The Miami Dolphins beat the New York Jets 31-28 in a Week 7 rematch after the Jets won in Week 3. For a recap of the game and immediate reactions, here is a complete rundown:
The Jets won the toss and elected to receive the opening kickoff. On first down, they faked a screen pass one direction, then came back to the other side for an outlet to Bilal Powell, who took the ball down a wide open right side of the field for 31 yards. The drive also included a 13-yard pass from Josh McCown to Matt Forte, with missed tackles from Xavien Howard and Reshad Jones, as well as a 29-yard go-route from Jermaine Kearse, scoring on the play.
Jets Touchdown. 7-0 New York.
The Dolphins immediately come back out looking for some deep shots of their own. On first down, Jay Cutler play faked to Jay Ajayi, then found Julius Thomas for a 25 yard gain. After Ajayi lost a yard on first down, he picked up 11 on second down, but slipped as he attempted to cut back and had to go to the sideline where he was flexing his knee. On first down, Cutler looked deep to Kenny Stills, who caught a tipped ball as he was lying on the ground, a play that was initially called incomplete, but a Dolphins challenge overturned the ruling and gave the Dolphins a 36-yard gain and 1st-and-Goal from the four-yard line. Miami scored on the next play as Cutler found Jarvis Landry in the back of the endzone.
Dolphins Touchdown. 7-7.
The defense then held the Jets to a three-and-out, stopping two run attempts for a total of one yard before an incomplete pass and a punt. The Dolphins then struggled to a three-and-out of their own, with Ajayi losing four yards, then a false start penalty, then a couple of short runs before another penalty backed the Dolphins up to a 4th-and-21 punt.
The Jets did not struggle on their next drive, using screen passes to carve huge holes in the Miami defense. After converting on a third-down and six, the Jets again faced a third-down, this time with 19 yards to go. A screen pass to Forte led to a 21 yard gain and a first down. A penalty on Jordan Phillips on the next play jumped the Jets up another ten yards, followed by another screen pass that should have been stopped, but gained 26 yards. McCown then found Robbie Anderson for 18 yards and a score.
Jets Touchdown. 14-7 New York.
Miami’s offense was buoyed by a penalty on their next drive, but it was not enough to keep them from stalling out again. On a 3rd-and-9, Cutler was sacked when Jesse Davis appeared to whiff on a blitzing Darron Lee, but helmet-to-helmet contact by Lee on Cutler gave the Dolphins a first down. Dolphins center Mike Pouncey was called for holding on the next play, leading to a 1st-and-20 situation. Tight end Anthony Fasano then caught a pass for two yards, but fumbled the ball out of bounds. On 3rd-and-18, a screen pass to Ajayi gained 15 yards, but led to another Dolphins punt.
The Dolphins were able to force the Jets into a three-and-out, then found some of their offensive rhythm again. After a nine-yard pass from Cutler to Landry, the Dolphins were able to convert on third down with a Ajayi run up the middle, with linebacker Rey Maualuga serving as the fullback in the formation. On a second third-down play, Cutler threw deep to Kenny Stills, with a defensive pass interference penalty called on Buster Skrine. Cutler then connected with Damien Williams, who gained 14 yards on the short pass, but then Pouncey was called for an illegal block and the Dolphins faced 1st-and-14. A facemask penalty on Lee for the Jets gave Miami a first down, with Cutler then finding Ajayi for eight yards, followed by a four-yard run from Ajayi. On 1st-and-Goal from the four-yard line, Cutler found tight end Anthony Fasano for the touchdown.
Dolphins Touchdown. 14-14.
The Jets started moving the ball on their next possession, ultimately reaching the Miami 44-yard line before being forced to punt. The Dolphins got the ball back at their own five-yard line, with Ajayi picking up two yards on first down. After a Jets timeout, a blitzing Jamal Adams batted a Cutler pass to the left up in the air and defensive tackle Muhammad Wilkerson managed to pick off the pass and give the Jets a 1st-and-Goal from the two-yard line.
