Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter
The Jets once again gave a good account of themselves in this game, but they had too many defensive penalties and the offense dried up in the fourth quarter, enabling Miami's come-from-behind win. Despite knocking Jay Cutler out of the game, the Jets were unable to protect a 28-14 lead, the first time since 1999 they've had a two score lead in the fourth quarter and not won.
We'll start today by reviewing the offensive performance:
The late interception by Josh McCown ending up costing the Jets the win, as it set up the Dolphins' game-winning field goal. The wisdom of attempting to advance the ball from close to their own goal line rather than just taking their chances in overtime can be questioned. But this was McCown's fault, as his misread the coverage under pressure. His receiver had some separation on the outside, but the slot cornerback had dropped off and stayed at home rather than tracking the slot receiver down the field as was perhaps anticipated.
McCown was having another good game statistically, with three touchdown passes and another on the ground, but in the fourth quarter he completed 3-of-6 passes for minus-3 yards with two sacks and the interception.
McCown's best throw saw him display good touch on a pass over the top to open the scoring, but the offensive coaches perhaps should have showed more faith in him in the fourth quarter rather than trying to rely on Miami's offense being inadequate enough to allow the time to run out before they could catch up.
The Jets enjoyed some success in the running game this week, averaging over four yards per carry and racking up 92 overall. However, the running game was boom-or-bust to some extent, with four runs of over 10 yards, but only 30 yards on 18 carries otherwise.
Matt Forté and Bilal Powell were reunited for the first time since the previous meeting with Miami, and they combined to generate 165 yards from scrimmage. Powell had one less touch than Forté, but racked up one more yard.
Powell got the start and immediately picked up 31 on the game's first play, a well-designed misdirection play that got Miami's entire defense pursuing to the right as McCown faked a wide receiver screen to that side before turning to dump it off to Powell with a convoy ahead of him. Later on, Powell burst for two first down runs and had a 17-yarder negated by a penalty. However, he was fortunate that the replay booth overturned his fourth quarter fumble.
Forté had a spectacular play where he broke several tackles after a dump-off pass to improbably convert a third-and-19 situation. He also burst for two first down runs and split two tacklers in the flat after a dump-off pass for another first down. It could have been a much bigger game for Forté though. He got tripped up in the hole on what looked like a potential huge gain as the safety on that side of the field had slipped over. He was also stuffed for a big loss on a pass to the flat.
The Jets opened up by rotating all three backs on a snap-to-snap basis, but Elijah McGuire ended up not getting any reps after half time. He ended up with seven yards on three carries.
Lawrence Thomas saw some action at fullback again, but he didn't get any offensive snaps in the second half either.
None of the Jets' receivers had a big game this week. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Robby Anderson and Jermaine Kearse each had a touchdown catch, but they otherwise had just four catches and 28 yards between them on 11 other combined targets.
Seferian-Jenkins was left alone at the back of the end zone for a good six seconds before McCown finally found him. He also added a third down conversion in a crowd. As a blocker, he made a couple of good contributions, but he was also called for a hold and reacted late on a snap to allow clean pressure off the edge.
Anderson was shut down for most of the second half following a promising start. He failed to bring in what appeared to be a catchable pass in the fourth quarter, and then, had an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for slamming his helmet down in frustration in the closing seconds.
Jeremy Kerley had a third down conversion and a 14-yard catch on first-and-20, but they were his only two catches on four targets. He was also credited with a fumble on the final play of the game.
Eric Tomlinson had another big play on a 26-yard catch and run, and also set up a couple of nice runs with a driving block on the edge and a good lead block from the fullback position. However, he also had some mistakes as a blocker this week, getting beaten inside for a tackle for loss and reacting late on a snap, leading to a sack.
Fellow rookies ArDarius Stewart and Chad Hansen barely played again and weren't targeted.
Wesley Johnson continues to struggle at center. He seemed to snap the ball too early a couple of times, struggled to hold up at the point of attack and missed a few blocks in space. He did draw two illegal use of the hands penalties though.
Brian Winters and James Carpenter each gave up a lot of interior pressure and had a penalty each, although it seemed like the holding call on Winters was wrongly attributed to him as he didn't even engage cleanly with anyone on that play. It may have been on Johnson or Carpenter, but in either case, that would have been a harsh call too. Winters had a tough time against Ndamukong Suh, but Carpenter made some good run blocks on the other side.
Kelvin Beachum continues to be the most consistent lineman, but still gave up some penetration and allowed the pocket to be squeezed on a few key plays.
Brandon Shell was lost to an early neck injury, but had already been beaten off the edge twice in four pass rush attempts. Brent Qvale fared a little better, but still had a false start and a holding penalty.
Finally, with Qvale filling in at right tackle, Dakota Dozier got a couple of snaps as an extra blocker.