Report Card: A bad win

September, 24, 2012
MIAMI -- Grading the Jets' 23-20 win over the Dolphins:



You figured it would be a day of tough sledding against the Dolphins' stubborn run defense, but the Jets should've managed more than 88 yards. Shonn Greene struggled again, as he averaged less than 3 yards per carry for the second straight week. Time to be worried? Bilal Powell made a case for more playing time, rushing for 45 yards on 10 carries. Even without injured FB John Conner, coordinator Tony Sparano made a concerted effort to establish the ground game, often using H-Back Konrad Reuland in the backfield and loading up on two- and three-tight packages. No matter; it was a rough day.



We'll give it a D, not an F, because Mark Sanchez managed to make two good throws -- a 66-yard catch and run by Jeremy Kerley and a 38-yard pass to Santonio Holmes. Holmes tied a career high with nine receptions for 147 yards, his best overall day as a Jet. Otherwise, the passing offense was awful -- except for some decent protection. Sanchez (21-for-45, 306) was below 50 percent for the second week in a row and he threw two interceptions, one in the end zone. Rookie WR Stephen Hill (no catches, seven targets) was a non-factor again, including a dropped TD pass.



Reggie Bush might have gone for 200 yards if he hadn't suffered a game-ending knee injury in the second quarter. He had 61 at the half, gashing the Jets with his darting moves. The Jets should've shut down the Dolphins after Bush left, but backups Daniel Thomas and rookie Lamar Miller caused problems, as the Dolphins finished with 185 yards. The bright spot was Darrelle Revis' fumble recovery, caused by NT Kenrick Ellis.



The Jets held rookie QB Ryan Tannehill to 196 yards and a 50.2 passer rating. S LaRon Landry made the biggest play, interception Tannehill and returning it for a touchdown in the third quarter. Once again, the pass rush was virtually non-existent (no sacks), but they flustered the rookie with coverage schemes. There were some leaks when CB Darrelle Revis (knee) went out. The biggest mistake was by CB Antonio Cromartie, who nearly cost them the game when he bit on a double move -- a 41-yard reception by WR Brian Hartline.



Credit goes to PK Nick Folk, who capitalized on a "do over" to kick the game-winning field goal in overtime. Joe Philbin's ice-the-kicker timeout backfired, as he called it a split-second before Folk's initial try was blocked. Folk's counterpart, Dan Carpenter, choked his brains out, missing from 47 and 48 yards, the latter in OT. How lucky were the Jets? A year ago, their field-goal block team was the worst in the league, as opponents converted 29 of 30 attempts. Tim Tebow made a huge fourth-down conversion on a fake punt, calling an audible when he recognized the Dolphins' light front.



The Jets were damn lucky to walk away with a win, as they were outplayed by the rebuilding Dolphins. Offensively, the Jets were restricted by injuries, hampering their ability to run out of conventional packages  and it showed. But only one TD in 13 possessions? That's not good. They were smart enough to keep throwing at the Dolphins' suspect corners, especially Richard Marshall. They unveiled Tim Tebow in a new role  pass receiver  but that didn't work out too well. Defensively, they played eight-man fronts, but still couldn't stop the ground game.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter



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