After no gain on first-down, McCown kept the ball on a quarterback sneak, barely crossing the goal line, but giving the Jets back the lead.
Jets Touchdown. 21-14.
The Dolphins attempted to get a two-minute offense rolling, with a 13-yard pass from Cutler to Thomas, followed by a seven-yard pass from Cutler to Stills. After back-to-back sacks, however, Miami was forced to punt and the Jets killed the clock.
First Half Reactions
The defense definitely struggled on the opening drive, with man-to-man coverage simply not working. It was simply way too easy for the Jets to move down the field with big chucks of yardage. The defense continued to struggle after the three-and-out, with the Jets exploiting the attacking nature of the defense with screens the opposite way of the initial action. Simply put, the Dolphins defense could not tackle in the first half, and the Jets took advantage of it.
The offense, meanwhile, came out slinging the ball early, with a 25-yard gain, a 36-yard gain, and the four-yard touchdown. It was a confusing half for the offense, where they were able to move the ball at times, and did put up two touchdowns in the half, but they also gained just 25 yards on the ground, with Ajayi carrying the ball 11 times for 23 yards and a 2.1 yards per attempt average. Cutler threw for those two touchdowns, but also had the interception and only picked up 126 yards through the air. The offense showed flashes of the rhythm they have been trying to find all year, but then disappeared back into their shell.
The Dolphins offense needed come out firing right away in the second half, and they had to get Ajayi rolling.
The Dolphins started the second half with the ball and finding some rhythm early. Ajayi picked up six yards on the first run, then Damien Williams picked up 12 yards on third down. On the next play, however, Cutler looked deep for Stills, only to see Cutler slow to get up and have to leave the game. He tried throwing a ball on the sideline before being taken back to the locker room. Matt Moore came in to the game in place of Cutler, with Miami running the ball three straight plays before a Moore incomplete pass on third down led to a punt.
The Jets’ possession became a forward-and-backward affair, as they would see a big gain, such as McCown to Anderson on second down for 17 yards, only then have a penalty on the next play, like a holding penalty that backed them up 10 yards. Ultimately, the Jets would be forced to punt.
During the Jets’ possession, Dolphins left tackle Laremy Tunsil went to the locker room. He was reported to have a knee injury and, while he came back to the sideline, he was listed as questionable to return.
Meanwhile, on the field, Moore found Leonte Carroo for a 21-yard gain, then found Thomas for 20 yards, the tight end making a one-handed grab over the defender. After an Ajayi three-yard run and an incomplete pass, Moore threw an interception on a pass intended for Fasano. The tight end looked like he was continuing up the field on a seam route, while Moore was expecting a cut on the route, and the ball went straight to Marcus Maye.
The Jets took advantage of the turnover, picking up 28 yards on the ground during a seven-play, 45-yard drive, with Powell accounting for 22 of those on two carries. A face mask penalty on Ndamukong Suh added to the issue, and, on 3rd-and-9 from the Dolphins’ 10, McCown scrambled to his right and found a wide open Austin Seferian-Jenkins in the back of the endzone.
Jets Touchdown. 28-14 New York.
Ajayi picked up five yards on first-down, then lost one on the next play. After the end of the third quarter, Moore threw an incomplete pass toward Stills on third down and the team was forced to punt.
The defense again showed up after the pun, forcing a three-and-out. The defense nearly forced a turnover on the drive, with Reshad Jones appearing to force a fumble and Kiko Alonso recovering it. Replay, however, overturned the initial ruling, with the Jets keeping the ball on a 2nd-and-15. McCown then threw a screen pass to Matt Forte, with linebacker Lawrence Timmons perfectly reading the play and making a textbook tackle for a four-yard loss. On 3rd-and-19, McCown again looked to Forte, this time short over the middle, with Timmons again coming up and making the stop after three yards, leading to a Jets punt.
Moore then found Landry for 11 yards, followed by a pass to Ajayi for three yards. He then connected with Stills at the goal line for the score on a 28-yard pass.
