The Miami Dolphins and New York Jets met in the first of their two annual contests on Sunday, waiting until Week 11 to renew their rivalry. A game featuring two teams who came into the contest with seven losses each in the first 10 weeks of the season, it was not a game that had a lot of expectations to it.
In the end, it was a lot of back-and-forth between the two teams, with no one really looking to take charge until the fourth quarter. The Dolphins finally put together a couple of sustained offensive drives while the defense matched with three-and-outs from the Jets, to end the contest.
Miami now looks to take their three-game winning streak home where they will host the Carolina Panthers next week.
Dolphins 24 - Jets 17
The Dolphins started with the ball after the Jets won the coin toss but deferred to the second half. After a kick to the one-yard line, rookie wide receiver Jaylen Waddle returned the kick only to the Miami 16-yard line. Miami came out looking to get tight end Mike Gesicki involved in the contest early after he was held to no receptions last week. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa looked to the tight end on the first two plays, with Gesicki making receptions for four yards, then 22 yards. The play calling then turned to running back Myles Gaskin, who picked up 16 yards on four carries on the drive, as well as one reception for a yard. Tight end Adam Shaheen caught a pass for 19 yards, Waddle one for seven yards, and running back Patrick Laird caught a pass and fought his way for a five-yard gain on 3rd-and-4 to set up Miami with 1st-and-Goal at the Jets’ one-yard line. After a Gaskin run for no gain, Miami came out in the Wildcat with Gaskin handing the ball to Waddle who ran around the left side of the offense and scored easily. Dolphins 7-0.
Great opening drive for the Dolphins, who were aggressive but efficient with the plays and went 83 yards on 11 plays for the score. Tagovailoa was 6-for-6 on the drive picking up 61 yards through the air. The team looks like they know the Jets are a team they can beat and they are going to make sure they do it. Now will that keep up throughout the rest of the game?
The Jets’ opening drive started at their own 25-yard line, with Miami’s defense looking to keep playing at the level that shut down the Baltimore Ravens last week. After a Michael Carter run for seven yards, quarterback Joe Flacco threw incomplete then found wide receiver Jamison Crowder for nine yards. The drive did not do much more, however, as Flacco found Carter for two yards, then Tevin Coleman picked up five yards, before an incomplete pass forced the punt.
Miami came out with the amoeba defense making an early appearance, and hopefully, that means the Dolphins are going to stay aggressive on defense all day.
The Dolphins’ second possession started at their own 14-yard line after a good punt from the Jets. Miami then tried and en around to Albert Wilson, but they lost three yards. Tagovailoa threw a screen pass to Wilson on 2nd-and-13, with the receiver able to turn it into an eight-yard gain. On 3rd-and-5, Tagovailoa looked deep to Waddle, but badly overthrew the receiver and it was picked.
That was ugly from Tagovailoa. He clearly saw Waddle breaking open, but he did not account for the defender in the throwing lane, so when he tried to loft the ball up over the defense, it never had a chance of getting to Waddle.
On first down, Carter took a handoff to the left and broke a 39-yard run, coming up just a yard shy of scoring. He then lost a yard on the next play, followed by two incomplete passes from Flacco where he had to throw it away on second down, then linebacker Jerome Baker burst through the line to force an early throw and cornerback Byron Jones jumped the route for a great diving pass breakup. On 4th-and-Goal, the Jets were able to score on a pass from Flacco to Crowder, tying the game. Tied 7-7.
Nothing much the defense could do on that drive. A short field after having just gotten off the field only to have to rush back out there, it is not a surprise the Jets scored. Not allowing Crowder to run for 39 yards on the first play would have been ideal, but it makes sense given how quickly they had to get back on the field.
Miami once again went three-and-out with a second-down run from running back Duke Johnson the only yards gained on the drive. Miami looked like they had a great punt coverage when Elijah Campbell crushed Braxton Berrios just as he caught the punt, but an illegal formation penalty forced a re-kick. Berrios was able to return the second punt nine yards, out to the 31-yard line, ahead of the 24-yard line where they would have started on the first kick.
