AFC East: Dolphins-Jets 110109

Most absurd AFC East result: Browns 6, Bills 3

November, 6, 2009
Posted by's Tim Graham

A few days ago, I asked readers to submit their votes for the most absurd AFC East outcome through the first half of 2009.

 AP Photo/Mike Groll
 The ugly Buffalo-Cleveland game in Week 5 was a tough loss for Bills fans to endure.
While the comments section beneath that blog quickly turned into a trash-talking session between New York Jets and Miami Dolphins fans, a few readers actually attempted to make cases for the game they felt was supremely ridiculous.

The most compelling cases were made for the Week 5 disaster between the Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills in Ralph Wilson Stadium.

That catastrophe deserved to end in a tie, but the Browns won 6-3 thanks to a muffed punt deep in Bills territory in the final minutes. Browns quarterback Derek Anderson completed 2 of 17 passes for 23 yards. His 11.8 percent completion percentage was the second-worst for a winning quarterback since the NFL-AFL merger.

Coming in second was the Indianapolis Colts' 27-23 victory over the Dolphins in Week 2. The Colts became the first team since time of possession became an official stat in 1970 to win while holding the ball for less than 15 minutes. The Colts ran only 35 plays.

Here are some of the better submissions on the subject:

Jesse in Omaha wrote into the AFC East mailbag that the Browns-Bills game "was the lowest point I've had as a fan in a long time. Even if I were a Jets fan during the loss to the lowly Bills, at least I could stand by the fact that the opposing team tried to win the game. I'm not convinced Cleveland wanted to beat Buffalo that day."

In the comments section, glui8 declared the Browns-Bills was, "hands down, the most absurd result. Not only was it the worst football game I've ever seen played, whether it be Pop Warner, high school, college or pro, but the losing team (and this is the reason I'm picking it as the most absurd) got beat by a quarterback that completed two, yes, two passes for a whopping total of 23 yards. THAT IS ABSURD and, in my opinion, is way worse than any of the other games nominated."

DolflyerpacerV316 added: "Gotta be the Browns-Bills game. Seriously, they lost to the Browns? Who does that? How they only scored three on the Browns is the first mystery, but losing to them? That just defines absurd!"

Also in the comments section, mrf042579 weighed in: "I'm going to have to vote for the Colts-Dolphins game. As a Bills fan, I am tempted to vote for any of their games, but in all honesty, how do you lose a game when your opponent runs 35 plays and has the ball less than 15 minutes?"

There was no doubt in stevejdolphin's mind: "It was easily the Dolphins-Colts game. I watched that game, and the way the Dolphins completely controlled the pace of the game while their offense was on the field was incredible. This also needs to be put in perspective with all the coaching changes the Colts had in the off-season. This was the second week of the season, and the Colts had struggled the week before against the Jaguars. They didn't have their second-best receiver in Anthony Gonzalez. For Peyton Manning to pull out a win with everything stacked against him is impossible. It happened and it was without a doubt the most absurd AFC East result."

SportsFan1236 made the case for another game, going with the Dolphins frittering a 21-point first-half lead against the Saints: "They went from dominant to dominated. Sorry, but that was the most pathetic loss of the year. To lose a game in a final minutes is bad, but to lose your momentum and such a huge lead right before half is horrible. Could have beat one of the best teams, if not the best team, in the league and choked it away."

To refresh your memories, here are the thumbnails from the other runners-up:

Week 1: Patriots 25, Bills 24. The Bills don't trail for almost 59 minutes, but Leodis McKelvin fumbles a kickoff inside the final two minutes, setting up Tom Brady with a short field. Brady throws his second touchdown in a span of 1:16 to escape with a dramatic victory.

Week 4: Saints 24, Jets 10. The Jets' offense gives up more points than it scores and more points than its defense allows. The Saints score touchdowns on two of Mark Sanchez's four turnovers.

