With a golden opportunity to make it three straight wins, the New York Jets went into a place where they’ve enjoyed plenty of success in the past, as they took on the Miami Dolphins in Week 9 of the NFL season. Nevertheless, Gang Green ran into a Dolphins squad that simply wanted it a little more, and thus, found themselves on the losing end of a 27-23 decision.
The loss dropped the NY Jets to 3-6 on the season, which is good for last place in the AFC East. The defeat also put an end to New York’s three-game win streak over Miami as well. After the game, Jets head coach Todd Bowles spoke to media members about a number of issues, including the unforced errors committed by the Jets that kept giving the Dolphins multiple opportunities to get the ‘W’ over the Jets.
“Penalties really hurt us in the first half, it kept two of their drives alive, which got them some points,” Bowles said. “In the second half we shot ourselves in the foot, especially on the last kickoff return that really hurt us.”
From an offensive standpoint, this was a game to forget not only for quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (17-of-28 for 193 yards, TD, 2 INTs), but also for the entire unit. As a team, Gang Green tallied just 17 first downs and 330 yards of total offense, out of which, 140 came on the ground and 190 through the air.
Out of those 17 first downs, 10 came on passes, three on rushes and four on penalties. One of the biggest stories of the game was the Jets’ inability to convert on third downs, as they went just 2-for-11 in crucial situations.
The Jets offense also lost the always crucial turnover battle 0-2, as Fitzpatrick was picked off twice. That’s partially because the Dolphins were very successful at applying pressure all afternoon long, which forced Fitzpatrick into making those mistakes.
Aside from his two picks, the Harvard product was also sacked three times and lost 22 yards as a result. Plus, he was almost knocked out of the game due to a knee injury. Also worth noting is that things could have been a lot worse as the Jets fumbled the ball three times, but were fortunate enough to recover the rock each time.
Outstanding offensive players on the day include running back Matt Forte (12 rushes, 92 yards, TD), and wide receivers Jalin Marshall (3 catches, 59 yards, TD) and Robby Anderson (4 catches, 49 yards).
Defensively, the Jets’ game plan was simple: contain Jay Ajayi and force Ryan Tannehill to beat them. However, they failed to accomplish either one, as Ajayi rushed for 111 yards on 24 carries and a score, while Tannehill connected on 17-for-28 for 149 yards, a score, and most importantly did not turn the ball over and was only sacked once.
The Jets defense also yielded 274 total yards (137 rushing and 137 passing yards), allowed Miami to run 62 plays for an average of 4.4 yards per play.
Tannehill was only sacked once all game long, which belonged to Lorenzo Mauldin (0.5 sacks) and Josh Martin (0.5 sacks). Sheldon Richardson led the team with seven tackles, followed by a four-way tie between Marcus Gilchrist, Muhammad Wilkerson, David Harris and Darrelle Revis, who all registered five tackles apiece.
Special Teams: C-
After a solid game, the Jets’ special teams unit let them down when it mattered most. On one hand, they were able to recover a fumble by Dolphins punter Matt Darr that led to a Ryan Fitzpatrick 18-yard touchdown pass to Jalin Marshall. The score put the visiting Jets ahead, 23-20 with 5:42 to play in the ballgame. However, the Jets’ lead wouldn’t last long, as the special teams unit would allow a 96-yard touchdown by Kenyan Drake on the ensuing kickoff that would go on to be the game-winner.
Kicker Nick Folk was perfect on the afternoon, connecting on 3-of-3 on field goals and 2-for-2 on extra-point attempts. Meanwhile, punter Lachlan Edwards punted the pigskin away three times for an average of 40.3 yards and a long of 44 yards.
Prior to this game, everyone knew what the Jets’ game plan heading into this game was: Stopping Ajayi and making Tannehill the focal point of the Fins offense. However, they did not only failed execute the game plan, but also put themselves behind the 8-ball time and time again with costly penalties.
The Jets were penalized 10 times for 77 yards, but the most important takeaway from those unforced errors comes down to timing. The Jets did themselves no favors by allowing Miami to keep drives alive by committing unnecessary penalties. Even though it was a very emotional and physical game, those types of unforced errors come down to coaching and the staff’s ability to keep their head in the game and not let things get away from them.
Up Next: Los Angeles Rams (Week 10) in East Rutherford
After a two-game road swing, the New York Jets return home to host the (3-5) LA Rams in Week 10 of the season. According to opening NFL Week 9 betting lines, the NY Jets (-2.5) are listed as favorites against the Rams.
Post Author: Abraham Gutierrez.