Sunday, December 29, 2013
Halftime: Geno dazzles with arm and legs
By Rich Cimini
MIAMI -- A few thoughts on the first half, with the Jets leading the Dolphins 14-7:
1. Homecoming king: Quarterback Geno Smith, who grew up down the street from Sun Life Stadium, continued his recently improved play. He completed 9 of 15 passes for 126 yards, leading a 71- and 80-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter. He got off to a slow start, but settled down nicely, once again using his athleticism to escape trouble. He rushed for a team-high 32 yards and a touchdown. He looked ... well, like a real NFL quarterback. In the previous Miami game, he threw an interception late in the second quarter that got him benched. This time, he led a long scoring drive. That's called progress, folks.
2. Refrigerator Richardson: Defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson scored his second rushing touchdown of the season, two more than any defensive lineman in Jets history. He appeared to be shaken up on the play, although no injury was announced.
3. Not mailing it in: You always wonder if teams out of the playoff chase will play hard in the final game. They always say they will, but sometimes it doesn't happen. Clearly, the Jets are backing up their tough talk from last week. The Dolphins (8-7) need the game to make the playoffs, and they got pounded in the second quarter. Losing wide receiver Brian Hartline (knee) hurt the Dolphins, no doubt. The Jets lost nickelback Kyle Wilson (knee). The Jets are trying to avoid their first back-to-back losing seasons since 1995-1996.