Week 6: Bills 16, Jets 13 (OT). The Bills allow 318 rushing yards, second-most in Jets history. Thomas Jones runs for the most yards of his career, setting a Jets record. His 210 yards are the fifth most in a defeat since the merger. But the Jets throw six interceptions, five of them by Sanchez.

Week 7: Saints 46, Dolphins 34. The Dolphins hold a 21-point lead for the first 29 minutes of the game but collapse the rest of the way, giving up 24 points in the fourth quarter to become the first team in 22 years to blow a 21-point lead and lose by at least a dozen.

Week 8: Dolphins 30, Jets 25. A sublime Jets defense holds the Dolphins to 104 total yards (third fewest in franchise history) and 1.9 yards per pass attempt. The Dolphins score one offensive touchdown, but two Ted Ginn kickoff returns and a Jason Taylor fumble return -- all in the third quarter -- make the difference.

Jason Taylor: Low-class Jets should shut up

November, 4, 2009
Miami Dolphins linebacker Jason Taylor, exultant over collecting a fumble and returning it 48 yards for a touchdown Sunday against the New York Jets, looked for the appropriate way to express himself.

Taylor greeted his trailing teammates then spun and fired the ball at the Jets logo on the wall behind the end zone.
Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE
Jason Taylor's Dolphins have two wins over the Jets this season.

"To score a touchdown in New York against the Jets in the last time I'll be in the hellhole they call a stadium up there before they get rid of it and move to the new one," Taylor said, "it was outstanding."

Taylor delivered that quote in an interview scheduled to air Friday on Sirius NFL Radio.

Taylor's distaste for the Jets and their fans is well-known. In the spring, when he was discussing the possibilities of which team he might play for in 2009, he said, "it'd be very, very, very difficult" to play for the Jets given all of the strong opinions he'd voiced about them over the years.

Sirius host Adam Schein got Taylor going on the subject again. They discussed the Dolphins knocking off the Jets twice this year after so much trash-talking between the teams.

"The problem I have is with the Jets fans," Taylor said. "It's not really a problem; it's kind of this rivalry that has gone on, and they love to hate me, and I love to hate them, and we've had some fun over the years. They've had a lot of fun at my expense. I've had some fun at their expense at times.

"It's the times like this where you beat them and they just keep talking. They just keep going, and they just don't know when to be quiet.

"You know, I've said a lot of things about Jets fans in the past, and I’m sure at heart they're good people. Most of them are good people. The Giants fans are a different type of people. Just put it that way. There's a little more class on the Giants' side, and some Jets fans take the 'c-l' out of class."

Shein asked Taylor if the Jets talk too much for their own good and perhaps get opponents additionally jacked up to play them.

"We tried to make a concerted effort to stay out of the trash-talking, although we did engage in some, and I know it dated back to the offseason with Channing Crowder and Rex Ryan and their little spat there for a couple of weeks," Taylor said.

"Everyone's going to have a different opinion as to whether or not somebody talks too much. When you lose two games to the same team in a year it is probably time to stop talking a little bit and move on to your next opponent and get ready to play.

"After we beat them the first time here in Miami, they talked about it for a few weeks. Because our games were three weeks apart, they talked about it for a few weeks, and maybe it got in the way and tripped them up against the Buffalo Bills. They lost to the Bills up there in New York.

"So there comes a point where you’ve got to win with class, and you've got to lose with class, and we try to do that. We're not perfect. We do engage in some of the trash going back and forth, but at the end of the day we have two wins, and I think that gives us a little more reason to talk."

How I See It: AFC East Stock Watch

November, 3, 2009
NFC Stock Watch: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Posted by's Tim Graham


1. Rex Ryan's rhetoric: All of the bold talk that sounded like the bravado of a proud papa when the Jets were 3-0 now sounds like the words of a man trying to convince himself his team is as good as he thought it was.

The Jets have gone 1-4 since their hot start and enter their bye week with an uninspiring .500 record. Ryan's big talk about his boys and occasional shots at the opposition are ringing hollow.

