TSN TV Schedule TSN2 TV Schedule
NFL

Dolphins keep playoff hopes alive with victory over Jets

{eot}
The Canadian Press
12/1/2013 6:20:25 PM
Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Text Size

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Miami Dolphins entered the final month of the regular season knowing exactly what's at stake. Win, and their post-season hopes look a lot better. Lose, and they might have to start considering next year.

Ryan Tannehill threw for 331 yards and two touchdowns, leading Miami to a 23-3 victory over the listless New York Jets on Sunday that helped the Dolphins keep pace in the AFC post-season picture.

"We didn't talk about it a lot," Tannehill said. "We knew the situation. We're not stupid. Everyone was aware of it."

The Dolphins also drove struggling rookie Geno Smith out of the game, sending the Jets' shaky quarterback situation into a mess of uncertainty while severely damaging their playoff dreams.

"It was an awful performance by us," coach Rex Ryan said. "We got outplayed in all three phases of the game, and I know our fans deserved a hell of a lot better than that."

Brian Hartline and Mike Wallace caught touchdown passes for Miami (6-6), which converted two turnovers into 10 points. Tannehill finished 28 of 43 with an interception as the Dolphins took control in the second half after dominating the stats sheet in the first two quarters.

Miami is still the only team in the league to score fewer than 28 points in every game, but the Dolphins improved to 3-2 since the bullying scandal involving Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin rocked the franchise.

"December is where you either step up or fall down," Tannehill said. "We knew that coming in. I think the guys are ready to buckle down and take it one game at a time."

The Jets (5-7) lost their third straight, and now Ryan is forced to consider who will be under centre next week against Oakland: Smith, Matt Simms, who replaced him to start the second half, or David Garrard, who hasn't played in a regular-season game since 2010.

"I can't answer that question right now," Ryan said. "We need to see it and get everybody's opinion and do what we think is in the best interest of our team."

Smith was booed loudly at times throughout by the MetLife Stadium crowd while going 4 for 10 for 29 yards with an interception and an 8.3 quarterback rating. He has one touchdown and 11 interceptions in his past seven games, and overthrew receivers a few times in this one and couldn't get the offence moving.

"I have complete confidence in myself," a defiant Smith said. "It's been tough these last three weeks, but I think I am the best option for this team."

Simms, the son of former Giants star Phil Simms, came in to cheers to start the third quarter, but didn't fare much better while going 9 for 18 for 79 yards with an interception. He was sacked three times

Philip Wheeler recovered a fumble by Simms on the Jets' second possession of the third quarter. The Dolphins took advantage, getting a 31-yard catch-and-run for a score by Hartline that made it 13-0.

Nick Folk finally got the Jets on the scoreboard with a 20-yard field goal in the third quarter.

New York's momentum was quickly squashed as Wallace caught a short pass from Tannehill and ran through a poor tackle try by Dee Milliner for a 28-yard touchdown and a 20-3 lead with just over a minute left in the third quarter. That sent many Jets fans heading for the exits early.

"We haven't been finishing this whole season," said Dolphins defensive end Olivier Vernon, who had 2 1/2 sacks. "That's one thing the coaches have stressed to us. I feel like we got that job done today."

Caleb Sturgis ended a scoreless snoozer with a 34-yard field goal with 44 seconds left in the opening half, making up for an earlier miss.

Smith gave the ball back to Miami moments later with his 19th interception on a pass he tried to force to Greg Salas. Dannell Ellerbe stepped in front of Salas with 22 seconds remaining, leading to a 43-yarder by Sturgis.

The Dolphins dominated during the first two quarters, outgaining the Jets 265 yards to 39, with 16 first downs to New York's 2. Miami also held the ball for 24 minutes, 12 seconds, with New York having it for just 5:43.

The Dolphins ran more plays (50) in the first half than the Jets had total yards. Miami finished by outgaining New York 453-177.

"We had some opportunities and we were moving the ball well," Tannehill said. "We came with the mindset we are going to score touchdowns in the second half."

NOTES: Hartline led the Dolphins with nine receptions for 127 yards, and Tannehill topped 3,000 yards passing for each of his first two seasons. ... Jets KR-WR Josh Cribbs left in the second quarter with a shoulder injury and didn't return. ... Jets WR Santonio Holmes was active after not practicing all week with a hamstring issue, but saw few snaps and had no catches. "It was a coaches' decision," Holmes said. Ryan said the team was trying to "pace" Holmes.

Brian Hartline and Ellis Lankster  (Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images)

zoom

(Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images)
Share This

Share This

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to FarkAdd to TwitterAdd to Stumble UponAdd to Reddit
Print this Story

NFL Top Prospects

Take a look at each prospect's average draft position and most likely landing spot based in TSN.ca's Mock Draft ADP. More...


TSN Digital's Mock Draft | Top prospects; Canadians



Missouri All-American Michael Sam says he is gay, and the defensive end could become the first openly homosexual player in the NFL.


Check out ReOrientation - TSN's special three-part feature examining athletics and homosexuality.


More about ReOrientation

Podcasts

TSN 1050: TSN Drive with Dave Naylor: April 15 - Tim Graham

Tim Graham provides an update on the potential sale of the Buffalo Bills , Donald Trump, when a new stadium will be built, and more.

TSN 1050: NFL Tonight: Andy McNamara and Carlan Gay: April 6th

Andy Mac and Carlan Gay break down the latest news in the NFL.

TSN 1050: NFL Tonight - Andrew Garda- March 27th

Andy McNamara chats with Andrew Garda, Bleacher Report NFL lead writer about Johnny Manziel, college quarterbacks, and NFL Free Agency.


More Podcasts

© 2014
All rights reserved.
Bell Media Television