Seriously? What is with this Dolphins offense coming out on fire for the first possession, then just disappearing for the next few drives? The scripted plays of the first possession work so well. Why is there such a difference?
The Jets moved out 15 yards on their first three plays of the drive, with Flacco throwing for 10 yards on two attempts around a Carter run for five yards. The quarter ended with the Jets at their own 46-yard line.
Cornerback Xavien Howard thought he had a pick on that last pass of the quarter. He broke on the ball perfectly but was just a beat late. He shoved Elijah Moore out of bounds immediately after the catch, but you could tell he thought he had it.
The Jets continued to attack after the break, with Coleman picking up four yards on 2nd-and-5, then Flacco able to find Griffin in the flat that turned into a 29-yard gain. Moore then ran for 15 yards to get down the Dolphins’ six-yard line. Carter picked up a yard on first down, setting up 2nd-and-Goal from the Miami five-yard line. Flacco dropped back to pass on the play, with safety Brandon Jones coming unblocked on a blitz for the strip sack. Defensive lineman Christian Wilkins caught the ball out of the air and returned it nine yards before fumbling himself, with safety Jevon Holland coming up with the ball there for the Dolphins.
Miami’s defense is creating opportunities to stop the Jets, but they are letting them get into a rhythm first. The pressure needs to get to Flacco early and they need to stop letting short passes turn into big plays.
Miami finally did not have a three-and-out, but the possession was really not much better than that. Tagovailoa found Waddle for 13 yards on 2nd-and-10 after Gaskin had run for no gain. Gaskin picked up four yards, then one yard, on the next two plays, with Tagovailoa finding Waddle for just three yards on a bubble screen on a 3rd-and-5 play. A pass interference penalty on Gesicki was declined by the Jets and Miami punted.
Where is the aggression?
New York’s drive started at their own 15-yard line, with Flacco opening the possession with a pass to Corey Davis in the flat, with the play turning into a 14-yard gain. Carter was stopped after one yard so Flacco went back to the air, picking up 20 yards on a pass to Nick Bawden, then nine yards to Davis. After a 14-yard run from Coleman was negated by a holding penalty, the drive finally stalled. Flacco threw two incomplete passes to lead to a punt.
New York’s offense has the aggression Miami’s offense does not have right now. The defense continues to allow short plays to turn into big gains.
Miami started at the eight-yard line after a good punt from the Jets, with Gaskin picking up two yards to start the possession. Tagovailoa then threw to tight end Durham Smythe for four yards, followed by what looked like a 17-yard pass to Gesicki, only to have the tight end called for offensive pass interference. Now facing a 3rd-and-11, Tagovailoa was forced to scramble, picking up seven yards and leading to another three-and-out.
The refs are targeting Gesicki for pass interference right now. That is two on the tight end, and both of them were weak. On the bubble screen, he is allowed to block within a yard of the line of scrimmage, so that should have been fine, and then he got called for a push-off on a play that looked like every route run. Not sure if the Jets told the league that Gesicki gets away with things so they are watching him closely, but this is dumb at this point.
New York began at their own 48-yard line after a 19-yard return from Berrios. Carter picked up four yards to move the ball into Miami territory. Flacco then found Moore for five yards, then ran for two yards. After Carter ran for five yards, the clock reached the two-minute warning. The drive stalled there, with Coleman running for no gain, then Flacco throwing incomplete. The Jets missed the 55-yard field goal attempt as it hit the left upright.
Miami’s defense is just missing tackles. Hopefully they will clean up some things at halftime.