2. Dolphins offense: The Wildcat was a savage weapon up until two games ago. The Saints and Jets, a team that had been abused by the Wildcat three weeks earlier, stymied the direct-snap offense.

Sophomore quarterback Chad Henne has struggled, too. He won his first two NFL starts and posted an astronomical 130.4 passer rating in Week 5. The Dolphins then went on their bye, and in the two games since, Henne has one touchdown and has a 52.6 passer rating.

3. Bills quarterback situation: The Bills must be longing for the days of a quarterback controversy. By definition, that would mean a debate exists about the merits of two men. In this case, the Bills don't seem to have one desirable option.

Concussed starter Trent Edwards was lacking when healthy. The Bills were playing so poorly under his direction that backup Ryan Fitzpatrick had a shot to seize the job. He actually won two of the three games he played -- thanks to the defense. Buffalo's offense got worse. Edwards is expected to be healthy for Week 10. What difference will it make?


1. Ted Ginn, Dolphins kick returner: He occupied the No. 1 spot in the falling category last week as a receiver, and rightfully so. Dolphins coach Tony Sparano stripped Ginn of his starting job in the offense. Only one pass went his way Sunday, and it was incomplete.

But Ginn provided high voltage in the opportunities given. He became the first NFL player to score two touchdowns of 100 yards or longer when he returned back-to-back kickoffs all the way in the third quarter. He finished with 299 kickoff return yards, second-most in league history.

2. Dustin Keller, Jets tight end: The last time he played the Dolphins, he had zero receptions and was targeted once. In that game plus the next two, he had a combined three receptions for 42 yards and no touchdowns.

In Sunday's rematch with Miami, Mark Sanchez fired to Keller three times on third down, twice on fourth down and once for an unsuccessful two-point conversion. Sanchez went to Keller to convert a critical fourth-and-10 play and threw to him on their final shot at the end of the game (Sanchez overthrew him). Keller finished with eight catches for 76 yards, both game-highs. Six of his receptions were for first downs or a touchdown.

3. Gibril Wilson, Dolphins safety: A couple other Dolphins defenders deserve an honorable mention: defensive tackle Paul Soliai (six tackles, a pass deflection, the forced fumble Jason Taylor returned for a touchdown) and defensive end Randy Starks (seven solos, big sack of Sanchez on the final drive).

But I went with Wilson because he has been maligned all season for poor tackling and -- like Ginn -- lost his starting job to a rookie but made the most of the plays he was given at the Meadowlands. Wilson was credited with seven solo tackles, and he razed Sanchez twice. Wilson recorded one sack, while the other hit sent Sanchez staggering off the field.

Rodney Harrison breaks down Pats schedule

November, 3, 2009
Posted by's Tim Graham

Mike Reiss of calls it a "five-game stretch that figures to define the Patriots' regular season."

Appropriate then that Reiss called upon opinionated former New England Patriots safety and NBC analyst Rodney Harrison to break down their upcoming schedule. I recommend you check out the dissection, which also includes comments from ESPN's Trent Dilfer.

The Patriots lead the AFC East with a 5-2 record but are about to face a series of difficult opponents: three within the division and two outsiders that are undefeated. The lineup:
Here is what Harrison had to say about the intradivisional matchups:

"Bart Scott and the Jets can say what they want to say, but the Dolphins could easily be 5-2 and with the Patriots at the top. They had both the Colts and Saints beat, so they've shown they can play with some of the big dogs. What they haven't shown is the ability to finish them, and that's why they're 3-4."

"Regardless of what goes on with the Jets, they always play the Patriots like it's a playoff game. These teams have a distinct dislike for one another. The Jets talk a lot, and that can put them in a vulnerable position where they have to perform. But they feel like they have the ingredients and the blueprint to get to Tom Brady. They'll pressure him and pressure him, which is how they came out and attacked him in Week 2. Yet the difference now is that Brady is not the same quarterback as he was in Week 2."

