Jets Steal An Ugly Overtime Victory From The Dolphins

I’ve seen a lot of ugly football in my life, but nothing seems to compare to the Jets-Dolphins game this afternoon, a four-hour game in which both teams seemed to be trying their very hardest to let the other team win. The stats don’t quite give you the whole picture, as both teams neared 400 yards of offense and averaged about five yards per play.

It was the little things, like Mark Sanchez’s interception on the Jets’ first drive of the game. Or Ryan Tannehill throwing a pick-six and Reggie Bush fumbling the ball away on the next Dolphins’ offensive play following the kickoff. Or the combined 18 penalties for 173 yards that the teams totaled.

There was the Darrelle Revis left knee injury that took him out for the remainder of the game. There was the Reggie Bush injury on the same knee that sidelined him as well.

What about the Anthony Fasano catch that he clearly lost possession of after hitting the ground that was upheld after a Rex Ryan challenge by those esteemed replacement referees? Or the Joe Philbin timeout to ice Nick Folk as his special teams unit blocked an overtime field goal, letting Folk put through the game-winner one play later. And that reminds me of Dan Carpenter’s two field goal misses, one of which would have ended the game.

For the second week in a row, the Jets receiving unit looked inept and incapable. Sanchez looked lost on the field yet again, but in his defense, he doesn’t take all of the blame. His passes certainly weren’t crisp, and his red zone interception was ugly, but the lack of talent that the Jets have in terms of pass-catchers is tough to watch.

Santonio Holmes carried the corps today, bringing in nine receptions for 147 yards, including an overtime grab for 38 yards that set up the game-winning kick. But where was Stephen Hill? He was targeted seven times and ended the game with a line full of zeroes. I repeat, seven targets and zero catches. Chaz Schilens, touted as a viable number two receiver when he was first signed, doesn’t even look to be worthy of stepping onto the field at all.

Jeremy Kerley makes the occasional big play, as evidenced by his 66-yard reception today, but he disappears for long stretches of the game and doesn’t get open nearly enough for the amount of snaps he gets. The fact that Tony Sparano actually had Mark Sanchez throw the ball to Tim Tebow at one point in the game says it all. The fact that ball bounced off of Tebow’s helmet when he didn’t turn around also says it all.

As for the “Tebow Package”, through three weeks of the season, it appears to be a complete mess. Tebow carried the ball twice today and totaled zero yards. He handed it off on a couple of other plays, but nobody was tricked. As long as Tebow isn’t passing the ball, he isn’t surprising anyone. The only bright spot in the game today for Tebow as a direct snap fake punt that he converted for a first down.

The defense was less than impressive as well. The Jets’ front seven was unable to tackle anyone that the Dolphins handed the ball to. Reggie Bush averaged 6.1 yards a carry before going down with an injury, slipping through just about every potential tackler. Daniel Thomas was an effective replacement. Hell, I would have done a fine job back there with the push that the Fins’ offensive line was getting on every play.

Rex Ryan’s famous (or infamous) pass-rush was seemingly inexistent. Ryan Tannehill was hit just twice and the Jets were unable to tally even one sack. If it wasn’t for a great read by Laron Landry that turned into an interception returned for a touchdown, this game would have never ended in favor of the Jets.

Overall, this was a poor showing by Gang Green in what should have been a statement game. As seen in week one against the Buffalo Bills, this team is capable of great things when playing at their best. The problem is that they are rarely able to find it in themselves to play at that level. It would have been fitting had the matchup ended in a tie, as both teams were undeserving of a “W” this afternoon, but instead the Jets walk away 2-1, with two conference wins and in possession of first place in the AFC East.

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