MIAMI (AP) -- Now that the Jets jinx has been vanquished, the
Miami Dolphins can focus on a different kind of streak: three
consecutive wins to open the season.
Question on the Dolphins: How much does it mean to the Dolphins to end a streak like this?
It was very important, but I think the fans spend more time worrying about that than the players. With the addition of Ricky Williams, this is a new year for Miami. The Dolphins have a lot of weapons and they were very positive going into this week because the Jets haven't been playing well.
Question on the Jets: How long do the Jets struggle before they give Chad Pennington a shot?
The Jets' offense doesn't seem to have any objective and they'll have to make a change pretty soon. The running game hasn't been anything to write home about (nor have the receivers). The obvious choice is to make a change at quarterback. Other than that, you really just have to sit back and see what happens -- and I'm not sure the Jets family and fan base will stand for that.
Eric Allen played 14 seasons in the NFL for the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.
Two interceptions of Vinny Testaverde led to 10 first-half
points, and the Dolphins hung onto a lead against New York for a
change. Receiver Oronde Gadsden, who had been 0-8 versus the Jets,
skipped off the field holding a sign that said, "What jinx? 1-0.''
"It feels like a burden has been lifted,'' he said.
Williams sewed up the win with a 53-yard touchdown sprint, the
longest gain in his four-year career, with 4:54 left.
"They had won eight straight against me,'' Miami linebacker
Zach Thomas said. "But Ricky is 1-0 against them.''
Miami improved to 3-0 for the first time since 1998 and shares
the AFC East lead with defending Super Bowl champion New England.
On a steamy 90-degree afternoon, the Dolphins extended their home
winning streak in August and September to 17 games.
The Jets fell to 1-2 and have been outscored the past two weeks
"I don't think anybody's confidence is wavering,'' Testaverde
said. "We're going to have to stick together, because everybody
outside of the locker room is probably going to take shots at us
and tell us how bad we are.''
In the past two years, New York overcame second-half deficits of
17 and 23 points to beat Miami, but there was no comeback this time
after the Jets trailed 13-3 at halftime.
Williams kept the clock running with 110 yards on the ground in
the second half.
"Halfway through the third quarter I was thinking, 'If we're
going to win this game, it's going to be me,' '' he said.
Williams carried 24 times to become the first Dolphins rusher to
gain 100 yards in three consecutive games -- his first three games
While Testaverde threw two interceptions and lost a fumble,
Miami committed no turnovers. Jay Fiedler, who had thrown eight
interceptions in his four previous games against New York, went
16-for-30 for 185 yards and one score.
Rookie tight end Randy McMichael made two big catches: a
10-yarder for the only touchdown of the first half, and a 13-yarder
that included a broken tackle attempt by Donnie Abraham to convert
a late third-down. That came one play before Williams' touchdown
dash made it 23-3.
"To see a rookie rising up like that and making plays, that's
exciting,'' coach Dave Wannstedt said.
The Dolphins, outscored 45-0 by the Jets in the second half of
their past three meetings, this time outscored New York 17-0 after
"When the fourth quarter came, our team got a lot of energy
that had been building for a long time,'' Wannstedt said.
"It seems like we're fighting uphill at this point,'' said Jets
coach Herman Edwards, who launched into an uncharacteristic tirade
against his team last week. "We can only get better. We can't get
A replay review cost Miami six points when Shawn Wooden's
26-yard touchdown on an interception return was overturned. The
Dolphins took possession at the Jets 26, shook off the ruling and
scored anyway two plays later on Fiedler's touchdown pass to
McMichael for a 10-0 lead.
With Miami nursing a 10-point lead in the third quarter,
Williams fumbled on a sweep, but the ball dribbled back to him,
averting a potentially pivotal turnover.
Finally against the Jets, the ball bounced Miami's way.
"There are no jinxes or hexes,'' cornerback Ray Mickens said.
"That was all a bunch of hype anyway.''
Miami DE Jason Taylor sprained his left knee in the
first half, but returned to the game. ... Dolphins CB Patrick Surtain was inactive with a bruised left knee. It was the first
game he has missed in his five-year career. ... Jets safety Damien Robinson was inactive because of a groin injury. ... Gadsden made
the catch of the day, a one-handed grab over the middle for 23
yards. ... The Jets' Curtis Martin, who rushed for just 11 yards in
the first two games, gained 43 on 16 carries.
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