Westhoff has no regrets over kicking to Ginn

November, 2, 2009
Posted by's Tim Graham

New York Jets special teams guru Mike Westhoff called it the worst game of his 27-year NFL coaching career.

Miami Dolphins return man Ted Ginn took back-to-back kickoffs the length of the field for touchdowns in Sunday's wild, 30-25 victory over the Jets at the Meadowlands.

Westhoff offered no apologies Monday, when he met with reporters to explain what happened and insisted he didn't consider kicking away from Ginn after the first touchdown.

"No, absolutely not," Westhoff said. "We go into the game, we're one of the top three coverage teams in the NFL, and we have the second-best starting field position in the league. Absolutely not. We knew exactly what they were going to do."

He explained the first kickoff was so returnable because the ball hooked away from the coverage. The Jets couldn't set the edge, allowing Ginn to burst up the right sideline almost untouched for 100 yards.

Westhoff said he didn't regret kicking to Ginn again. The second touchdown went 101 yards but with Ginn coming to a dead stop at the 15-yard line and juking his way around two missed tackles before hitting the sideline.

Westhoff still ordered Jay Feely to kick to Ginn two more times after that.

Ginn finished with 299 kickoff return yards, second most in an NFL game. Teams usually wise up before the total gets so gaudy.

"I'm probably the guy who would pitch to Barry Bonds," Westhoff said. "So take it how you want."

Take your pick: Most absurd AFC East result

November, 2, 2009
Posted by's Tim Graham

Nowhere else in sports have stats been more irrelevant than in the AFC East, where illogical verdicts have been rendered on a near-weekly basis.

The Miami Dolphins have had their share but came out ahead for a change Sunday by gaining 104 yards in a victory over the New York Jets, just the latest in a growing collection of incredible results relative to the box score.

There have been enough of these crazy outcomes to put them up for a vote. Take a look at the seven candidates below and then submit your vote and your reasoning in the comments section below. I will tally them up and compile the most compelling arguments for a blog entry later in the week that reveals your pick for the most absurd game through the first half of the 2009 season.
 Geoff Burke/US Presswire
 There have been several outcomes in the AFC East this season, including the Jets’ Week 6 loss to the Bills, that defied statistical probability.

Not sure if this explains anything, but I attended six of the seven games.

Week 1: Patriots 25, Bills 24. The Bills don't trail for almost 59 minutes, but Leodis McKelvin fumbles a kickoff inside the final two minutes, setting up Tom Brady with a short field. Brady throws his second touchdown in a span of 1:16 to escape with a dramatic victory.

Week 2: Colts 27, Dolphins 23. The Colts run only 35 offensive plays because the Dolphins hold the ball for an amazing 45:07. But the Colts average an obnoxious 10.7 yards per snap and 12.3 yards per pass attempt, becoming the first team to win with a recorded time of possession of less than 15 minutes.

Week 4: Saints 24, Jets 10. The Jets' offense gives up more points than it scores and more points than its defense allows. The Saints score touchdowns on two of Mark Sanchez's four turnovers.

Week 5: Browns 6, Bills 3. Browns quarterback Derek Anderson starts, plays the entire game and completes two passes for 23 yards. His 11.8 completion percentage is the second-worst since the NFL-AFL merger for a winning quarterback with at least 15 attempts.

Week 6: Bills 16, Jets 13 (OT). The Bills allow 318 rushing yards, second-most in Jets history. Thomas Jones runs for the most yards of his career, setting a Jets record. His 210 yards are the fifth most in a defeat since the merger. But the Jets throw six interceptions, five of them by Sanchez.

Week 7: Saints 46, Dolphins 34. The Dolphins hold a 21-point lead for the first 29 minutes of the game but collapse the rest of the way, giving up 24 points in the fourth quarter to become the first team in 22 years to blow a 21-point lead and lose by at least a dozen.

