Initial Reaction – New York Jets “Get Well” Game

Joe Caporoso with initial reaction to the New York Jets 38-20 victory over the Miami Dolphins

The New York Jets had their best performance in nearly two months today at home against the Miami Dolphins with a dominant 38-20 victory. It was a “get well” game for the team against a mediocre opponent, where they got back to doing things that paved the way for their 4-1 start, mixed in with contributions from a few new faces. It was their fifth double digit victory of the season and second over the Dolphins.

Offensively, it was the Brandon Marshall show. He was the pace setter for the unit, leading the way with 9 catches for 131 yards on 11 targets, while looking healthier and more explosive than he looked in the past 5-6 games. With Marshall back to his early season self, Ryan Fitzpatrick played his best statistical game of the season, finishing 22/37 for 277 yards with 4 touchdowns and 21 rushing yards…most importantly, he had no turnovers.

A few new faces got in on the Jets offensive act. Despite a tough start to his rookie season, Todd Bowles stayed with receiver Devin Smith who grabbed 2 passes for 33 yards and his first career touchdown. Despite a mid-season suspension, Bowles stayed with second year H-Back/wide receiver Quincy Enunwa who had 2 receptions, continued to be a critical edge blocker and cleared out defenders for Eric Decker’s touchdown reception. Now back from injury, Bilal Powell added 35 yards and a big run before the half which jump started a touchdown drive. Decker continued to produce, finishing with 62 yards and his 8th touchdown.

The passing game opened up things for the running game in the second half, as Chris Ivory sprung a long touchdown run after breaking about 105 tackles. He finished with 87 yards on 21 carries and on the day, the Jets finished with 137 total rushing yards.

Defensively, it was a shut down performance despite the 20 garbage time points put up by the Dolphins. Miami had 9 carries for 12 yards and was shut out until it was 21-0 in the final minutes of the 3rd quarter and then added two late scores after it was 35-7. Ryan Tannehill threw a first quarter interception to Marcus Williams, who then had to leave with an injury meaning the Jets spent the bulk of this game playing without their top two cornerbacks. The Jets accumulated three sacks on the day, including a strip sack by Sheldon Richardson that was recovered by rookie Lorenzo Mauldin (who also added a sack of his own).

It was a good day for Bowles, who has taken an unnecessary amount of heat for a rookie Head Coach who is now 6-5. The Jets cut Quinton Coples, cut Demario Davis’ playing time in half, gave extended reps to Mauldin, Erin Henderson and newly signed Mike Catapano, along with sticking with Smith/Enunwa and the moves paid off today. It took Bowles 10 games to do something the previous coaching staff couldn’t do in 3 years with Coples and Davis. The potential is there for him to be a good Head Coach and he has continued to coach aggressively (I have no problem with the first drive decision to go for it on 4th and 1).

…And you won’t believe this but Jeremy Kerley had a 58 yard punt return.

The Jets are in position to be play meaningful football in December, starting this Sunday with a huge game against the 5-6 New York Giants.

Photo Credit: NewYorkJets.com

Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the EVP of Content at Whistle Sports