The Dolphins offense put 20 points on the board in the first half of Sunday’s game against the Jets, but their fortunes took a turn for the worse for most of the second half.
They turned the ball over twice and allowed the Jets to close a 20-12 lead to eight points in the fourth quarter before finally coming through with some big plays. Kenyan Drake ran 20 yards for a first down, Ryan Tannehill kept the ball on an option for 14 more and then found Frank Gore for a 20-yard gain on third-and-19 from midfield for a crucial third first down on the same drive.
That left Miami in field goal range and, with the Jets out of timeouts, Tannehill ran for another first down a few plays later to ice the game. The 20-12 win lifts the Dolphins to 2-0 on the young season and leaves Sam Darnold with a loss in his first home start.
Darnold had some good moments in leading the Jets back, but he was intercepted once in each half to help Miami to the win. The second half pick was particularly painful as it came one play after Jordan Jenkins forced a fumble on a sack of Tannehill inside the Miami 20-yard-line. Xavien Howard picked off a pass intended for Terrelle Pryor in the end zone and the Jets blew a golden opportunity to get points.
There were plenty of other mistakes for the Jets, including a pair of defensive holding penalties that wiped out third down sacks, and they’ll burn because this was a game they had a chance to win. They’ll have to wipe the slate clean quickly with a trip to Cleveland on Thursday night to face the eternally winless Browns.
Miami will be home for the Raiders with a chance to move to 3-0 before going to New England in Week Four. Forcing three turnovers, avoiding penalties (two on Sunday) and making big plays on offense when necessary will be a good formula for making that happen.