Dolphins ground Jets 24-0 By Jimmy Kearns
The Miami Dolphins reset the season, getting back to .500 with a dominant win over the rival New York Jets 24-0. The win marks Miami’s first shutout victory since the 2014 season when they defeated the San Diego Chargers 37-0. The victory also marks the Dolphin’s first back-to-back wins since the final two weeks of the 2019 season. The lowly Jets now move to 0-6, leaving them alone as the NFL’s only winless team following wins by the Giants and the Falcons. The Jets have been outscored 185-75 on the season and have lost all six games this season by two scores or more.
After a three-and-out on their first offensive possession, Miami got hot with a four yard touchdown pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to tight end Adam Shaheen. The tight end out of Division II Ashland University led all Miami pass catchers with 3 receptions for 51 yards and the first touchdown of the game. The Dolphins struck again on their subsequent drive to open up the 2nd quarter with a three yard touchdown pass from Fitzpatrick to Preston Williams. Miami wrapped up the first half with what would wind up being the final touchdown of the game, a four-yard touchdown pass to tight end Durham Smythe.
Jason Sanders, who has been perfect on the season, added a 24-yard field goal late in the third quarter as the Dolphins milked away the clock en route to a decisive division win. Sanders is now a perfect 15 for 15 on field goal attempts for the year. Dating back to the 2019 season, Sanders has made 17 consecutive field goals, which is good for second place in Dolphins history. Two more consecutive field goals will tie him for the longest streak in team history with Miami great Olindo Mare, who was clutch for 19 straight in 2000.
How Miami Won
Myles Gaskin had the best game of his brief career with 126 total yards from scrimmage and Fitz had enough “magic” to be adequate, but this game was primarily won by the defense. The Dolphins held the Jets to 263 yards and just 2 of 17 on third downs. Miami got home for sacks on Joe “The Statue” Flacco three times-two of them by impressive newcomer Emmanuel Ogbah-while disrupting the pocket early and often; the defense built on the success of week five by hitting Flacco 10 times in total. On top of the sacks and QB pressures, the Dolphins added seven tackles for loss and nine pass breakups.
While Brian Byrne’s X-Factor for the game is stud cornerback Xavien Howard, who came up with his league-leading fourth interception on the year, this game was a big win for the entire Miami defense. Josh Boyer’s unit was consistently in Flacco’s face, making him get rid of the ball early or forcing him to throw it to the towel manager, which he did often to avoid taking extra sacks.
Everyone on the defensive side of the ball did an admirable job keeping the lowly Jets grounded. Regardless of the probability of the Jets ending the season as one of the worst teams in the history of the NFL, this was a statement game by the Dolphins defense, and they did what they are supposed to do against an inferior team. Shutting out an NFL team is impressive regardless of bad they may be. It has only happened once this year, after all.
It would be disingenuous to not point out the horrifying stat produced by the Miami offense this week: 1 for 8 on third downs will not do. As a matter of fact, the Ryan Fitzpatrick-led offense was 0 for 7 on third down. The lone conversion came from the left arm of Tua Tagovailoa on a 3rd and 7, hitting Jakeem Grant for seven yards to keep clock running. Tua came in garbage time to go 2 for 2 for nine yards. Shout out to Brian Byrne for predicting garbage time Tua on the Fin Addicts Podcast! The Dolphins now get their week seven bye-earlier than the anticipated week eleven bye due to the league schedule being shuffled by covid-19, while the horror show that is the New York Jets heads back home to face the cream of the AFC East crop, the Buffalo Bills.