NFL Week 17 New York Jets Vs. Miami Dolphins Quick Hits
Dec 28, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) throws a pass against the Miami Dolphins during the first half at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
The Jets ended their season in the same fashion as they ended the previous season, with a victory over the Miami Dolphins in Miami. The final was 37-24. This time it didn’t knock the Dolphins out of the playoffs and it most likely won’t save Rex Ryan’s job but it was still good to see the Jets end the season on a high note despite finishing with a 4-12 record.
1) Smith shows some flashes – Smith was 9/10 for 122 yards and a touchdown, including beautiful throws to Chris Owusu for 36 yards and Eric Decker for 40 yards in the 1st half. He hit Chris Ivory in the flat for a walk-in touchdown. He led the Jets on 3 long 1st half drives. Smith has shown flashes of having the ability to be a good quarterback but just has not shown the on-field intelligence or consistency to do so. In the 2nd half, he beat an all-out blitz with a beautiful toss to Decker for what resulted in a 74 yard touchdown. Then he threw a laser post past to Kerley for a 30 yard completion. Smith finished the Dolphins with a playaction pass dropped into Jeff Cumberland’s hands for a 23 yard touchdown. Decker had 200 yards receiving to take his yearly total over 900 yards despite a hamstring injury and poor quarterback play. Smith finished 20/25 for 358 yards with two touchdowns and 0 interceptions.
2) Smith also has a couple of brain locks – Smith took another 3rd down sack that forced a longer field goal attempt that Folk missed. He also lost a fumble at his own 20 when he tried to stiff arm a defender and just lost the ball out of his hands. Those miscues cost the Jets 10 points in the 1st half and are the difference between winning and losing. In the second half, Smith didn’t check out of a run play the Dolphins had loaded up for on 4th and inches and the result was a turnover on downs. The Jets have lost 7 games in which they have been within 1 score in the 4th quarter this year and Smith’s play is a major reason why.
3) Jets’ defense gets pressure but Tannehill is able to beat it – The Jets had two 1st half sacks and five quarterback hits on Tannehill and seven sacks overall but Tannehill was 15/20 for 161 yards and a touchdown in the 1st half. They consistently beat the Jets on slants and got a touchdown when Calvin Pryor chose the wrong receiver to go to when Clay was running the seam. The Jets were able to shore up the backend in the 2nd half and hold Miami to seven points. Sheldon Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson both were consistently in the backfield with Richardson notching his 8th sack on the season. Marcus Williams continues his positive play with 3 tackles, one for a loss and a pass break-up. Wilkerson had a half sack, Coples had two sacks and Harris had 2.5 sacks. Lamar Miller had a 97 yard touchdown run where he shredded the defense untouched in the 3rd quarter. Tannehill finished 23/39 for 260 yards and 1 touchdown with 0 interceptions.
4) Injuries – Nick Mangold and Percy Harvin sat and rested their ankle injuries while Eric Decker left the game with an injured shoulder in the 2nd quarter. This gave more playing time to Chris Owusu who had an 87 yard kick return to go with a touchdown on an end around and a 36 yard catch. Decker returned in the 2nd half to catch a 74 yard touchdown. Richardson also left the game with a head injury at halftime.
5) Fake punt seals the deal – Instead of punting from around mid-field with four minutes left the Jets ran a fake punt to Zach Sudfeld that went for 40 yards. The 1st down led to a Geno Smith 23 yard touchdown pass to Jeff Cumberland that put the Jets up 10 and ended the game for all intents and purposes.