The Dolphins started the drive at their own 45-yard line with 1:06 on the clock. The offense decided to go into a hurry up and be aggressive, and it started to work. Tagovailoa threw to Waddle for seven yards, followed by a timeout. Tagovailoa then threw to Gesicki for seven yards, followed by a timeout. Tagovailoa then threw for six yards to Waddle, then nine yards to Wilson, then one yards to Gaskin, and eight yards to Gesicki. After a three-yard run from Gaskin to convert for the first down, followed by Miami’s final timeout, the Dolphins seemed to back off the aggression and turned conservative. Two incomplete passes, including an odd choice of trying to gain five yards on 2nd-and-10 from the 14 with eight seconds remaining, led to a 32-yard field goal attempt, but the ball hit the right upright and fell away.
The missed field goal ended the half.
The Dolphins’ ability to be aggressive on the opening drive of a game, then become super conservative and play not to lose is killing them. They just do not try to win as much as they try not to lose. It is frustrating and it feels like they just do not want to make mistakes, which leads to them making mistakes.
The defense is missing too many tackles. Just not finishing when they get to the ball carrier. They have to do better.
The Jets opened the second half with the ball, starting at their own 25-yard line after a touchback. The drive started with Flacco looking deep to Moore for a 22-yard gain, with Carter picking up two yards on the next play. Carter was tackled awkwardly and limped off the field after the play. Flacco then threw to Crowder for five yards, with Ty Johnson running for five yards. A Coleman run for two yards between two Flacco incomplete passes led to the field goal unit coming out, but a delay of game penalty pushed the Jets back into a punt.
Miami’s defense feels like they are trying to prevent the Jets from beating them deep, but then are allowing the short plays to become big plays. They have to step up, press, and shut down an offense that has Flacco averaging about six yards per attempt right now.
The Dolphins opening drive of the second half started with a two-yard run from Gaskin, followed by a 34-yard pass from Tagovailoa to Wilson only to have tight end Durham Smythe called for offensive pass interference negating the play and backing Miami into a 2nd-and-4 from their own six. Gaskin then run off the left side for 20 yards, then again for nine yards. On 2nd-and-1 from the 35, Tagovailoa was pressured, avoided a sack, stepped up and found Mack Hollins down the sideline for a 65-yard touchdown. Dolphins 14-7.
Three offensive pass interference penalties on one team in one game? I do not think I Have seen three called in a game period, let alone on the same team. What is happening here? Even Greg Gumbel and Adam Archuleta are asking questions about where the penalty was. Miami needs to take more shots down the field. This Jets defense will allow the big play if Miami will actually take the shot.
The Jets looked to answer, with Coleman running for four yards, then Flacco throwing to Moore three straight times for four yards, nine yards, and 23 yards. After a timeout, the Jets then threw to Griffin for five yards on a flea-flicker, with Jaelan Phillips called for unnecessary roughness to add another 15 yards. After another timeout, Flacco went back to Crowder for five yards before being called for intentional grounding. Another incomplete pass led to a field goal attempt from the Jets, with the ball flying wide left.
Miami got lucky in not allowing a score here. Again they are allowing short plays to become big gains, and they have to stop it.
Incomplete pass, nine-yard run from Gaskin, no gain on a quarterback sneak. Miami three-and-out.
I likely would have gone back to Gaskin instead of the sneak on a long yard, but they came up just short so maybe it was not a horrible call.
An incomplete pass and a two-yard pass to Coleman set up the Jets in a 3rd-and-8, with the Dolphins able to be aggressive on the long-yardage situation. Showing an all-out blitz, the Dolphins bailed out of it, but a quick slant from Moore beat a diving Byron Jones, and Moore was off to the races for a 62-yard touchdown.Tied 14-14.
The Dolphins defense got bitten on the touchdown, but they were being aggressive and trying to force a three-and-out. Jones normally does not get beaten like that on a slant, and it worked for the Jets. Not happy that they scored, but the Dolphins being aggressive and getting after the Jets instead of sitting back and waiting for New York is important for the rest of the game.