Week 8: Dolphins 30, Jets 25. A sublime Jets defense holds the Dolphins to 104 total yards (third fewest in franchise history) and 1.9 yards per pass attempt. The Dolphins score one offensive touchdown, but two Ted Ginn kickoff returns and a Jason Taylor fumble return -- all in the third quarter -- make the difference.

Columns as they see 'em

November, 2, 2009
Posted by's Tim Graham

A look back at AFC East action in Week 8 through the eyes of the columnists who wrote about them:

Miami Dolphins 30, New York Jets 25
Houston Texans 31, Buffalo Bills 10

Dungy rebukes Jets' postgame comments

November, 1, 2009
Posted by's Tim Graham

NBC Sports studio analyst Tony Dungy took exception with the bitter comments that emanated from New York Jets' locker room Sunday.

Dungy, the former Indianapolis Colts and Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach, called out Jets coach Rex Ryan and linebacker Bart Scott for belittling the Miami Dolphins after losing to them 30-25 at the Meadowlands.

Scott mocked the Dolphins as Super Bowl contenders. Ryan declared the Jets were the better team.

"My mother used to say 'When you win, say very little. When you lose, say less,'" Dungy said on NBC's "Football Night in America." "Bart Scott said too much today. When a team beats you twice, give them credit and go home.

"And I have to disagree with Rex Ryan. They didn't outplay Miami. Miami's got three-return touchdowns. That's part of the game. They've got more points than you do."

Ginn provides Dolphins many happy returns

November, 1, 2009
AP Photo/Peter Morgan
Dolphins return man Ted Ginn gashed the Jets for 299 return yards Sunday.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- In an orange-and-aqua streak, Ted Ginn bolted up the right sideline in front of his whooping, towel-waving teammates. Not once, but twice he ran from goal line to goal line, leaving New York Jets defenders and the critics singed by his afterburners.

Ginn became the first player in NFL history to run the length of the field for touchdowns twice, darting 100 and 101 yards on back-to-back kickoff returns in the third quarter to propel the Dolphins past the Jets, 30-25.

In their locker room all week, the Miami Dolphins embraced Ginn in a show of support. The besieged receiver lost his starting job for costly drops in last week's loss to the New Orleans Saints. He called it the worst game of his career and the days to follow one of the toughest weeks of his life.

On Sunday at the Meadowlands, the Dolphins were hugging him a little tighter out of gratitude.

Out of the offensive lineup, Ginn contributed the only way the coaching staff permitted.

"He was down the last couple weeks," Dolphins outside linebacker Joey Porter said. "Then it comes down to not being in the game like he wants to be.

"Two big plays like that will bring you out of the doghouse in a hurry."
Week 8 Coverage
" Walker: Ravens D is angry
" Mosley: Eagles win in laugher
" Williamson: Merriman finds groove
" Graham: Ginn provides happy returns
" Seifert: Favre sweeps Packers away
" Kuharsky: Young key in Titans' win
" Sando: Cards missing Fitz
" Pasquarelli: Surprise TD lifts Colts
" Clayton: Denver goes down
" Greenberg: Cutler tough in win
" Watkins: Cowboys youth shows off
" MacMahon: Austin, Crayton shine
" Zoom Gallery: Images from Lambeau
" NFL Nation: Reactions | Wrap-ups | Live

Monday Night Football HQ

" Yaskinskas: Atlanta CBs facing test

Ginn helped the Dolphins steal a game they probably had no business winning. Miami is now 3-4 overall, 3-0 against AFC East opponents.

"Sometimes, things just don't make sense," Jets coach Rex Ryan said. "Statistically, this game is not going to look close."

The Jets (4-4) outgained the Dolphins in yards from scrimmage 378-104, the third-fewest yards the Dolphins have gained in team history -- win or lose.

The Dolphins received the ball to start the second half. At one point Dan Carpenter had kicked three extra points, and the Dolphins had run three offensive plays. Sandwiched in between Ginn's kickoff returns, outside linebacker Jason Taylor returned a fumble 48 yards for his ninth career defensive touchdown and Davone Bess fumbled a punt.

