We’ll have to wait until there’s word about the health of quarterback Ryan Tannehill before we know whether Sunday’s 30-9 victory over the Jets was bittersweet or just sweet for the Dolphins, but there’s a lot for them to be happy about while waiting for the diagnosis on Tannehill.
They are now 4-3 and headed into a game that could push them further into playoff contention against the 4-3 Colts in Indianapolis last week. They also pushed the Jets to 3-5 and into what will surely be a media and fan-driven maelstrom in the two weeks until the Jets next take the field. The Dolphins are now positioned to be the second team in the AFC East and, with two games left against New England, could find their way to more than that.
Sunday’s win came because of solid play in all three phases, although the offense took a back seat to the defense and special teams. The defense made Mark Sanchez and the Jets offense look completely foolish over the entire afternoon. Chris Clemons had an interception, the pass rush dropped Sanchez four times and the bulk of the Jets’ yards came during extended garbage time.
The special teams blocked a punt for a touchdown and blocked a Nick Folk field goal near the end of the first half. There was also a good kickoff return by Marcus Thigpen to stem any potential momentum shift after the Jets finally got on the board in the third quarter. Matt Moore did a solid job moving the team after Tannehill was forced out, the running game was steady and that formula was more than enough to carry the day for the Fins.
The Jets have their own quarterback question to answer in the wake of this loss. Sanchez isn’t hurt, although it might be easier if he were because there would be an easier explanation for his 28-of-54 performance that wasn’t even as mediocre as that sounds. There are plenty of other issues plaguing the Jets offense, but there’s not much reason left not to try something else in hopes of sparking a consistent offensive performance. Sanchez played the entire game, save a couple of Tim Tebow cameos, and the offense never moved until the game was well out of hand.
Change could be in the air in New York. The smell is much nicer down in Miami.