Sandy overshadowed by early Miami Hurricane at Met Life as Jets are embarrassed by division foe.
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ: After talking a big game during the week, the Jets were a no show today when push came to shove. A division rival came into their building and wiped the floor with them.
The Jets head into their Bye week with no answers in sight after the blowout loss to the Miami Dolphins, led by the team’s backup quarterback Matt Moore.
“To say I never saw this coming, that’s an understatement,” said a dejected Rex Ryan. “This one is a tough one to accept. We have to find a way to get better. I’m blown away by it.”
To put it simply, the Jets bark didn’t match their bite.
“At home, divisional opponent, before the Bye week, I mean you name it,” said Sanchez. “It was set up for us to really go into this Bye week feeling good, get back to .500 and be right where we want to be in our division and now we made things difficult for us.”
After losing starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill in the first quarter with a left quadriceps injury after a sack by Calvin Pace, the Dolphins didn’t skip a beat with backup quarterback Moore.
“A backup’s job is to come in and fill in the starter’s shoes,” said LaRon Landry, who was in the thick of verbal jabs thrown during the week. “He did a phenomenal job, finished the game and got a W. Can’t talk too bad about him.”
The war of words during the week revealed its consequences on the first drive, when Cromartie pushed Reggie Bush after a 19-yard run to put the Dolphins in Jets territory after the personal flag penalty.
“I didn’t lose my composure,” said Cromartie. “I was just calling him a punk and that’s exactly what he is [Bush].” Cromartie also revealed that he dislocated his pinky finger bone during a play Bush was involved in earlier in the game. After a field goal by kicker Dan Carpenter, the Dolphins caught the Jets off guard, recovering an onsides kick.
After trading three and outs between the aforementioned Tannehill injury, the Jets special team unit reared its ugly head for a second time when Rob Malone’s punt was blocked. The ball was recovered by Olivier Vernon in the end zone for a touchdown.
Looking to bounce back and regroup, Sanchez was strip-sacked by Nolan Carroll on a corner blitz. The Dolphins’ Daniel Thomas ran in for a touchdown six plays later to make it 17-0 with 14:08 to go in the second quarter. So much for running high on emotion after Dennis Byrd’s pregame speech.
“It happened quick,” said Sanchez. “The offense had barely been on the field.”
Even with plenty of time to chip at the lead, the Jets offense couldn’t muster up many positive plays as their first three drives in the second quarter were of the three and out variety. After another Dolphins field goal, the Jets went into their no huddle offense and marched down the field quickly.
But for the third time in the first half, the special teams unit floundered.
Nick Folk’s field goal was blocked with 47 seconds remaining in the half and the Jets were down 20-0 at the break.
“They had a big edge in special teams this week, which is an area where we usually dominate,” said Ryan. “Blocked punt, onsides kick, blocked field goal. You name it. Those things don’t happen to us but, they did today.”
The Jets came out and scored three points on their opening drive in the second half, but the Dolphins quickly squashed any thoughts of a comeback. After a 57 yard kickoff return, Moore drove his team the rest of the way in six plays and threw a four-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Fasano to put the game out of reach.
“We just didn’t finish. We just have to go back and watch the tape and just keep on building. It’s a tough pill to swallow. It sucks. Going into a game, you have to be able to adapt to bad situations and we didn’t adapt fast enough. They came out firing at us and we were behind the 8-ball.”
Sanchez’s final numbers were 28/54 for 283 yards, one touchdown, one interception, one fumble and a 65.6 QB rating.
“He had his moments,” said Ryan. “There were other moments, not so much.”
“Speaking from the offensive side, we didn’t get it going early, we just sputtered around there for awhile,” said Sanchez. “We repped just about every one of those pressures. Coming off a Bye week they had some wrinkles and tweaks and stuff that’s natural, but nothing we couldn’t handle and we just didn’t handle it.”
The Jets cannot seem to find any middle ground. It either looks like a well put together product (i.e. against New England) or a completely out-of-sync mess (MIA and SF). But this dud couldn’t have come at a worse time, as the Jets will have to field more Tim Tebow questions, even though Ryan has been persistent about Sanchez being the starting quarterback.
“No I did not,” answered Ryan when asked if he ever thought about putting Tebow under center. “I just never felt it was the time to do it. Mark’s our quarterback. I just thought he gave us our best chance to win. I believe in all of our players and I believe in Mark. I think Mark has proven he can win in this league. That’s my opinion and that’s the one that matters.”
“There’s nothing you can do about it,” said Sanchez of the ‘Tebow’ cheers in the second half. “It’s a grown man’s game, you got to play tough. They want results, we’re not playing well so they call for somebody else. It doesn’t matter, I just happen to be in this spot. That’s the way it goes, but I don’t really think about it.”
Dustin Keller and Chaz Schilens were quick to defend their quarterback after the game.
“That chant is BS,” said Schilens, who caught the only touchdown for the Jets in garbage time. “I think the fans are out of place. They’re pissed. They have a right to be pissed.”
Keller followed the same sentiment. “I feel like fans should have their starting QB’s back 100 percent until they make some sort of change.” Keller also added, “I’m a big Tebow fan but I’m not a big fan of screaming to get the backup in. I feel like fans should have his back.”
There are going to be a ton of views, opinions, facts and over-exaggerations written, voiced and thought during these two long weeks before the Jets step back on the field. Only time will tell to see if the Jets can weather the storm.