Tagovailoa started Miami’s drive with a 15-yard pass to Waddle to move the ball out to the 40-yard line. After Gaskin lost three yards, he picked up six yards, setting up 3rd-and-7, with Tagovailoa able to find Waddle for an eight-yard gain. After Patrick Laird picked up four yards, the quarter ended.
Okay Miami, it is time to put up some points and get this win. You are finding a rhythm right now. Keep it up.
Miami opened the final period with a handoff to Wilson on an end-around, who lateraled it to Waddle for a reverse, who lateraled it to Tagovailoa for the flea-flicker and a pass to Smythe for an 18-yard gain. Tagovailoa then three to Smythe for another eight yards, followed by a pass to Wilson for one yard, then to Hollins for seven yards. After a pass for six yards to Gesicki, Gaskin ran for no gain, setting up a 3rd-and-4 from the Jets five-yard line. Tagovailoa threw an incomplete pass on the play, but a roughing the passer penalty moved Miami to the Jets’ two-yard line with a first down. A false start backed up Miami to the Jets’ seven-yard line, with a Wildcat run from Gaskin picking up two yards. On 2nd-and-Goal, Wilson came around on the end-around, but looked to Preston Williams across the back of the endzone, but Williams could not pull in the pass. On 3rd-and-Goal, Tagovailoa threw to Gaskin just as the quarterback was hit, with the running back able to get into the endzone for the score. Dolphins 21-14.
What a stressful drive. It appeared to be stopped a couple of times, then Miami was able to convert for the first down, in part because of penalties. They were breaking out all kinds of gadget plays, from the flea-flicker to the Wildcat to Wilson’s pass, but ultimately they got the points and regained the lead. Time for the defense to step up and keep the Jets from tying it up again.
The defense for Miami did exactly what they needed to do. After a Flacco incomplete pass on first down, they nearly get to the quarterback on second down, with cornerback Nik Needham pulling Flacco down just as he crossed the line of scrimmage. On 3rd-and-9, Flacco was sacked by Jaelan Phillips for a seven-yard loss and a Jets three-and-out.
There you go defense! That was the stand the team needed.
Miami looked to eat as much of the clock as they could, starting with the ball at their own 49-yard line and 8:50 remaining in the game. They started with Gaskin picking up two yards, then Tagovailoa throwing to Smythe for seven yards. After a four-yard run out of the Wildcat for Gaskin, he took the handoff for three yards on first down. Duke Johnson then picked up four yards, setting up 3rd-and-3, only to have Tagovailoa sacked for a nine-yard loss. The sack was negated by a defensive holding, however, and Miami kept the ball. Johnson then ran for six yards, then again three yards, before Tagovailoa went back to the air to find Waddle for six yards and a first down. Gaskin then picked up three yards, then nine yards to bring up 3rd-and-1 at the Jets’ two-yard line. After a Wildcat run from Gaskin did not pick up any yards and the two-minute warning, Miami tried to draw New York offsides, but settled for a field goal. Dolphins 24-14.
That was a solid clock chewing drive. Miami ran 12 plays for 44 yards taking up 6:53 off the clock. Would have liked the touchdown, but a two-score lead and crushing nearly seven minutes when you got the ball with nine minutes to go was impressive.
Flacco came out firing, thing to get the Jets downfield quickly down 10 with 1:57 on the clock. He found Davis for 12 yards to start the drive, then, after an incomplete pass, came back with a pass to Crowder for eight yards. A pass to Moore for 11 yards was followed by an eight-yard pass to Johnson. Flacco then found Crowder for 15 yards, with the Jets using their final timeout after the play. An incomplete pass on 1st-and-10 from the Miami 17-yard line was followed by the Jets taking the field goal and trying for the onside kick. Dolphins 24-17.
Actually a pretty good quick drive for the Jets.
The onside kick went straight to Albert Wilson and Miami was able to kill the rest of the clock with some knee downs.