens when you run the ball an insane number of times). They had 210 rushing yards to the Dolphins’ 15 rushing yards through the first half.
The third quarter is the Dolphins’ best of the game – they’ve outscored all their opponents in the third – but by some miracle, the Jets defense only allowed three points. The third quarter was a strange one. Dolphins receiver Mike Wallace dropped a sure touchdown, there were some near fumbles, there was a rare Jets interception by Darrin Walls, and the refs managed to miss the Dolphins special teams running into both Ryan Quigley and Nick Folk.
Miami managed to tie the game early in the fourth quarter, and they took the lead at the two minute warning. The Jets also didn’t alter their offensive game plan in the second half. Even after the interception, when they should have thrown the ball deep to the end zone, they ran it. They ran it. They ran it some more.
Nick Folk missed a second field goal in the middle of the fourth, and they finally let Geno Smith throw passes with a minute left in the game, and for a second it looked like it was going to work, but that’s not the type of year the Jets are having. Tight end Jeff Cumberland batted a ball up into the air and it was picked off, sealing the win for the Dolphins.
Geno Smith’s final line on the game was 7 of 13 for 65 yards. He had one interceptions and a quarterback rating of 35.7. Chris Johnson was the Jets’ rushing leader today – he had 17 carries for 105 yards, with his longest of the night being 47 yards.
The Jets did not run a professional offense today. They ran the ball like it was 1975 and more or less threw away the game because of it.
The saga continues next Sunday for the 2-10 New York Jets, who are thankfully out of primetime for the rest of the season. They play the Vikings in Minnesota. Kickoff is at 1 PM.