A perfect storm brewed for a physical, aggressive Dolphins team as they earned a 30-9 win over the Jets on Sunday at MetLife Stadium. Miami controlled the line on both sides and the Dolphins looked like the team the Jets wish they were -- hard-running, efficient on offense and getting pressure.
The Jets managed just 107 yards of total offense in the first half -- 70 of which came in their final drive of the second quarter.
The offensive line was in large part to blame for the poor play from quarterback Mark Sanchez, who was sacked and hurried repeatedly in an afternoon where he finished 28-of-54 for 283 yards with a touchdown and interception.
“To say I never saw this coming is an understatement. We had a great week of preparation and practice. We were all really looking forward to this game but in this league, you have to execute,” Jets head coach Rex Ryan said. “Clearly, Miami out-executed us.”
For a team that prides itself on physical, smash-mouth football, it was the kind of game that was difficult to take.
“They came in here and played well and executed well and unfortunately they came out with the win at the end of the day,” fullback Lex Hilliard told Metro. “I don’t know if it was that we came out flat. They made plays and we didn’t at the time. I know we were amped up and ready to play. It wasn’t a mentality, frame of mind, at all. Things didn’t go our way and they punished us.”
On their first four possessions, the Jets either had a turnover or were forced to punt and fell behind 17-0 early in the second quarter. In the first half, the Jets look discombobulated as their first 19 plays from scrimmage accumulated just 33 total yards.
As good as the Dolphins defense was, it was the Jets’ miscues that doomed them from the start. Of their seven possessions in the first half, the Jets punted five times (one of which was blocked), fumbled once and had a field goal blocked. They shot themselves in the foot repeatedly and for much of the game Sanchez was throwing into double coverage as the Jets frantically tried to come from behind.
“I don’t know how they play football but I know how we play football and no matter what, we got to play better than we did today and find a way to win games,” nose tackle Sione Pouha said.
The win by the Dolphins came after a week of bold talk from the Jets. Linebacker Aaron Maybin criticized Miami running back Reggie Bush and Ryan talked about wanting to sweep the Dolphins for the first time since he became head coach.
“I don’t know what specifically motivated them,” Ryan said.
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.