New York Jets: Breaking Down the Loss to the Miami Dolphins

The New York Jets had the chance to play spoiler for their division rivals, but instead came up with a disappointing performance.

The New York Jets season may be over, but they had a real chance to make a mark on Saturday night. Their divisional rivals, the Miami Dolphins, came into town needing a win to stay in the thick of the playoff race. They had the chance to play spoiler and send the Dolphins reeling.

Following kickoff, though, the opposite transpired.

Well, let’s be fair; it was a close game during the first half. The Jets hung tough, led by efficient passing by Bryce Petty and another strong game out of Bilal Powell. For a team that hasn’t looked good of late, Powell has taken his chance to play and looked very good. After a 100-yard performance against San Francisco, Powell ran the ball 16 times for 84 yards and added 78 yards receiving.

Petty definitely showed some development from the 49ers game to the Dolphins game. On the opening drive, he showed a terrific hard count, made the switch to the play that led to his touchdown pass to Robby Anderson.

The throw was perfect. His timing with Anderson has always been good since they practiced together the most, but that was nice to see. The defense kept Jay Ajayi in check and, other than the long pass to Kenny Stills for the score, it was a good game.

There were bad throws, like the interception by Cameron Wake, for one. Those are the growing pains to be expected with a young quarterback in his third career start. But there was development and that is the bottom line.

In the second half, however, it was a different story. We learned once again that the pass defense is just terrible. Matt Moore is a veteran, yes—but four touchdown passes? When did this guy become Dan Marino? He was throwing the ball all over the field to whomever he wanted. Moore was 12-of-18 for 236 yards and four touchdowns. It has been the same story for the Jets all season long and it’s one of the main reasons the record has gone so far down the toilet.

The momentum turned, however, on this play:

How bad has the Jets special teams been since Mike Westhoff retired? Does anyone else in the fan base with he would come out of retirement and take his position back? There have been so many miscues with that unit, and this just was another on the long list.

You know what else we learned? We learned that Mike Maccagnan has an offensive line to rebuild. If it wasn’t obvious before, it is now. Everybody saw the play that could have ended with Petty transported to a local hospital. Cameron Wake and Ndamukong Suh nearly killed him.

What made it worse was that the offensive line didn’t even move! They said the snap came early, but so what? You see the guys running by, you just stand there? This is a football game not the Mannequin Challenge! Those players should be ashamed of themselves.

Petty shouldn’t be, though, as he stood in there and made a beautiful back shoulder throw to Anderson. Whether you like the play from Petty thus far or not, you have to like his toughness. He is as tough as nails.

The young quarterback would have been served well with better help, however, from the likes of players such as Brandon Marshall. He had a key drop and another where he didn’t appear to extend on another throw that went off of one hand. His veterans have to step up and help the young quarterback out.

The Jets have an excellent shot at finishing 4-12 with their final opponents being the Patriots and the Bills. We can look ahead to 2017 very soon.

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