The Dolphins defense gave up at least 427 yards in each of their last three games and they didn’t force a turnover in their last two games, but things went a lot better against the Jets on Sunday.
Miami picked off Sam Darnold four times, avoided turnovers of their own and improved to 5-4 with a 13-6 home victory. The third interception came when safety T.J. McDonald jumped in front of a fourth-and-15 pass from inside Jets territory with just over two minutes left to play in the game.
Darnold’s previous interception came on a pass that Jerome Baker returned for a 25-yard touchdown and the first one handed Miami a short field that they turned into a first half field goal. That help was much appreciated because the lack of turnovers was the only good thing to say about the Dolphins offense on Sunday.
They managed just 169 yards on the afternoon and Brock Osweiler was sacked four times behind a line that played without left tackle Laremy Tunsil and right tackle Ja'Wuan James at points in Sunday’s game. They weren’t able to run the clock out after McDonald’s interception, but the defense finally slammed the door when Walt Aikens stepped in front of a desperation heave.
Darnold is now up to 14 interceptions on the year and the Jets offense has been a mess throughout a three-game losing streak that has dropped them to 3-6 on the season. Some signs of developlment from Darnold that moves that trajectory in the other direction will be necessary if head coach Todd Bowles is going to be a lock for a return in 2019.
The Dolphins will head to Green Bay next weekend before a bye week. We’ll see if Osweiler continues to lead the offense, but whoever is at quarterback will almost certainly need to find more points for the Dolphins to run a winning streak to two games.