"They were hungry on defense," Dolphins left guard Justin Smiley said. "They talked a lot of smack and did a nice job. They backed it up.

"Thank goodness our defense came to play and Ted Ginn did his thing."

Ginn has been the source of ridicule since the moment Miami drafted him ninth overall in 2007. He's symbolic of the failed Cam Cameron era, generally viewed as a wasted opportunity. He was projected as no better than a No. 2 receiver. Who takes a return specialist with the ninth pick?

Dolfans begged the front office to draft Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn, but even if management wanted to address another position, prospects still on the board included future Pro Bowlers Patrick Willis, Marshawn Lynch and Darrelle Revis.

But Dolfans got Ginn, and they've been mostly dissatisfied ever since. He was dazzling on returns at Ohio State. It's what he did best, but he couldn't even keep that job.

Ginn occasionally flashed his thrilling play-making ability. He scorched Revis for a long touchdown in Week 5. But Ginn also elicited boos for dropping catchable passes and scurrying out of bounds to avoid contact.

Dolphins coach Tony Sparano apparently had seen enough drops and benched him in favor of a fellow Buckeye, rookie Brian Hartline.

Had original return man Patrick Cobbs not suffered a season-ending knee injury against the Jets three weeks ago, Ginn might not have been on the field much at all against the Jets. He had one pass thrown his way all afternoon.

"This was probably one of the toughest weeks I've ever experienced playing football," Ginn said. "Last week was one of the toughest games I ever had, the worst game of my career."

Ginn bobbled a pass three plays into the second half against the Saints. Darren Sharper pounced on it and returned the interception for a game-changing touchdown.

A photo in this week's Sports Illustrated showed Ginn had hustled back into the play and stripped Sharper at the 1-yard line. The ball bounced out of the end zone and should have been a touchback, giving the Dolphins the ball on their own 20. But the touchdown stood, and Ginn would have to wait a week for vindication.

Ginn conceded that losing his job to Hartline was a wakeup call.

"Me not being in that starting lineup hurt me deep down inside," Ginn said. "I just wanted to be able to make plays however I can make plays. Nobody said you have to be a starter to make plays.

"Being a big-play guy, a player that started when he was so young, to not be a starter really hurt."

Ginn's first return was pure speed. He ran up the middle for a piece and then bolted up the right sideline. He was a blur. The only contact he felt came from three diving defenders slapping in vain at his ankles.

At the end of the third quarter, after Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez cut the Dolphins' lead to four points with a brilliant fake handoff and touchdown run, the Jets made the mistake of kicking to Ginn again.

"We have a lot of faith in our coverage," Ryan said. "We're one of the best coverage teams in the league. We thought we had a good plan."

Ginn made them look foolish. He fielded the kick a yard deep and ran up the right hashmarks, then dashed to the left and came to a dead stop at the 15-yard line.

"I'm like a mouse trapped in a corner," Ginn said. "You always wonder how that mouse gets out."

He sidestepped to the left to dodge Larry Izzo, then to the left to avoid Ryan Fowler.

"I really felt like I was trapped," Ginn said. "I tried to use what I have as far as my feet, play off my blocks. My motive was to get to the outside. Once I get that opening and turn on them burners, I'm gone."

In a whoosh, he was. Ginn found an opening and exploded, untouched the rest of the way.

Ginn is the eighth player to return two kicks in the same game, but the first to go 100 yards or more on both of them. His 299 kick return yards for the entire game -- no, the Jets didn't kick away from him -- rank second all-time, five yards behind Tyrone Hughes (Saints vs. Rams) in 1994.

Ginn's return average of 49.8 yards is the highest in NFL history for players who fielded at least five kickoffs.

"You have a couple bad games, they'll throw you away in this league," Porter said. "That's just how it goes. Everybody loves a guy when he makes plays, but as soon as you have a bad week or two, then they hate you.

