EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- With Hurricane Sandy about to blow in, the Jets spent the first half being buffeted by the Dolphins.
The Jets trail 20-0 after a series of mistakes on special teams, allowing three sacks of Mark Sanchez and gaining only 18 rushing yards. Sanchez was 10-for-19 for 109 passing yards.
TANNEHILL OUT: After Calvin Pace sacked the Dolphins’ starting quarterback for a loss of nine yards, Ryan Tannehill was announced to have a left quad and knee injury, and backup Matt Moore replaced him on the next series. Moore was 7-for-12 for 81 yards the remainder of the half.
OUT-TRICKING THE TRICKSTERS: The Dolphins used an onside kick after their first possession, which ended in a field goal. Miami recovered the ball, but went three and out. The Jets, meanwhile, used a few wildcat plays, but didn’t use any of their fake punt plays.
SPEED AND PROTECTION: Sanchez will have to get rid of the ball faster if he wants to stay clean. Two defensive back blitzes in the first quarter yielded two sacks. The first was on third down and courtesy of safety Jimmy Wilson, who then blocked a punt on the ensuing play. Olivier Vernon grabbed the loose ball and ran it into the end zone. The Jets got the ball back, only to see a corner blitz on a first down, and Sanchez fumbled as he held the ball over his head. The Dolphins scored on the possession to go up 17-0 with 14:08 to play in the second quarter.
RUNNING BACK RANKS: Joe McKnight has been resilient, playing the past two weeks despite a painful high ankle sprain. But he didn’t stay in against the Dolphins after a 24-yard kickoff return. The Jets announced the running back was out because of the ankle, with his return questionable. Shonn Greene had 16 yards in the first half, but Bilal Powell is inactive with a shoulder injury. Greene won’t get much relief in the second half, although RB Jonathan Grimes could see the ball. WR Clyde Gates returned kickoffs.
FOLK ZERO: Nick Folk had a chance to get the Jets on the board before the end of the second quarter, but his 35-yard field goal attempt was blocked. It was the first field goal in 12 attempts this season that didn’t sail through the uprights.
COMEBACK HISTORY: The Jets have only come back from a 20-0 deficit twice -- in 1978 at Denver, and in 2000 against the Dolphins in the "Monday Night Miracle." If they can’t, they will go into their bye week 3-5 and facing the Seahawks and the Rams on the road. Not an easy route to the playoffs, which are looking increasingly unlikely after the loss of CB Darrelle Revis and WR Santonio Holmes.