MIAMI (30) d NEW YORK (9)
The Headline: Dolphins thump the Jets without Tannehill as Sanchez endures another rough day
One of the more underrated rivalries in the NFL has to be the Dolphins and the Jets who, despite their inherent mediocrity, still seem to have a real fire to their contests. In this one there was no shortage of drama in the Meadowlands against the backdrop of Hurricane Sandy as the Jets had a massive letdown after playing so tight against the Patriots last week. Mark Sanchez had a rough outing in this one as he threw 54 passes and had a generally mistake riddled game involving an interception, a fumble and way too many mental errors that lead to the crowd chanting for him to be benched. Meanwhile, a total team performance from the Dolphins lead to this convincing win as all three phases of the game contributed to this victory. The defense lead the way stopping the Jets from ever getting into a scoring position until the game was well and truly over and forcing two turnovers. The special teams chipped in with a touchdown in the first quarter off a blocked punt as well as blocking a field goal later on in the game and the offense made the most of their opportunities despite losing quarterback Ryan Tannehill on their second possession.
Key Stat: New York Jets: 79 Total Offensive plays
Boy nothing says inept more than running nearly 80 plays and producing one miserable touchdown for your efforts and barely winning the time of possession battle. Mark Sanchez threw 54 passes in a losing effort; mostly because he was put in a position where chasing the game was a necessity for the Jets. The running game became a bit of an afterthought as they only handed it off 21 times, not great for a team that is meant to be run heavy.
Key Play: Ryan Malone blocked punt, recovered in the end zone for a touchdown
With neither team really having a lot of luck generating any offense up to that point (aside from a couple of penalties on the Dolphins opening drive), their special teams came in and made a play that set off the blowout. Jimmy Wilson looped around the line and got a clean run at the punter getting a hand to it before the ball fell to Olivier Vernon who grabbed the ball for a score. Whether or not Vernon should be shot for his celebration dance is a matter for another day but I say… absolutely.
Man of the Match: Matt Moore
11/19, 131 yards, 1 touchdown
Going into the season I will admit to campaigning for Moore to be the starter for Miami given his efforts at the end of last season and the fact he has never looked awful despite his talent not quite matching up to the elite levels of some other quarterbacks. Now he is the backup and he did exactly what a backup was supposed to do when the starter goes out injured. He wasn’t spectacular but he didn’t screw things up and he drove the offense to valuable points.