"It'll be exciting to see everybody get back on the bandwagon and holler about how great he is."

Porter should know. He has been there before. Porter said he wants to see Ginn build from this, not merely assume that one sensational game will be good enough to silence the critics for good.

For now, though, the Dolphins can be happy he responded.

"Some people, they rise up. Some people, they don't," Sparano said. "Teddy rose up."

Scott predicts Fins will, ahem, win Super Bowl

November, 1, 2009
Posted by's Tim Graham

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Do you think New York Jets linebacker Bart Scott was a little bitter about losing to the Miami Dolphins again?

Scott's comments were saturated with sarcasm Sunday after the Dolphins gained 104 yards but still managed to win 30-25 at the Meadowlands, completing the series sweep.

"They’re a great team," Scott said. "They’ll probably contend for the Super Bowl. They have a hellacious offense, great running backs, great quarterback, great tight ends. They're stacked across the board. I’m serious. They are great.

"Like I said, they have a great team. They have a tremendous offense and they showed it today. They are Super Bowl contenders and they will probably take it all the way."

Scott wasn't shy in talking about the Dolphins in the days leading up the game. He said he had developed a hatred for the Dolphins and unashamedly said he wanted to knock Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne out of the game.

"This is about us, our defense, getting our swagger back," Scott said earlier on "Barking With Bart," his weekly show on "They took it from us. They took our mojo, so to speak. It's time for us to get our redemption."

I guess there's always 2010.

Ryan bewildered by loss to Dolphins

November, 1, 2009
Posted by's Tim Graham

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Rex Ryan can't believe his team lost to the Miami Dolphins.

Not once, but twice.

The Dolphins backed up their Week 5 victory over the New York Jets by beating them again Sunday at the Meadowlands. The Dolphins won despite gaining their third-fewest yards in team history and the Jets' defense allowing their fourth-fewest ever.

The Jets had the ball for eight more minutes than the Dolphins and out-gained them 378-104. The Dolphins averaged 2.0 yards a play, 1.9 yards per pass attempt. On seven Wildcat plays, the Dolphins gained 6 yards. Only one play went for more than a yard.

The Jets recorded six sacks, limiting the Dolphins to 52 net yards passing.

"It stinks," Jets coach Rex Ryan said of being swept. "That's the truth. We totally outplayed them, but got beat."

Then Ryan delivered a pointed comment.

"I'd rather be in their locker room with a win than here," Ryan said, "even though I'd rather be in this one moving forward.

"We have a better record right now, so I'll still take this locker room."

Rapid reaction: Dolphins 30, Jets 25

November, 1, 2009
Posted by's Tim Graham

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Miami Dolphins refuse to fade away, and the New York Jets can't get their stuff together.

In a result that certainly made New England Patriots fans happy, the AFC East standings were further muddled Sunday, when the Dolphins beat the Jets 30-25 at the Meadowlands.

The Jets could have pulled within a half game of the Patriots with a victory. Instead, they are .500, while the Dolphins and Buffalo Bills, who lost Sunday, each have three wins.

The Dolphins scored only one offensive touchdown, a 5-yard touchdown reception for Joey Haynos in the fourth quarter.

Technically, those were the winning points, but three other touchdowns were the difference-makers, turning the tide in third quarter from a game the Jets seemed to be in control of at halftime despite a 3-3 score.

Ted Ginn, who lost his gig as a starting receiver because he couldn't hold onto the ball, made his presence felt in another way. With utility back and returner Patrick Cobbs out for the season, Ginn has been returning kicks the past few games. He might not ever lose that job after Sunday's display.

Ginn streaked two kickoffs back for touchdowns in the third quarter. The first went for 100 yards, but the second was even more dazzling. He juked several Jets before bolting up the sideline again for 101 yards.

Dolphins outside linebacker Jason Taylor added another dramatic touchdown in the third quarter, recovering a fumble in stride and running it 48 yards.