Dolphins Touchdown. 28-21 New York.
The Dolphins defense again forced a three-and-out, sealed by a Cameron Wake and Ndamukong Suh, with Charles Harris providing the initial pressure that led to Wake and Suh getting there.
Miami’s offense again came out firing, with Moore initially incomplete deep to Stills, but a holding call coming on Skrine. After another incomplete pass, followed by no gain on an Ajayi run, Moore found Landry short, with a run after the catch including a hurdle over a defender and a 17-yard gain. Moore then connected with Landry again for 29 yards. A three-yard pass to Still appeared to tie up the game, but a penalty on Leonte Carroo nullified the play and backed up the Dolphins. A loss of one yard on a pass to Thomas was then nullified by another holding penalty on Skrine, then Moore again found Stills, this time for the two-yard score.
Dolphins Touchdown. 28-28.
The defense again came to play on the next Jets’ possession. After an 11-yard run from Forte, the Jets were only able to gain four yards on the next two plays, then Wake was unleashed on 3rd-and-6, sacking McCown - with Jones just a step behind on the sack. New York again had to punt.
Miami would pick up 25 yards on seven plays, but be forced to punt the ball back to the Jets with 47 seconds left.
The Dolphins then turned to Ajayi to kill some clock. He lost three yards on the first down run, then picked up four yards on second down. A five yard run up the middle then set up Cody Parkey for a game-winning field goal.
Dolphins Field Goal. 31-28 Miami!
Seriously, this team is going to be the death of me. These one-score games are insane. The offense struggled again at times, but it did look like a spark was found when Moore entered the game. That said, Cutler was not playing poorly either, finishing the game with that 114.1 passer rating. Moore, meanwhile, was 13-for-21 for 188 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, giving him a 102.9 passer rating.
The defense is still impressive - though the tackling was an issue this week. Cameron Wake tallied another 2.5 sacks and was a monster. Ndamukong Suh and Lawrence Timmons played well throughout the game.
Another note in the reactions to the game is that the field has to get fixed. There has been rain lately, which is part of the problem, as well as the game yesterday by the Miami Hurricanes, but there were way too many players slipping and the field just getting torn up throughout the game.
Stories of the Game:
- Jay Cutler chest injury
- Matt Moore sparks offense
- Cameron Wake is a beast
- Hard Rock Stadium field struggles
- Jarvis Landry moves into second in receptions in a receiver’s first four years
Jay Cutler - 12/16, 188 yards, 2 TD, INT, 114.1 rate
Matt Moore - 13/21, 188 yards, 2 TD, INT, 102.9 rate
Jay Ajayi - 23 attempts, 51 yards; 3 rec, 26 yards
Damien Williams - 2 attempts, 2 yards; 2 rec, 18 yards
Jarvis Landry - 7 rec, 93 yards, TD
Kenny Stills - 6 rec, 85 yards, 2 TD
Julius Thomas - 3 rec, 58 yards
Anthony Fasano - 3 rec, 25 yards, TD
Leonte Carroo - Rec, 21 yards
Reshad Jones - 7 tackles, 1 pass defensed
Kiko Alonso - 4 tackles
Terrence Fede - 4 tackles
Cameron Wake - 4 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 3 QB hits
Lawrence Timmons - 3 tackles, 1 TFL
Charles Harris - 3 tackles
Rey Maualuga - 3 tackles
Nate Allen - 3 tackles, 1 pass defensed
Bobby McCain - 2 tackles, 1 pass defensed, INT
Andre Branch - 2 tackles
Xavien Howard - 2 tackles, 1 pass defensed
Cordrea Tankersley - 2 tackles
Ndamukong Suh - 2 tackles, 0.5 sacks, 2 QB hits
Alterraun Verner - 1 tackle
Mike Hull - 1 tackle
Davon Godchaux - 1 tackle
William Hayes - 1 tackle
Cody Parkey - 1/1 FG, 4/4 XP, 7 points
Matt Haack, 6 punts, 44.5 yards per kick, 2 In-20