By Tyson Rauch
The New York Jets (4-12) wrapped up their 2014 season with a resounding 37-24 victory over the Miami Dolphins (8-8). Gang Green played with a tremendous amount of fire and passion throughout the meaningless game, which was a tribute to their head coach Rex Ryan whose job is on the hot seat.
Offense Grade: B-
As expected, the New York Jets offense faced a Miami Dolphin defense that was determined to stop the running game. The Jets struggled to consistently run the ball but had success in the passing game as Geno Smith threw for 358 yards.
Marty Mornhinweg’s play calling remains questionable as the Jets were 1 of 5 in the red zone. Mornhinweg loses a pulse for the game and dials up gadget plays and unique formations at the most inopportune times.
The offensive line performed well under constant pressure, buying Smith time in the pocket to hit some big plays down the field. Wide receiver Eric Decker had one of the best games in the history of the franchise catching 10 passes for 221 yards and a touchdown. Chris Owusu was the surprise player of the game with a 23-yard touchdown run along with a 36-yard reception.
Defense Grade: C
Not a banner day for the New York defense as the unit gave up 387 yards, with 179 coming on the ground. Lamar Miller torched the Jets defense with a 97-yard touchdown run while Brian Hartline racked up 94 receiving yards.
Gang Green once again gave up a touchdown prior to halftime, which has been a common occurrence this season.
Linebacker David Harris led the team with 2.5 sacks, including the game clincher, with Quinton Coples (2 sacks) and Demario Davis (1 sack) adding to the pass rush as well. The 7 sacks by the unit were the most in the history of the Jets/Dolphins series.
Quarterback Grade: A
A career day for Geno Smith as the Jets signal caller was 20/25 with 358 passing yards and 3 touchdowns. Smith ended the game with a perfect passer rating of 158.3 which is remarkable considering how the second year signal caller has struggled this season.
Geno did a solid job of getting the football down the field, throwing several strikes to Eric Decker and Jace Amaro. Smith’s one lowlight was an awful fumble that resulted in a Dolphins touchdown.
Special Teams Grade: B+
One of the biggest plays of the game was a fake punt that was executed by Ryan Quigley. The Jets punter threw a 38-yard pass to Zach Sudfeld which set up a touchdown on the next play.
Chris Oswusu had an exciting 87-yard kickoff return leaving many to wonder why the wide receiver was not used earlier in the season.
Nick Folk made 3 of his 4 kicks with a long of 39 yards.
With the winds of change surrounding the Jets no one truly knew what to expect out of the team. Gang Green played physical throughout and opened up the playbook on both sides of the football. It was quite evident that the Jets players wanted to send their beloved coach out on a winning note. Now the spotlight turns to owner Woody Johnson as he determines the future of his franchise.
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Tyson Rauch is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.