One would think monster plays such as those would be enough to win comfortably, but the Jets' drive inside the Dolphins' 10-yard line inside the final two minutes. Mark Sanchez sailed a pass incomplete on fourth down.

Sanchez had a good afternoon. He completed 20 of 35 passes for 265 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. He also ran in for a score.

Two TD returns give Ginn plenty to crow about

November, 1, 2009
Posted by's Tim Graham

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- I'll bet Ted Ginn will be happy to speak after this game.

The beleaguered Miami Dolphins receiver and return man slithered out of the locker room after last week's droptastic performance against the New Orleans Saints. He ducked reporters a few more days beyond that.

But I have a feeling he'll be downright chatty after returning two kickoffs for touchdowns in the third quarter against the New York Jets at the Meadowlands. His second score put the Dolphins ahead 24-13.

Ginn brought both back up the right sideline, in front of his Dolphins teammates. The first was for 100 yards, the second for 101. The latter return was electric. Ginn stopped around the 20 and made several lateral shuffles to avoid tackles before bursting through a hole and up the sideline.

Ginn has struggled to catch the ball lately and lost his spot in the Dolphins' starting lineup Sunday. He was replaced by Brian Hartline.

And here's another thing to keep in mind: Had original kick returner Patrick Cobbs not suffered a season-ending knee injury three weeks ago, Ginn probably wouldn't have been returning kicks, either.

No offensive points, but Dolphins lead Jets

November, 1, 2009
Posted by's Tim Graham

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- In my halftime observations post, I wondered if the Miami Dolphins would make the proper second-half adjustments to take control of the game.

Not sure if adjustments have anything to do with it, but two long returns have put the Dolphins ahead of the New York Jets 17-6 at the Meadowlands midway through the third quarter.

Former Dolphins kicker Jay Feely tied a Jets record with a 55-yard field goal, but Ted Ginn returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown.

Six plays later, Dolphins defensive tackle Paul Soliai stripped Jets running back Thomas Jones. Dolphins outside linebacker Jason Taylor picked up the bouncing ball in stride and ran 48 yards for a touchdown.

The fumble return Taylor's ninth career touchdown, the most by any defensive player since 1970. He has brought back six fumbles and three interceptions.

Halftime observations from Dolphins-Jets

November, 1, 2009
Posted by's Tim Graham

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Through two quarters at the Meadowlands, the New York Jets have out-adjusted the Miami Dolphins in a game that's tied at 3.

We'll see who makes the better modifications at halftime, where the Jets are honoring legendary tackle Winston Hill, an eight-time AFL All-Star. Hill will be a member of the inaugural class for the Jets' Ring of Fame when the new stadium opens next year.

Hill just told the crowd "The second half is going to belong to us," and aside from the score, the first half has gone quite well for the Jets.

Three weeks after the Dolphins stampeded their way to a 31-27 victory, the Jets' defense has been formidable in the rematch.

Miami's high-wattage Wildcat has looked as powerful as a night light. The Wildcat has been engulfed, generating negative yardage. Overall, Ronnie Brown has six carries for 11 yards. Ricky Williams has three attempts for 3 yards.

The Dolphins also are struggling on third downs. They went three-and-out on each of their first three possessions and are 1 for 8 on third-down conversions.

New York almost certainly won't rush for 300 yards a third straight week, but Thomas Jones has 12 carries for 49 yards. Rookie back Shonn Greene, coming off his big breakout game, has five carries for 19 yards.

Last time they played, the Dolphins eliminated Jets tight end Dustin Keller from the game. He had zero catches. But the Jets got him involved early Sunday. Keller has a game-high four catches for 21 yards at halftime.

The biggest highlights for Miami have been produced by safety Gibril Wilson, who has had a rough season, especially with missed tackles, and has conceded some snaps to rookie Chris Clemons.

But Wilson has recorded the two biggest hits of the afternoon, both on Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez. Wilson detonated him as he threw in the first quarter and got a sack on a another safety blitz in the second quarter.