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Defense is the lone bright spot on dismal day

12/12/2010

The Jets said all week that they were going to put the Monday Night Massacre against the Patriots behind them when they hit the field against the Dolphins.

Well, at least the defense followed through.

The Jets defense recovered three fumbles, sacked quarterback Chad Henne a season-high five times and him to just 55 yards passing.

They limited Miami just 131 yards overall, the lowest total allowed by a Jet defense since they gave up 124 against Tampa Bay last December.

“On defense, we just try to make sure that we keep the offense in the game, and I think we did a great job of that,” cornerback Antonio Cromartie said.

They did. But the Jets offense mustered just three points in possessions following the turnovers.

“It makes you sick,” Mark Sanchez said. “I’m really upset… we squandered an opportunity today. We had plenty of chances to win, we just couldn’t capitalize on offense.”

Early in the second quarter, Calvin Pace drilled Henne and forced a fumble recovered by Sione Pouha. The Jets took over at the Miami 38, but had to settle for a Nick Folk 35-yard field goal after Santonio Holmes dropped a sure touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone.

On the Dolphins next possession, Brodney Pool forced a Ronnie Brown fumble that was recovered by Jason Taylor, setting up the Jets at the 50 with 1:52 to go in the half.

Again, the offense couldn’t get much going. They were forced to punt from the 36 with 1:08 to go in the half.

“It hurts regardless, (the losses) all suck,” Taylor said. “We obviously didn’t play well on defense. We had chances to make interceptions and pick up a ball and score on defense. We had other chances we didn’t take advantage of.”

In the third quarter, Chad Henne botched a play-action handoff, losing his grip on the ball. The subsequent fumble rolled 19 yards to the Jets 36. The Jets followed with another disappointing three-and-out.