Sunday, October 28, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Dolphins 30, Jets 9
By Rich Cimini
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Jets ate their words, with hot sauce provided by the Dolphins. They were outcoached and outplayed in every phase of the game, falling 30-9 in an uninspired effort Sunday at MetLife Stadium. The only thing that could've made it worse was a touchdown by Reggie Bush.
What it means: After a week of trash-talking, the Jets embarrassed themselves, dropping to 3-5 with their second straight loss. They lost to a backup QB in Matt Moore, who replaced the injured Ryan Tannehill (quadriceps/knee) in the first quarter. The stakes were huge, but Rex Ryan failed to get his team ready, mentally or physically. The Dolphins (4-3), winners of three straight, were refreshed coming out of their bye week and burned the Jets with several wrinkles. The Jets' season is on the verge of imploding, if it hasn't already.
Tebow Time? Mark Sanchez's job security will be the hot topic for the next two weeks, as the Jets head into their bye. He was rattled by the Dolphins' pressure, throwing an interception, losing a fumble, missing open receivers and getting sacked four times. The Jets had a chance to regain some momentum in the third quarter, but Sanchez's third red zone interception of the season ruined the opportunity.
The crowd chanted for Tim Tebow in the second half, but the Jets stuck with Sanchez (28-for-54, 283 yards), even though he brought absolutely no spark to the offense. At 3-5, how long will Ryan keep Tebow on the bench? Tebow played only five snaps on offense, including four as a wide receiver. Why? What's the point? Apparently, the Jets see Tebow as nothing more than a decoy.
Kicking themselves: The Jets' special teams were garbage. Repeat, garbage. There were breakdowns in virtually every unit, directly costing them 10 points. They allowed a blocked punt for a touchdown, and a 35-yard field goal was blocked. So much for Nick Folk's perfect season. Wait, there's more. They fell asleep on a surprise onside kick, giving up the ball after the Dolphins scored a field goal on the game-opening drive. They also allowed a 57-yard kickoff return, setting up a Miami touchdown in the third quarter. Welcome to Mike Westhoff's worst nightmare.
Sparano's pain: Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano was schooled by his former team. The Jets' offense produced only 107 total yards in the first half, with four three-and-outs and two turnovers in seven possessions. They were ill-prepared for the Dolphins' third-down blitz package, the best in the league. The Jets surrendered sacks on back-to-back series in the first quarter, failing to pick up safety and slot blitzes.
At times, the players seemed confused, not knowing the play call. This was the eighth game of the season; no excuses for an utter lack of cohesion. When they fell behind by 24 points, there was no sense of urgency. Where was the hurry-up offense?
Lousy coverage: The Jets geared up to stop the Dolphins' running game, but they ended up getting gashed in the secondary. There were miscommunications and blown coverages throughout the game as Moore -- in his first action of the season -- passed for 131 yards and a touchdown. CB Kyle Wilson was dreadful, giving up a 37-yard catch to the No. 4 receiver, Marlon Moore. There was a busted coverage on a 30-yard pass to Jabar Gaffney, and somehow 5-foot-8 CB Isaiah Trufant got matched up against 6-4 TE Anthony Fasano on a 4-yard TD.
Silver lining: Well, at least the Jets didn't get embarrassed by Bush, the reason for the war of words leading up to the game. They held him to 59 yards on 14 carries.
What's next: This will feel like the longest bye week in team history, considering the implosion. The Jets return to action on Nov. 11 for a tough road game against the Seahawks.