Squish the Fish: Jets Beat Dolphins 20-6 in Home Opener

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September 24, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams (92) congratulates cornerback Buster Skrine (41) for a sack against the Miami Dolphins during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. The Jets defeated the Dolphins 20-6. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

So much for 0-16.

The New York Jets dominated the Miami Dolphins with a 20-6 victory in the Green & White’s home opener on Sunday.

Where do we even start? The Jets looked like a new team out there against Miami, stepping up incredibly on defense while holding their own on offense. Earlier in the week, I let you guys know what the Jets had to do to win this game, and guess what? They listened.

Defensive Improvements:

After allowing 370 rushing yards over their first two games, the Jets were able to keep the threatening Jay Ajayi and company to only 30 total yards on the ground. That became a huge factor early on in the game, as it forced Adam Gase to put his faith in his quarterback’s arm.

And that didn’t work out too well.

The Jets were able to expose Jay Cutler by taking away his running attack. He finished 26/44 for 220 yards with a TD and a INT as his receivers were wrapped up by the Jets secondary all day.

In addition to all of that, the Jets D-Line looked great as well. While the secondary racked up more sacks than the line, players such as Darron Lee, DeMario Davis, and Steve McLendon were key factors in pressuring Cutler. Those guys in particular stepped it up in a big way after enduring struggles in the first two weeks.

Offensive Improvements:

The Jets went in to Sunday’s game with the mindset that they were going to utilize a three-back committee. They did that for most of the game, and saw plenty of success, racking up over 100 total yards on the ground including a rush TD by Powell, his first of the year.

The passing game looked a few steps ahead as well. Josh McCown looked confident as he spread the ball out amongst six different receivers on the day. He got everyone involved from rookie ArDarius Stewart to Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who was fresh off his two-game suspension.

Robby Anderson also made quite the appearance after being nearly invisible in the first two weeks. He finished with 95 yards on three receptions, including a TD on a monster 69-yard play down the field.

All of this offensive fire power should be credited to the O-Line and their improvements after the first two weeks. They were able to hold a solid Dolphins defense to two sacks and four tackles for loss, after allowing nearly double that in their last game against Oakland. They also freed up space for the Jets backs to do some damage, which allowed OC John Morton to mix up his offensive game plan.

Young Pieces Continue to Improve:

We saw some flashes from many of the Jets rookies, including Jamal Adams, who continues to make a strong case for defensive rookie of the year.

Adams finished the day with a pass deflection, two tackles (each for a loss of yardage) and his first career sack.

September 24, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets cornerback Buster Skrine (41) and strong safety Jamal Adams (33) sack Miami Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler (6) during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. The Jets defeated the Dolphins 20-6. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

We also witnessed highlight plays from ArDarius Stewart, Elijah McGuire and Dylan Donahue, who are all working to make a name for themselves as NFL rookies.

Overall, the Jets looked decent. While there’s always room for improvement, the Jets looked as though the played with purpose, and made it seem like tanking is nowhere to be found in their season plans.

– Kyle Hirshkind is the Managing Editor for cover32/Jets and covers the New York Jets. Like and follow on


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