Another week another wild ride. Miami’s fans must not even be phased at this point as they can come to expect an up and down game for the full 60 minutes each week. However, one thing that Miami’s fans can come to expect that is different for a change is ending up on top at the end of those 60 minutes.
The Adam Gase-led Miami Dolphins have emerged victorious in 12 straight one-possession games. That is an incredible feat and should not be overlooked, as it has become the identity of this team. They fight tooth-and-nail until the very end and do not give up at any point during their games no matter how bad things may seem.
With this week’s victory over the New York Jets, the Miami Dolphins have risen to 4-2 on the season and are currently tied for first place in the AFC East along with the Buffalo Bills and the New England Patriots. The Dolphins have successfully pulled off a sweet revenge against the Jets who punked them earlier in the season.
Today’s game was similar to the last bout in the sense that Dolphins tailback Jay Ajayi could not get much going on the ground. The Jets were heavily committed to stopping the run early on and did not yield much yardage to Ajayi or any Dolphins rushers for that matter. Due to this, the Dolphins found early success using play-action plays as the Jets had their ears pinned back to stop the run.
With the success of some play action plays and a newly developed chemistry between quarterback Jay Cutler and his receiving corps, the Dolphins were actually able to score multiple times within the first half of the game– something that they have struggled to do all season long.
This was an encouraging sign for Miami’s fans as they have grown accustomed to slow starts and strong finishes. Today’s game was more of a U-shape *winks* as the Dolphins started strong, lulled in the middle, and ended on a strong note.
The early touchdowns were tossed by Cutler to wide receiver Jarvis Landry and tight end Anthony Fasano. Cutler was throwing with confidence and had finally established a rapport with the receiving corps that began in Atlanta towards the end of that game.
The strong start was much needed, as the Jets were no slouches at the beginning of the game. New York scored on their opening drive as the marched right down the field on Miami’s defense. The Dolphins showed great vulnerability to screen passes and had poor form on some of their tackles, allowing the Jets to get chunk yardage and early confidence.
The Dolphins have a bad habit this year of making Josh McCown look like Tom Brady out there. Miami had no answers for New York and at one point the Jets led the Dolphins 28-14. This was the first game this season in which the Dolphins gave up greater than 20 points. Miami’s hopes were starting to look bleak, as at one point in the third quarter the Jets had a 93.5% chance to win the game.
The Jets were able to build that lead thanks in part to an interception that led to them beginning a drive on the Dolphins 1-yard line. As time was ticking down before the first half was over, the Dolphins saw an opportunity to potentially drive down the field as there was plenty of time left on the clock and they would be receiving the ball at the start of the second half. What ended up happening was the exact opposite of what they wanted, as a Cutler pass was tipped at the line-of-scrimmage by rookie safety Jamal Adams, leading to an interception by Muhammad Wilkerson of the Jets.
To make matters worse, the Dolphins saw injuries to center Mike Pouncey, left tackle Laremy Tunsil, and quarterback Jay Cutler, further providing the fans with doubt. The chants of “We want Moore!” from a few weeks back would be answered, as quarterback Matt Moore entered the game.
Moore started off a bit slow, but once he got into his groove it was game over for the Jets. Moore lit the place up by tossing two touchdowns to wide receiver Kenny Stills. The two seemed to be on the same page for the rest of the game as Stills was Moore’s favorite target from the moment he entered the game.
Stills’ first touchdown was a pretty one as Moore stood confidently in the pocket and delivered a beautiful arching pass deep to Stills to cut the lead to 7. The second was a two-yard knuckleball that Stills was able to haul in to tie the game at 28-all.
Hard Rock really came alive early in the fourth quarter and the defense was able to feed off of their energy and support. Miami’s defense would not yield in the final quarter and brought down McCown multiple times. Defensive end Cameron Wake lived up to his “Jet-Killer” nickname as he had 2.5 sacks on the day and caused pressure late in the game.
It’s hard to say who the biggest hero of all was. Could it be Moore, as he stepped in and led the Dolphins to an improbable comeback? Could it be cornerback Bobby McCain who intercepted a pass right when the Dolphins needed it most? Or could it be kicker Cody Parkey who hit the game-winning field-goal?
It’s tough to say, but what we can all agree upon is that this Miami Dolphins team does not quit and you can never change the channel or leave your TV screen no matter how bad things get. With this win over the Jets, the Dolphins have emerged victorious in three-straight contests. The #InGaseWeTrust mantra is back and rightfully so.
It will be interesting to see how the Dolphins’ quarterback situation unfolds going forward as Cutler left the game with a chest injury. He played well, but so did Moore. It is more likely that Moore will start during the Week 8 matchup with Baltimore as that is this Thursday night and Cutler’s injury may not be a quick turnaround. Even if it was, sub-100% Cutler can’t be better than how Moore proved he can play today. #NextManUp #FinsUp.