Jets 17

(3-0, 2-0 away)

Dolphins 9

(0-4, 0-3 home)

4:15 PM ET, October 3, 2004


1 2 3 4 T
NYJ 7 3 7 017
MIA 0 9 0 09

Dolphins 0-4 for first time since 1966

MIAMI (AP) -- The New York Jets went conservative Sunday, waiting for the mistakes that have doomed the Miami Dolphins in every game this season.

Patience paid off. The Jets came up with four turnovers by Jay Fiedler in the second half, including an interception returned 66 yards for a touchdown by Donnie Abraham, and won 17-9 to improve to 3-0 for only the third time in franchise history.

Allen's Analysis
Eric Allen Jets-Dolphins: Could Wannstedt get fired before season's end if this funk continues?

I would hope not because this was out of his control. The unusual -- to say the least -- retirement of Ricky Williams was entirely unexpected. The loss of David Boston to injury hurt the Dolphins even more because he could've become a huge weapon without Williams there. So in the span of a few weeks the Dolphins lost a potential 1,500-yard rusher and a potential 1,000-yard receiver. How's that the fault of Dave Wannstedt?

But a coach is supposed to make adjustments and Wannstedt isn't. The offensive game plan is still acting as if Williams is there even though the team is using a second- or third-string running back. That's ridiculous! If anything the Dolphins should be using the weapons they have by getting the ball out of the quarterback's hands and into tight end Randy McMichael's and wide receiver Chris Chambers' hands as quickly as possible. That way they could get into more second and short situations and actually be in a dominant position on offense once in a while instead of always in third and long situations.

Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders. He's a regular contributor to Insider.

"Our defense made huge plays," Jets quarterback Chad Pennington said. "We're thrilled to be 3-0, because we're winning as a team. The offense and defense have to complement each other, and that's what happened."

New York also won its first three games in 1966 and 2000, but failed to make the playoffs in those two seasons.

"The scary thing is we're not playing our best ball yet," receiver Wayne Chrebet said.

The Dolphins fell to 0-4 for the first time since their expansion season in 1966. They've scored two touchdowns this year while committing 14 turnovers and will need dramatic improvement on offense to avoid their first losing season since 1988.

"Things aren't going how we expected them to go -- 0-4 around here is taboo," cornerback Patrick Surtain said. "If we don't stick together, we might as well give our helmets to the United Way. ... We've got to get it together, or before you know it we're going to be 0-8, 0-9, 0-10."

Next week Miami plays at New England, which has won 18 consecutive games.

It wasn't all defense for the Jets: Curtis Martin topped 100 yards rushing for the third game in a row and the 50th time in his career, moving into 10th place on the NFL's all-time rushing list with 12,094 yards. He totaled 110 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown.

"I feel as good as I've ever felt," said Martin, off to the best start in his 10-year career. "I can't explain it other than hard work. It's great to see it pay off."

The Jets' Doug Brien kicked a 53-yard field goal, his longest since 1998.

With Fiedler back in the lineup after being benched for 2½ games, Miami totaled a season-high 293 yards to outgain New York. But five possessions in Jets territory produced only three field goals, and Fiedler's two interceptions and two lost fumbles derailed Miami's comeback bid.

"I've never been around anything like this," beleaguered coach Dave Wannstedt said. "This is beyond me from the standpoint of just giving games away on not really difficult stuff. We're just not executing like we're supposed to."

The biggest turnover came when Abraham stepped in front of a pass intended for fullback Rob Konrad in the flat and sprinted untouched to the end zone for a 17-9 lead.

"The only thing I was thinking was, 'Don't drop it,'" Abraham said.

It was the third interception returned for a touchdown against the Dolphins this season. They've scored just two TDs -- none in the first three periods -- and 32 points.

Dolphins fans waited until the fourth quarter to boo, but many stayed home. While the announced crowd was a sellout of 73,157, there were about 15,000 empty seats and perhaps that many Jets fans.

One bright spot for Miami was Leonard Henry, a former practice-squad player who made his first NFL start and rushed for 85 yards. That included a 53-yard run that exceeded the Dolphins' per-game rushing average on one play.

But Miami squandered too many chances. Pennington threw his first interception of the season late in the first half, and Arturo Freeman returned it 47 yards to the Jets 8. But three plays netted just 2 yards, and the Dolphins settled for a field goal to trail 10-9 at halftime.

"That's demoralizing," Surtain said. "I guess Arturo should have run it in for a score."

The Jets won even though their offense was shut out in the second half. Toby Gowin's coffin-corner punt backed up the Dolphins at their 2 with 2:23 left, and John Abraham clinched the victory, recovering a fumble by Fiedler attempting a desperation lateral.

"We have a lot more potential," Pennington said. "We have a chance to be a great team."

Game notes

Dolphins T John St. Clair hurt his right knee and ankle on Abraham's interception return. ... The Jets' lone injury was Donnie Abraham's hip-pointer, coach Herman Edwards said. ... Martin has three consecutive 100-yard games for the first time since 1999. ... Wannstedt said he expects Fiedler to start against Patriots. ... Jets C Kevin Mawae started his 158th consecutive game despite a broken right hand. He snapped with his left hand.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Scoring Summary

Drive info: 1 plays, 63 yds, 0:00
Drive info: 1 plays, 63 yds, 0:00
miaFG0:09Olindo Mare 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 4 plays, 2 yds, 1:01
miaFG7:50Olindo Mare 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 6 plays, 77 yds, 2:30
nyjTD4:00Curtis Martin, 1 yd run
Drive info: 6 plays, 43 yds, 3:30
Drive info: 6 plays, 43 yds, 3:30
nyjFG2:15Doug Brien 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 9 plays, 45 yds, 5:25
miaFG12:58Olindo Mare 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 11 plays, 40 yds, 5:49