The Miami Dolphins traveled to New York (technically New Jersey) to face the Jets in the National Football League’s first ever Black Friday game and came away with a three touchdown victory after defeating their division rivals 34-13.
It was a dominating performance from the Dolphins on both sides of the ball.
Miami’s offense put up 395 total yards against one of the league’s best defenses — 167 yards rushing and 228 yards passing — while reaching the endzone twice on the ground and once through the air.
Miami’s defense allowed just 159 total yards — 29 yards rushing and 130 yards passing — while only giving up one passing touchdown. They also sacked Jets quarterback Tim Boyle a total of seven times for 49 yards lost and picked him off twice — including a dazzling pick-six interception from Jevon Holland to close out the first half of play.
It was a convincing win, but unfortunately the victory left plenty feeling somewhat disheartened after its conclusion due to a major injury suffered by one of their brightest young stars, linebacker Jaelan Phillips.
We’ll get into that and more as we take a look back at the good, bad and ugly from the Miami Dolphins’ week twelve victory over the New York Jets.
Defense dominates; sacks Tim Boyle seven times and intercepts him twice
The New York Jets benched former first round quarterback Zach Wilson for Friday’s game against the Miami Dolphins after multiple abysmal showings in a row. In his place, they turned to perennial backup signal-caller — and friend of Aaron Rodgers — Tim Boyle.
That decision didn’t work out the way Jets head coach Robert Saleh would have liked.
The Miami Dolphins defense honored the tradition of the day after Thanksgiving and feasted on the Jets offense like a plate full of leftover turkey all game long to the tune of seven sacks and two interceptions.
Christian Wilkins led the way with two sacks. Emmanuel Ogbah had one and a half. Jaelan Phillips, Zach Sieler and Da’Shawn Hand each had a sack, while Raekwon Davis contributed half a sack of his own.
Jerome Baker came down with an interception on a tipped ball from Xavien Howard, but it was Jevon Holland’s pick that will be remembered for years to come as he snagged a Hail Mary attempt as the first half clock hit all zeroes and returned it 99 yards for the touchdown to give Miami a 17-6 halftime lead.
Miami’s turnover woes continue
The Miami Dolphins offense continues to turn the ball over at an alarming rate.
One week after committing three turnovers against the Las Vegas Raiders, the Dolphins repeated the feat against the New York Jets — throwing two interceptions and losing a fumble on a muffed handoff attempt.
Both of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s interceptions came with the clock winding down in the first half. His first giveaway was of the pick-six variety on a pass where Jets defensive back Brandin Echols jumped in front of a short, out-breaking route and took the errant pass for the score. Tagovailoa’s second interception came on the very next drive as Miami was trying to get in position for a field goal try to end the half. The fourth-year passer tried to hit wide receiver Tyreek Hill on a short route, but left the ball a tad inside and it was taken in by Jets defender D.J. Reed.
Against a stagnant offense like the New York Jets, those turnovers didn’t do much to change the outcome of the game, but against playoff caliber opponents, giving the ball to the defense could very well be the difference between a win or a loss.
Tagovailoa and company will need to get this issue corrected — and quickly — if they want to have a chance at the ultimate prize this year.
Jaelan Phillips suffers likely Achilles tear; lost for season
The artificial turf at MetLife Stadium has drawn the ire of players around the National Football League for quite some time due to the high amount of soft tissue and ligament injuries that have occurred on its surface.
On Friday, the stadium’s turf claimed yet another victim — this time Miami’s star pass rusher Jaelan Phillips.
Late in the game, Phillips went down on a non-contact play after pushing off with his right foot on a pass rush rep. When the replay was shown, there was a visible pop and then a significant ripple in his calf muscle. The team later ruled Phillips out with an Achilles injury.
Following the game, head coach Mike McDaniel said the team would find out more about the severity of the injury the following day, but that early indications were not of the positive variety.
When the diagnosis is confirmed, Phillips will be faced with surgery and a long rehab process — one that will cost him the rest of this season and possibly the start of next season as well.
It’s a heartbreaking injury for one of Miami’s best defenders, especially considering Phillips had dealt with multiple injuries in college and even retired from the game of football for a short while because of them. Recently, the young pass rusher discussed the mental toll injuries have taken on him in the past.
Here’s wishing Jaelan Phillips a full and speedy recovery. Keep your head up. All of the Miami Dolphins fanbase will be rooting for you every step of the way.
The Dolphins didn’t play a perfect game against the New York Jets on Friday, yet still came away with a three touchdown victory. How do you feel about their recent string of multiple turnover games? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter at @MBrave13. Fins up!