Mark Sanchez was woeful opposing the Dolphins’ No. 27 ranked secondary which entering Sunday allowed opponents an average of 281 passing yards per contest. While Sanchez completed 28-of-54 attempts for 283 yards including one touchdown and one interception, most of his headway was made in the second half with Miami playing prevent coverage. The offensive line was under fire as the Dolphins hit Sanchez seven times, sacking him four times and deflecting a whopping ten passes. Not Sanchez’s finest day and if he keeps it up it could be one of his last as a starter in New York.
Before the Jets could blink they were down 20-0 midway through the second quarter and had to rely on the shaky arm of Sanchez to carry them back into contention. Shonn Greene amassed 77 rushing yards on 15 carries including a 36-yard scamper in the third-quarter marking his longest rush of the season. Tim Tebow had just one carry for two yards, while fullback Lex Hilliard turned three rushes into 15 yards. The Jets’ ground and pound was unable to establish a rhythm with the team facing a massive first half deficit, but was decently effective pitted against the Dolphins’ powerful front seven.
When Dolphins’ rookie signal-caller Ryan Tannehill exited the game with an apparent knee injury, veteran Matt Moore stepped in and managed the game effectively for Miami. The Jets did a reasonable job in pass coverage, but cornerback Kyle Wilson was beat on several vertical routes resulting in chunk passing plays for the Dolphins. All told, New York didn’t produce any turnovers or force any pressure on Moore making for a less than impressive outing for Ryan’s defensive unit.
Reggie Bush talked the talk, but didn’t walk the walk. The former Heisman Trophy winner gathered 59 yards on 14 carries as New York’s front seven kept the star running back at bay for the majority of the game. Daniel Thomas tallied 42 yards on 15 carries including a three-yard touchdown run in the second quarter propelling the Dolphins to an early 17-0 lead. The Jets held the Dolphins under 100 yards rushing, which was small victory on an afternoon when nothing seemed to go right.
Mike Westhoff must be beside himself as his unit put on easily their poorest performance under his direction in New York. A blocked punt for a touchdown, blocked field goal and successful onside kick wreaked havoc on the Jets with the Dolphins holding claim as the only team to achieve these three feats in the same game in over 21 years. Normally a strength for the Jets, the special teams unit doomed Gang Green on Sunday, breaking the game open early and giving Miami a sizeable lead that they would not relinquish.
The Jets were supposed to empty their tanks on Sunday not get their lunches handed to them by an overachieving, yet gritty Dolphins’ team. Rex Ryan’s group had a hangover of sorts stemming from last Sunday’s overtime defeat up in Foxborough. The coaching staff will need to take a good hard look at the depth chart to determine if Sanchez really gives Gang Green the best chance to win.