The New York Jets entered yesterday's game against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium with a chance to be 4-4 before heading into their bye week, setting up a potential second half run at a playoff spot. The Jets were thoroughly beaten by the Dolphins, with the offense and special teams have an especially horrible day as the defense tried to hold out as long as it could. The Jets honored Dennis Byrd by retiring his jersey at halftime.
The New York Jets defense did its best to keep it a game, with the offense and special teams leaving a big mess to clean up. The defense shot itself in the foot on the first drive of the game, with Antonio Cromartie taking a 15-yard personal foul, but the Jets stiffened up and only allowed a field goal. The next score came via a blocked punt, with Olivier Vernon recovering in the end zone for a 10-0 Dolphins lead.
Mark Sanchez then fumbled on the very next Jets possession, giving Miami the football at the New York 32 yard line. Six plays later, Daniel Thomas squirted across the goal line from three yards out on third and goal. It was the second third down of the drive the Jets had forced but after forcing two consecutive three and outs, they were unable to get off the field. The blame for that touchdown belongs on the shoulders of the offense.
That made it 17-0, and the Dolphins would add one more field goal before halftime to go up 20-0. Of the 20 points scored against them, the Jets defense was responsible for six, with the offense and special teams being the cause of the two touchdowns. Much like last year, the unit that is expected to give up touchdowns didn't, while the offense and special teams let them down.
The second half was more of the same. The other touchdown scored by the Dolphins came after a kick return taken back to the Jets 40 yard line. Another short field, another instance where the Jets defense had to try to clean up the mess. All game, and over the past season and a half we have seen the Jets defense put in those situations, fight for as long as it can hold out and eventually break.
Something has to change. The Jets need their offense to protect the football, and stringing together a few long drives would help the defense out. The special teams have been brutal the past two weeks, and the Jets desperately need Mike Westhoff to right the ship.
The difference between going into the bye week at 4-4, 3-1 in the AFC East and 3-5, 2-2 in the AFC East is a huge one. The Jets ended up on the wrong side of that equation, mainly because their offense and special teams were totally inept yesterday.
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