The New York Jets dominated in their home opener today against the Miami Dolphins, cruising to a 20-6 victory that was not as close as the score looked. This was a clinic in all three phases of the game, particularly on defense where the Jets completely smothered a listless Jay Cutler led Miami Dolphins offense. Considering the talent disparity and how highly regarded Adam Gase is around the league, it is fair to argue this was one of Todd Bowles’ best days at the office as the Jets Head Coach, if not his best.
Defensively, the charge was led by rookie safety Jamal Adams who had a sack, 2 tackles for a loss and a pass defensed. The secondary was lockdown from start to finish, as Daryl Roberts thrived on the outside as a replacement for Juston Burris who was benched after a rough game in Oakland. Newly signed defensive end David Bass had a sack, two tackles for a loss and three total tackles. Demario Davis played easily his best game of the season, pacing the Jets with 12 tackles, including three for a loss. Overall, the defense played substantially faster than we have seen in previous weeks.
Miami’s only touchdown came with zero time left, as they spent most of the game sputtering on the opposite side of the fifty yard line. Jay Ajayi had 16 yards on 11 carries and Jay Cutler was intercepted late by Terrence Brooks (who also had an interception on a fake punt). Bowles played aggressive all day and Miami’s offensive line and Cutler struggled to decipher what the Jets were throwing at them.
Offensively, Josh McCown went 18/23 for 249 yards with a touchdown, highlighted by a gem of a 69 yard touchdown pass to Robby Anderson. The Jets did just enough running the ball (37 yards from Bilal Powell, 34 yards from Elijah McGuire and 25 yards from Matt Forte) to keep Miami honest. Both Jermaine Kerase and Jeremy Kerley chipped in 42 yards each receiving and ArDarius Stewart made the most of his one target with a ridiculous diving 24 yard third down conversion.
Despite a few early hiccups, the offensive line held up well despite Dakota Dozier replacing Brian Winters at guard. The Jets also integrated defensive end Lawrence Thomas at fullback, where he hauled in a 15 yard catch (yes, really). Austin Seferian-Jenkins also grabbed 5 catches for 31 yards in his first game of the season.
The Jets have a chance to build on today’s win in their next two games against Jacksonville at home and on the road against the o-3 Cleveland Browns. Despite looking dominant versus Baltimore, the Jaguars are flying back from London and still have Blake Bortles. Cleveland still remains the king when it comes to Game Of Tanks.
Today was a nice day for a young Jets team and an encouraging tape to point to for Mike Maccagnan (Jamal Adams, Robby Anderson, ArDarius Stewart, among others) and Todd Bowles.
0-16 was never realistic for this team, who is more likely to win somewhere in the 4-6 game range. It is always nice when one of those wins can come against Miami.
Photo Credit: NewYorkJets.com