East Rutherford, NJ- The Jets suffered a tough loss in their home opener when the Dolphins capitalized on turnovers from a Sam Darnold interception and a Robby Anderson fumble, scoring 14 unanswered points. In a game where the Jets were pinned down within their own 20-yard-line 7 out of 12 times, the offense line struggled to open holes for the running game and give Darnold enough time to make plays.
The Jets defense set the stage by sacking Ryan Tannehill twice on Miami’s second possession of the game, but after a Darnold interception which was run back to the Jet 15-yard-line, Miami would get on the board with a six yard run from Kenyan Drake.
In the second quarter, the Jets would start an impressive drive but bad luck would strike again after the Anderson fumble was recovered by Dolphins linebacker Raekwon McMillan at the Jets 49. On the ensuing play, Buster Skrine would commit a face mask penalty on a five yard run placing Miami at the Jets 29-yard-line. Tannehill would then find Albert Wilson on a short crossing route and he would run it to the house for a touchdown.
Things began to unravel for the Jets. The Dolphins would score again on their next drive when Tannehill found A.J. Derby in the end zone for six and only six since kicker Jason Sanders couldn’t convert the extra point. The Jets would get the ball back with 41 seconds left and Darnold and Company look to salvage some face. The offense would march down field and with 10 seconds left in the half and no timeouts, Darnold threw a pass over the middle to tight end Chris Herndon at the Dolphins two-yard-line. He was taken down, then fumbled the ball and then recovered his fumble on all fours at the one-yard-line. Time would expire after he was ruled down and Jets drive came up short.
Last week, the Jets running game was unstoppable and a key part of the victory in Detroit, this week it was non-existent in the first half with eight rushing attempts and a total of 17 yards rushing.
In the second half of the game, the Jets finally crossed the end zone after Sam Darnold completed a check down pass to Bilal Powell within the 30 yard line and Powell took off for the six. But six is all the Jets would get after Jason Myers missed the extra point. The Jets would force a fumble on the Dolphins next drive after Jordan Jenkins sacked Tannehill and the Jets would recover on the Miami 12-yard-line. Looking to do some serious damage early on in the third quarter, the first play of the Jets drive ended when Darnold’s pass to Terrelle Pryor in the end zone was picked off with an amazing catch by Miami cornerback Xavien Howard.
When asked about the play, the rookie quarterback said, “We were on the same page, just got to execute better.”
Later in the fourth quarter, Myers would redeem himself after booting two field goals, a 55 yarder and a 41 yarder. The Dolphins closed out the game with a drive lasting nearly six minutes that chewed up the clock, giving the Jets their first loss of the season.
Darnold finished with 25 completed passes out of 41 attempts, 334 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He was frustrated with the missed opportunities the Jets didn’t capitalize on but was calm, cool and collected and ready to move on. “You look at all the plays that you wish you could have back. We’ll watch the tape, but put this one behind us as soon as we can.” said Darnold.
The Jets had a multitude of problems today and the first problem was field position. The Jets had possession of the ball 12 times and seven of those times, they were started within their own 20-yard-line. At times the defense looked impenetrable stuffing the run for negative yards or no gain. The defense sacked Tannehill four times and one sack was called back on a penalty. But at other times, the Dolphins were able to gain large amounts of yardage not just from the running backs but from Tannehill who caught the defense off guard with eight rushing attempts for 44 yards.
The Jets have a shortened week three as they face the Cleveland Browns on Thursday. Todd Bowles is ready for his team to move on from the loss and get ready for Cleveland.
“We can’t carry this into tomorrow because we play on Thursday so we have to lick our wounds tonight and keep on moving.”