It wasn’t exactly pretty, but the New York Jets got back to winning ways on Monday night, defeating the rival Miami Dolphins, 24-6, with the big play a first quarter 100-yard interception return touchdown by Darrelle Revis. The win improved the Jets’ record to 3-3, while Miami remained winless in 2011 at 0-5.
The crowd at MetLife Stadium was somber early, with the Jets’ offense sputtering and Miami surprisingly moving the ball. Miami took a 3-0 lead on a Dan Carpenter field goal, and the Jets fumbled the ensuing kickoff, which the Dolphins recovered deep in Jets territory. It seemed as though Miami was about to shockingly go up two scores on New York until Revis made the play that figured to be the turning point of the game.
On third down and seven from the Jets’ 15-yard-line, Revis intercepted a Matt Moore pass at the goal line and meandered his way up the right sideline before darting towards the middle of the field and taking the ball the distance for a touchdown. It was a huge swing of points that gave the Jets life and kept the home fanbase, certainly ready, from turning on them.
Revis intercepted another Moore pass with the game out of reach, and Mark Sanchez both threw a touchdown and ran for one. The Jets’ offense, which endured four three-and-outs to start, rebounded with two consecutive solid, long drives that resulted in points right on either side of halftime. Sanchez capped an 11-play, 81-yard drive late in the second quarter with a five-yard touchdown scamper to extend the Jets’ lead to 14-6. Then, on their first drive of the third quarter, New York’s offense kept its rhythm with a 13-play, 79-yard drive that resulted in a Nick Folk 28-yard field goal.
The Jets’ final score came early in the fourth quarter. Sanchez connected with Santonio Holmes on a 38-yard catch-and-run touchdown, his second score in as many weeks. A few weeks back, Holmes had stated to the media that the Jets needed to do a better job of getting the ball in the hands of their playmakers, and Holmes’ impressive run after the catch backed up his words.
The Jets defense did a fine job against the overmatched Moore, intercepting him twice and sacking him four times. Brandon Marshall had a respectable game, gaining 109 yards on six catches – many with Revis covering him. But Marshall did not fulfill his silly prediction of getting ejected from the game. Instead, the Jets ejected the Dolphins from any contention this season, and placed them squarely in the Andrew Luck Sweepstakes.
As for the Jets, work still needs to be done and a stern test comes to town on Sunday with a visit from the San Diego Chargers. For now though, disaster averted.