The New York Jets moved to 3-1, 3-0 in the AFC and 1-0 in the AFC East with a 27-14 win over the Miami Dolphins, their third double digit win of the season. Despite 14 penalties, poor special teams play and an endless fourth quarter that saw the Dolphins hang around longer than expected, the Jets were still clearly the superior team and in control throughout. It is fair to wonder if the Dolphins are headed to a full scale housecleaning after this game…
Offensively, the Jets leaned on Chris Ivory who responded with a monster, consistent tackle breaking performance. Credit to Chan Gailey for doing what Marty Mornhinweg never could, giving Ivory the ball consistently. #33 finished with 29 carries for 166 yards with his third touchdown of the season. Bilal Powell left early with a hamstring injury putting an increased workload on Ivory, who was able to respond and will now get two weeks to rest his various nagging injuries.
Ryan Fitzpatrick remained inconsistent, regularly missing open receivers and throwing his sixth interception of the season. However, he made plays with his feet (34 yards rushing) and led a critical two minute drive before halftime that culminated with a touchdown to Eric Decker. He also continued to effectively lean on Brandon Marshall who registered another 7 catches for 128 yards. It was not pretty from Fitz but it was enough for the Jets to win comfortably over an inferior opponent.
Credit to Brian Winters for holding up admirably against Ndamukong Suh and to the rest of the Jets offensive for regularly blowing the Dolphins overpaid defensive line off the football. James Carpenter has continued to prove the value of his addition this off-season as well, further solidifying the Jets interior. The Jets physically dominated Miami from start to finish today upfront.
If it wasn’t for pass interference penalties, the Jets would have played a perfect game defensively. Through four games, their second half defense has allowed 14 total points and forced 10 turnovers (with 13 total forced overall, matching last year’s overall output). Darrelle Revis and Marcus Williams had red-zone interceptions, Muhammad Wilkerson had two more sacks and newly signed safety Dion Bailey did an impressive job filling in for a banged up Calvin Pryor in the 4th quarter. Buster Skrine had a terrific all around performance, regularly harassing Ryan Tannehill on slot blitzes and showing solid open field tackling against the Dolphins receivers.The Jets will thankfully now get an extra week to have Pryor, David Harris and Leonard Williams all rehab minor injuries while receiving the boost of getting Sheldon Richardson back, remember him? It is fair to wonder if this defense can begin to put themselves in the discussion for the best unit in the NFL, if they aren’t there already. For now, they have two weeks to prepare for Kirk Cousins at home.