The Dolphins claimed their third straight victory with a 30-9 win against the New York Jets on Sunday at Met Life Stadium in New Jersey. Miami posted its biggest win of the season against New York as it dominated in all three phases.
The Dolphins (4-3, 1-1 AFC East) stayed a 1/2 game behind the New England Patriots (5-3, 2-0) in the AFC East with the win while the New York Jets (3-5, 2-2) plummeted to the bottom of the division. The upcoming schedule sets up very favorably for Miami and nine wins could be enough to propel an AFC team into the postseason.
Not a bad for a team that entered the season with many experts picking it to finish last in the league.
Rookie QB Ryan Tannehill was knocked out of the game in the first quarter with a quad injury and is undergoing an MRI early this week. Backup QB Matt Moore was strong in his place, completing 11 of 19 passes for 131 yards with a touchdown while getting sacked only once. Moore also showed an ability to attack deep down the field as he completed a 37-yard pass to WR Marlon Moore and a 30-yard toss to WR Jabar Gaffney. The running game was solid as it paved the way for 97 yards and a touchdown on 33 carries and helped the team salt away the fourth quarter. Previous game's grade: C-
DE Cameron Wake continued his hot play with a sack against the Jets to give him 7.5 the past four games. The secondary also easily played its best game of the season. A unique plan to feature blitzing CBs saw Jimmy Wilson and Nolan Carroll each record a sack. Overall, the Dolphins finished with whopping 10 passes defended, a huge improvement for a unit under fire earlier in the season. DB Chris Clemons continued his string of strong play with a team-high nine tackles to go with an interception in the win. Previous game's grade: C-
Special teams: A+
Easily the best game of the season for the kicking units. Wilson blocked a punt recovered for a touchdown by rookie DE Olivier Vernon as the first-year player also recorded a blocked field goal late in the first half. LB Jason Trusnik, the Dolphins special teams ace, also recovered a surprise onside kick in the first quarter. In the return game, RB Marcus Thigpen broke a 57-yard kickoff return. K Dan Carpenter was 3 of 3 on field goals and P Brandon Fields buried four boots inside the Jets’ 20-yard line. Previous game's grade: B
It was a fantastic job by the staff to improve several weaknesses during the bye week. Dolphins first-year coach Joe Philbin finally flashed some aggression on the sideline and called for a surprise onside kick. OC Mike Sherman had Moore prepared to play and didn’t dial back the offense for the backup. DC Kevin Coyle called several aggressive blitzes to confuse Jets QB Mark Sanchez and the play of the secondary was greatly improved. Previous game's grade: C
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