Written by: Manny Barrios of Trash Talk Sports
So, Sanchez throws the ball to Tebow and it hits him on the crown of his helmet! I can’t make this stuff up. What were once punch lines in the off season came to reality Sunday afternoon for the New York Jets as the offense sputtered for a 2nd consecutive week, and despite the win, this one feels more like a loss on so many levels.
In a game that saw Jets All-Pro CB Derrell Revis carted off field with a season ending knee injury(torn ACL), the Jets (2-1)managed to defeat the Miami Dolphins(1-2) in a sloppy 23-20 squeaker at Sun Life Stadium in Miami. Of course you would like to take the positives from the game and pat them on the back for the win, but that shouldn’t be the case here. The reality is that Dolphins kicker Dan Carpenter missed two crucial FG’s that afforded the Jets the opportunity to get out of Miami with a win. The Jets were once again plagued by dropped passes, an ineffective run game, big plays allowed by the defense, some awful decisions by Sanchez , 108 yds in penalties, and the absence of a pass rush. A recipe which almost always leads to a disastrous afternoon, fortunately for the Jets they were matched up against the lowly Dolphins.
Mark Sanchez may have posted one of the ugliest 300+ yd passing games I’ve ever witnessed, going 21-45 for 306 yds with 2 INT’s and 1 TD, the performance featured a red-zone interception, several overthrows and missed opportunities that cost the Jets a couple of scores. To start things off the opening drive was interrupted when Sanchez was intercepted by Richard Marshall at mid field who returned the ball to the Jets 47. Miami put the Jets run defense to the test immediately with a steady dose of RB Reggie Bush who had rushes of 5, 26, 7, and 2 yds to get the Dolphins within a yard of the end-zone on their first possession. Bush was able to bob and weave through the Jets defense as the poor tackling from last weekend’s debacle in Pittsburgh continued, allowing the Dolphins to put together a 47 yard opening drive that was capped with a 1 yd TD run courtesy of Daniel Thomas giving the Dolphins a 7-0 lead with 9:25 to go in the 1st. Neither offensive unit put drives together on their ensuing possessions resulting in an exchange of punts to end the 1st qtr.
The Jets would have possession to start the 2nd qtr but did nothing with the ball accept punt it away to Miami who would then take possession on their own 22. Tannehill would go on to engineer a drive that included two 15+ yd passes to Devon Bess for 23 and another to Anthony Fasano for a gain of 17. The drive would stall at the Jet 3 and the Dolphins would settle for a 21 yd FG off the foot of Dan Carpenter widening the gap, 10-0. The Jets were able to get something going on their next possession sparked by a fake punt in which Tim Tebow was able to move the chains on a 4th and 3 with a gain of five on a strong run granting Sanchez and the offense a fresh set of downs at their own 30. Sanchez would hit Holmes for 15, Green for 6 and Cumberland for 19. Despite the trip to the red-zone the Jets would only come away with 3 points on a 33 yd FG by Nick Folk and the dolphins would go into the half up 7 by the score of 10-3.
Interesting statistic on that final drive of the half by the Jets. Sanchez dropped back to throw the ball 10 times but only managed to complete 4 passes, this mainly due to 3 drops by the receivers, most notably a 15 yd pass that hit rookie WR Stephan Hill right between the numbers that would have resulted in 6. Also in first half action, the Dolphins lost Reggie Bush late in the 2nd qtr due to a knee injury, although his return was listed as probable he would sit out the duration of the contest.
Since the Dolphins deferred at the toss they had the ball to start the second half, and on the second play from scrimmage S Laron Landry would bait rookie Ryan Tannehill into a bad pass that he intended for TE Anthony Fasano resulting in a pick 6 from the Miami 18. Folk would go on to add the extra point and the game was tied at 10 early on in the 3rd. The Dolphins would turn the ball over once more on their following possession when Daniel Thomas was stripped of the football by Darrelle Revis setting the offense up on the Miami 26 yard line. Tim Tebow would make appearances on this drive and the results were comical. He was hit in the helmet with a pass when he did not turn around quick enough, this was the first time Tebow has been targeted as a receiver this season, and with the ball on the 2, he would attempt to run out of the “Wild Cat” formation only to be sacked and lose 5 yards. The Jet offense would waste away the opportunity provided when Sanchez was picked off in the end zone on an ill advised pass impart due to a poorly executed route run by TE Jeff Cumberland. It would be Miami’s ball on their own 20. Once again there was an exchange of punts as neither offense could move the ball. The Jets season took a turn for the worse on the ensuing Miami possession.
