The Jets were struggling, but still were able to compete with the Miami Dolphins on Saturday night.
However, when the two teams came out of the halftime tunnel, it was evident which team was fighting for a playoff spot — even if it was without its starting quarterback.
The Miami Dolphins used a huge third quarter in all three facets of the game — offense, defense and special teams — to take down the Jets 34-13, sweeping the season series for just the second time since 2003.
Although the third quarter was arguably the lowest point (so far) in a season filled with disappointments for the Jets, it got off to a good start. Miami’s Matt Moore under threw a deep ball that was picked off my rookie Juston Burris, his first career interception.
It was downhill from there.
The ‘Phins scored three touchdowns in rapid succession: a blocked punt returned for six, a one-yard touchdown pass to Dion Sims following a Bryce Petty interception, and then a 66-yard catch-and-run by Jarvis Landry. All three scores came within a four-minute span and marked the virtual end of the Jets’ opportunity to spoil their rivals’ playoff chances.
In just four minutes, several problems that have plagued the Jets all season were unveiled. Quarterbacking? Petty threw an interception. Albeit, it wasn’t entirely his fault, as cornerback Tony Lippett made a highlight-reel catch. Nonetheless, the interception was the 21st a Jets quarterback has thrown all season, and that total moved to 22 after Ryan Fitzpatrick threw his 15th of the year in the fourth quarter (to go with six by Petty and one by Geno Smith). Meanwhile the New York defense has only intercepted seven passes through 14 games.
How about the tendency to give up the big play? That showed up once again. Not only did Landry’s 66-yard touchdown reception mark the sixth time the Jets have given up a passing touchdown of at least 50 yards (two on Saturday night), but the Jets also gave up a 28-yard and 31-yard catch on the previous drive.
Let’s not forget about special teams either. Seemingly every year since special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff retired New York has scrambled to find the next special teams guru. Brant Boyer, the team’s fifth special teams coordinator in five seasons, has hardly improved the unit if at all.
Saturday night’s third quarter was just the latest example of the Jets incompetence in 2016. With a trip to Foxborough to face the Patriots on Christmas Eve looming, it seems that this display is far from over.
Photo courtesy of newyorkjets.com