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Sheer Dominance

By John Melillo
Jets Insider.com, Staff Writer
November 1st, 2004

After suffering a disheartening loss last week to the hated New England Patriots, the Jets bounced back in a big way, steamrolling the Dolphins 41-14 on national television Monday night. The Jets dominated in all three aspects of the game, highlighted by a thunderous running game and a stifling defense. The Jets now are 6-1 and sit atop the AFC East division right beside New England.

After suffering a disheartening loss last week to the hated New England Patriots, the Jets bounced back in a big way, steamrolling the Dolphins 41-14 on national television Monday night. The Jets dominated in all three aspects of the game, highlighted by a thunderous running game and a stifling defense. The Jets now are 6-1 and sit atop the AFC East division right beside New England.

“Right now, we have all the potential in the world,” RB Curtis Martin said following the game.

Indeed, the Jets onslaught over their hapless division rivals displayed how talented the team’s roster is this year and their limitless potential. Backup and seldom used RB LaMont Jordan equaled Martin’s production tonight, rushing for 115 yards and one touchdown on 14 carries. Martin, who sat out most of the second half, needed 19 carries to reach the 115-yard plateau.

At the start of the game, both offenses stumbled to get on track, but the Jets were able to strike first following a Dolphins turnover. After S Reggie Tongue recovered a fumble midway through the first quarter following a jarring hit by LB Eric Barton on Dolphins TE Donald Lee, the Jets offense needed only three plays to take a quick 7-0 lead. After RB Curtis Martin gained 17 yards on two carries, QB Chad Pennington lofted a 35-yard scoring strike to a wide-open WR Wayne Chrebet, who beat LB Junior Seau down the middle of the field. Chrebet’s score was the first touchdown reception by a Jets starting WR this season.

Following six consecutive punts by both clubs, the Dolphins responded with an impressive eight-play, 91-yard scoring drive, highlighted by four receptions for 63 yards and a 21-yard score by Dolphins TE Randy McMichael. S Erik Coleman was beaten in coverage on the play.

On their next offensive possession, the Jets destroyed any momentum Miami had with a six-play, 71-yard scoring drive behind a steady dose of RB Curtis Martin. Martin had four carries for 30 yards on a drive that was capped off by a 27-yard touchdown pass to WR Justin McCareins, who showed nifty footwork to stay in bounds and extend the ball over the goal line for the score. Dolphins DB Sam Madison fell down covering McCareins, allowing the Jets to take a 14-7 advantage.

After forcing a three-and-out by the Dolphins offense, the Jets managed to extend their lead just before halftime with a 49-yard field goal by PK Doug Brien with no time remaining in the first half. Preceding the score was a 21-yard reception by McCareins and a six-yard catch by Chrebet to setup Brien’s boot.

At the start of the second half, the Jets offense performed like a well-tuned machine, slicing through the Dolphins defense with a fury. The opening possession of the second half saw the Jets power 65 yards on nine plays to take a commanding 24-7 lead over the division rivals. On a third and nine from the Dolphins 25-yard line, the Jets caught their Miami’s defense off guard with a hand off to Martin, who raced 25 yards down the right sideline untouched for the score.

RB LaMont Jordan supplanted Martin after the first play on their next possession, and the Jets offense didn’t miss a beat. Jordan was heavily featured on a nine play, 94-yard drive capped off by a one-yard TD pass from Pennington to TE Chris Baker. Pennington completed 11 of 19 passes for 189 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions during the game.

The Jets defense forced another Dolphins three and out and were able to extend their lead on the next possession with a 43-yard field goal by Brien to bring the score 34-7.

After dropping an easy interception along the sidelines, Jets S Jon McGraw redeemed himself on the next play, stepping in front of McMichael to pick off Fiedler. The Jets capitalized on the turnover as Jordan exploded up the middle for a 25-yard TD run. The Dolphins tried to re-gain respectability with a late score, but the Jets defense slammed the door in the red zone when Fiedler’s pass sailed over the intended receiver into the waiting arms of CB Terrell Buckley.

The Dolphins were able to score a meaningless touchdown pass on the final play of the game, but it didn’t take away anything from a magnificent night by the defense. Donnie Henderson’s unit harassed QB Jay Fiedler and shut down Miami’s running game. LB Eric Barton kicked things off by forcing a fumble from Dolphins TE Donald Lee in the first quarter. Barton also split a half sack with DT Dewayne Robertson and registered a tackle for loss. The line continued their dominance this season, recording three sacks and generating relentless pressure. DE John Abraham played like a man possessed, exhibiting uncanny speed around the edge to rush Fiedler’s throws. Abraham finished with three tackles, several QB hurries, a sack and a forced fumble. The star defensive end now leads the NFL with 8.5 sacks. DT Jason Ferguson arguably had his best game of the season, fighting through double teams to record three tackles and 1.5 sacks.

MISCELLANOUS TIDBITS Entering the game, RB Curtis Martin was the only NFL running back to have 20-plus carries in each game this season. Martin fell just shy of extending the streak with 19 tonight…The Jets have now won 11 of the past 14 meetings with Miami…WR Santana Moss, who has been nursing a hamstring injury, fielded punts, but was ineffective with 4 returns for a minus 1 average…S Jon McGraw lead the team in tackles (7) to go along with an interception…The longest run by the Dolphins was not by a running back, but by QB Jay Fiedler, who evaded the rush to scamper for 26 yards when the score was well out of reach…Nine Jets recorded a reception in the game…FB B.J. Askew even found success carrying the ball, rushing six times for 23 yards, including a 14-yarder…QB Quincy Carter entered the game late in the fourth quarter and completed his only pass for eight yards.

INJURY REPORT

Both starting Des Shaun Ellis and John Abraham briefly exited the game at different points due to undisclosed injuries but soon returned. There were no other new injuries reported.

The Jets now turn their attention toward another division rival when they face Buffalo next Sunday. Check back often at Jets Insider.com for the latest team news and reports as the team prepares to corral the Bills.

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