After the Dolphins took over on their own 20 and were forced into a 3rd and 9, Tannehill dumped the ball off to RB Daniel Thomas, while in pursuit of Thomas Darrell Revis attempted to avoid a block and pulled up lame and went crashing into the ground. As he lay there holding his left knee in agony you could hear a pin drop on the Jets’ sideline, Revis was immediately ruled out for the remainder of the game and it was confirmed Monday afternoon that he would be out for the season with a torn ACL that would require reconstructive surgery. There was no contact of any kind when Revis was injured. The play resulted in a 1st down. Tannehill would drive his unit down the field and close it out on a handoff to FB Jorvorskie Lane for the 1 yd run and TD, putting Miami Ahead 17-10. NFL officiating was at it’s best once again on that drive when they awarded Anthony Fasano and the ground at Sun Life a joint reception that set the Dolphins up on the 2. The play was challenged by Rex Ryan and the video clearly showed Fasano trapping the ball against the ground, but as has been the case for three weeks, the officials blew the call and upheld the catch. Jets would get the ball and go to work on their own 25 with less than 2 minutes to go in the period, but before the quarter would draw to a close Sanchez connected with Jeremy Kerley for a 66 yard pass and Kerley would work his way down to the MIA 4 on the play. Needless to say the Jets were looking at a promising start to open up the 4th qtr.
After a Defensive Pass Interference call on Marshall, who was matched up against Holmes, the ball was placed on the 1, and to no surprise, would stay there for 3 plays. It was a horrendous goal-line showing for the Jets. Shonne Green was just dominated and stuffed at the line of scrimmage after he attempted to make a leap that would propel him into the end-zone, while in the air he was met and stopped by Burnett for no gain, Sanchez would then overthrow a wide open Cumberland, a false start on Matt Slauson, some broken down protection that would send Sanchez scrambling and just like that, what was once immaculate field position turned into a Field Goal. 17-13 MIA. The Shit Show would continue as Dan Carpenter would miss a 47 yd FG wide left that would have put MIA up by 10 with 10 minutes remaining in the game. With the Jets’ offensive unit struggling throughout, had Carpenter nailed it, the game would very much have been put out of reach, because as expected the Jets would not capitalize on the miscue. After a short 3 and out, the ball was placed back in the hands of the MIA offense. The brutal offense would continue as MIA would post a 3 and out of their own. The Jets would finally manage to take advantage of a short field a produce a TD drive fueled by Sanchez making some key throws. To start Sanchez would connect with Holmes on an 18 yd ball that would be spotted at the MIA 35. Next , he would hit Bilal Powell for 19, Holmes on a 3rd and 6 for 15 and after a pickup of 9 brought the ball down to the MIA 7, Sanchez would hit Kelrey on a quick strike between the hashes to give the Jets the lead with 3:01 remaining in regulation, JETS 20, Miami 17.
The Jets could not get out of their own way and put MIA in FG range when Kyle Wilson (Revis’s replacement) was hit with a 19 yd pass interference call to set Dan Carpenter up for the game tying FG, which unlike his previous attempt, was true. Jets 20, Miami 20.
In overtime the Jets would win the toss and elect to receive. Do to the changes in the overtime rules, a TD would be the only way to walk off the field without giving the opposing team an opportunity to respond. Of course the Jets would punt the ball awaya, putting the ball back in the hands of the MIA offense. Fortunately for Miami, the most overrated defense in football could not stage a stand and hold RYAN TANEHILL for crying out loud! He would find Brian Hartline for 41 yds after he lost Antonio Cromartie on a double move. Leaving it to Carpenter from 48. Who would miss. Wide left. Allowing this pathetic excuse for a football game to continue.
By the grace of the football gods, Sanchez and Holmes would hook up once more for 38 yds leaving the Jets at the MIA 18. Green would run for 5 and then lose 2 on the following play prompting the Jets to call for a time- out. Out came Nick Folk and the FG unit to setting up for what many would hope to be the game winning FG. The Snap, the Kick and the dreaded thud sound made when the ball hits the paw of a lineman. The Jets were fortunate. In an attempt to ice the kicker, Philbin called time-out negating the blocked kick. They would do it once more and this time Folk would split the uprights giving the Jets a atrocious 23-20 win over their longtime division rivals and giving them sole possession of 1st place in the AFC east through week 3 of this young season.
The Jets looked just terrible in this match-up. Allowing a below average defense to stymie the offense. The Jets defense could not stop the rookie when it counted, and they lost their best player in Darrell Revis, but a win is a win is a win right?
Next up is a very angry San Francisco team. They are coming off of their first loss of the season to the Minnesota Vikings. With receivers such as Michael Crabtree, Mario Manningham, Vernon Davis and Randy Moss, it is going to be interesting to see how the Jets will fair against a receiving corps of that caliber without their star CB. Replacing Revis will be Kyle Wilson. The former first round pick of the 2010 draft will find himself opposite of Antonio Cromartie as they face the monumental task of moving forward without the man they have built this defense around.