It was seen as a potential banana skin, but Sunday saw the Dolphins thrash the Jets 24-0 and move to .500 for the first time under Brian Flores. After a dominant win against the 49ers last Sunday, Miami game into this hastily rearranged divisional matchup a 9.5 point favourite and wasted little time establishing the lead.
With Fins ex-head coach Adam Gase on the opposing sideline, the fans would’ve loved to have been there in greater numbers, but the players did everything asked off them as they piled the pressure on Gase, whose New York tenure has been a disaster, and must surely now be on life-support.
Dolphins thrash the Jets in every area
Divisional games often start out a bit on the cagey side and this one was no different with both offences posting quick 3-and-out’s on their first possessions. The Jets continued that trend on their second possession, while the Dolphins put together an 8-play 66-yard methodical drive culminating in a 4-yard touchdown catch for Adam Shaheen, on a misdirection to Myles Gaskin.
It was to prove the only score of the first quarter as the Jets would drive into Dolphins territory before a penalty on a pick play, and a botched snap on fourth down. Despite giving up the yards the defence continued to keep the ball in front of them, and make the Jets chip away for yards.
Miami would turn some decent field position into another scoring drive, riding Gaskin on the ground, and in the air, before Fitzpatrick found Preston Williams for the score and a comfortable 14-0 lead.
The next drive proved the difference between the Dolphins and the Jets, as Miami showed energy, creativity, and passion on defence and the Jets looked scared and confused. The Dolphins defence, although up against the worst unit in the NFL really looks to be coming together.
With the offence stalling on their next drive, it fell to the defence to reassert dominance, and on 3rd down Xavien Howard cut infant of Smith to take his 4th interception in four games and set Miami up at the 34-yard line. Unfortunately the offence would stall out again.
The final Dolphins scoring drive of the half exploded into life when Adam Shaheen got a free release and took a Ryan Fitzpatrick pass 43 yards down to the Jets 4-yard line. The drive would finish in a TD just 1 play later with a third TD-pass for Fitzpatrick as he hit Durham Smythe for an easy score in the flat.
It was a much more workman-like performance than last weeks impressive, dominant, performance against the 49ers, but it was equally effective. The Jets may not be the NFL’s best team, but you can only beat what’s infront of you and Miami beatdown the Jets in the first half to the tune of a 21-0 lead. It could have been more, but for a late flash of FitzTragic as the journeyman threw a late interception inside the Jet’s 10-yard line.
The most telling start of the first half would have to be the Jets having more punts (6) than first downs (5). It was a half dominated by the Dolphins defence as they conceded just 93-yards and curtailed the Jets to 32-plays on their eight possessions.
Second half is sloppy, but the Dolphins thrash the Jets so it’s fine
Much like last weeks game, the Dolphins came out flat in the second half as they looked to consolidate their comfortable lead. The running game began to stutter, and Ryan Fitzptatrick had a sloppy start. The defence, however, continued it’s dominance of the Jets offence.
After back-to-back 3-and-outs to start the half the offence took to the air to try and get a little mojo back, and it worked. Passes of 15, 18, 4, and 7 moving the fins into the redone, before stalling out. Jason Sanders kicked the 24-yard field goal and the lead was up to 24-0.
The Jets would put together their best drive of the game, going 51 yards in 4-plays before a 13-yard intentional grounding penalty derailed them. The drive ending with a Ficken missed-55 yard field-goal.
Fitzpatrick became much more erratic in the second half, with off target throws and some poor decisions culminating in a long interception as he under threw Preston Williams, and Male secured the interception against his own butt.
It was a very disappointing half of football for a team that had a chance to make a genuine statement. While it’s always good to watch the Dolphins thrash the Jets, there was a feeling that this game could’ve been so much cleaner in the second half.
For their part, the defence continued to ball in the second half. While getting gashed on a few runs, they continued to pressure Flacco and prevent the truly big plays. The defensive mood was epitomised by a 23-yard sack by Emmanuel Ogbah, his second of the game, as he refused to give up as Flacco improvised.
This much upgraded defence is showing signs of coming together to be an elite unit, except for it’s one weakness on the run. The loss of Davon Godchaux has no obvious solution, but it will need addressing if the Dolphins are to challenge the best the NFL has to offer.
With the game in the bag, Dolphins fans finally got to see rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa for the last 5 offensive snaps, including his first NFL pass, a 2-yard completion to Patrick Laird. A 7-yard completion to Jakeem Grant gave the Dolphins a first down, and put the final nail in the New York Jets, and the Dolphins first shutout since 2014 against the Chargers.
So the Dolphins thrash the Jets to move to 3-3, and into second-spot in the AFC East following the Patriots surprise loss to the Denver Broncos. It’s a bye-week next, and the Dolphins can enjoy a few days off before getting back to work with a vengeance.
|Passing 1st downs||7||12|
|Rushing 1st downs||5||4|
|1st downs from penalties||1||2|
|3rd down efficiency||2-17||1-9|
|4th down efficiency||2-3||0-0|
|Yards per Play||3.8||5.4|
|Yards per pass||3.1||6.2|
|Yards per rush||5.2||4.4|
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||0-1||3-5|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||0||0|