Jets beat Dolphins, 24-6: Post-game Breakdown

As someone who was at the game on Monday, I can tell you that the Jets were *this* close to losing their own crowd as the offense struggled against the Miami Dolphins.

Jets fans aren’t fooled. The performance against the Dolphins this past Monday will not work next Sunday against San Diego, but they’ll take it.

Gang Green needed this game badly to end their three game losing streak, but it was an uneven night. The defense only allowed 6 points, but nobody’s going nuts saying that the defense is “back.” The Dolphins moved the ball pretty easily at some points, even with backup quarterback Matt Moore getting the start for injured Chad Henne.

The Jets defense got some help from Brandon Marshall, who mysteriously ran out of bounds in the first quarter after soundly faking out cornerback Antonio Cromartie on the coverage. Marshall, had he not run out of bounds, only had to beat safety Jim Leonhard and it would have been an easy touchdown. Marshall also helped the Jets by dropping an easy touchdown pass on third and five in the second quarter, forcing Miami to put up a field goal instead of a touchdown.

But there were some highlights. Moore was the first not-so-good quarterback to challenge cornerback Darrelle Revis and paid for it dearly. Revis ran his interception back 100 yards for a touchdown. It’s the longest interception return at home in franchise history. Revis had two picks Monday and was named the AFC’s defensive player of the week for his efforts. He’s now tied with Cromartie for the team lead in interceptions; they both have three picks on the season.

Here's the Revis interception and return:

Linebacker Aaron Maybin, who the Jets signed, waived, then re-signed in Week 3, forced two fumbles, his third in three games. One was on Reggie Bush in the second quarter and one came sacking Matt Moore in the fourth quarter. The first fumble was out of bounds, but hey, Maybin is already making a bigger impact with the Jets than he ever did in Buffalo, where he was first drafted, and he’s making a bigger impact than Vernon Gholston ever did with the Jets.

Calvin Pace also had a decent game with 2 sacks, 2 quarterback hits and 7 tackles. Pace now has 3 sacks on the season. Jim Leonhard also had 7 tackles.

While the defense was uneven in spots but all right, the offense is still a huge concern. The Jets offense took 24 minutes and 4 seconds to get a first down Monday night. 24 minutes and 4 seconds. That just can’t happen against any team better than the Dolphins…which is every other team in the league except maybe the Colts.

Who’s at fault for this? It’s hard to say. The offensive line was pretty good this game, but running back Shonn Greene going up the middle just wasn’t getting it done, and warrior LaDainian Tomlinson was seeing more time on first and second down. Maybe the coaching staff is getting tired of Greene never picking up more than a few yards. If only he barreled over players the way he barreled over the official towards the end of the game, the running game might accomplish something. The Jets rushed for 104 yards this game.  Not that many.

Then there was Mark Sanchez throwing the ball. Either he didn’t throw it near enough for anyone to catch, or the receivers dropped the pass. Even reliable tight end Dustin Keller dropped a pass. It feels like there are a lot of dropped passes this season. Rex Ryan talked this week about wide receiver Plaxico Burress and Sanchez not connecting yet. Guys, we’re going into Week 07. Maybe it’s time to do one of those practices where if you drop a pass, you run a mile. And if Sanchez throws the ball where nobody can catch it, he runs a mile. Or something. Because even though the offense looked okay after it got going, and Sanchez recovered to throw for 201 yards, it took 24 minutes and 4 seconds for it to get going against a team that isn’t good.

Is it offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer’s fault? As discussed previously, the guy’s no genius. It’s okay to do “run, run, pass” over and over, (which is what they did for a lot of the first half) if nobody can stop those things. That wasn’t the case.  Since the Jets apparently refuse to fire Schottenheimer, he better come up with a way to start the offense sooner than with 5:56 to go in the first half. That’s when the Jets offense finally moved the chains for the first time.

The Jets also need to cut down on their penalties. This game they had 6 penalties for 49 yards, compared to the Dolphins’ 2 penalties for 10 yards. Against New England they had 8 penalties for 89 yards while New England had 6 penalties for 50 yards. At Baltimore, the Jets committed 9 penalties for 69 yards, while the Ravens had 7 penalties for 46 yards. At Oakland, 7 penalties for 61yards, while the Raiders had 7 penalties for 55 yards. Against Jacksonville, 4 penalties for 60 yards. The Jaguars had 4 penalties for 50 yards. They had no penalties against Dallas.

So the only game they didn’t shoot themselves in the foot was against the Cowboys. If the Jets want to win, they can’t keep giving the other team extra chances.

But at the end of the day, the Jets needed this win. They got it. No apologizing for it. Still, fans are frustrated, as they should be. This performance won’t hold up against San Diego, but they got a win, and maybe built some confidence from it.

Maybe they can build on it to win next Sunday against a better team.

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