Taylor, Edwards lead Jets past Dolphins 31-23

To kick off the victory celebration, New York Jets coach Rex

Ryan helped soak Jason Taylor by dumping a bucket of sideline

refreshment on him.

Braylon Edwards happily settled for slaps on the back.

Taylor managed a sack in his homecoming game, and Edwards caught

a 67-yard touchdown pass that helped the Jets beat the Miami

Dolphins 31-23 Sunday night.

Mark Sanchez threw three touchdown passes for the second week in

a row, and Drew Coleman’s fourth-down interception in the end zone

with 27 seconds left sealed the win for the Jets, who forged a

three-way tie atop the AFC East with the Dolphins and Patriots. All

are 2-1.

The victory capped an emotional week for Taylor and a tumultuous

one for Edwards. The star receiver was arrested in Manhattan on a

drunken-driving charge around 5 a.m. Tuesday and apologized the

next day.

”He worked so hard all week long,” Sanchez said. ”As soon as

he stepped in the building, he let everything outside the building

go. … We loved him all week long, just the same as before the

incident, and we’ll continue doing the same thing.”

Edwards was benched for the first quarter but made it to the end

zone soon enough, turning a short pass into the score that put the

Jets ahead to stay.

”I really am glad that I have teammates and an organization

like the Jets,” Edwards said. ”They’ve been very supportive, been

there for me and they’ve allowed me to have a better week than

maybe somewhere else.”

A capacity crowd included Miami Heat newcomer LeBron James, who

wore a Florida Marlins cap. Fans roared when he was shown on the

video scoreboard, while they booed Taylor, playing against the

Dolphins for the first time after 12 seasons with Miami.

Taylor drew hoots when he represented his new team for the coin

toss, and again when he sacked Chad Henne in the first period.

”They booed, and I smiled,” Taylor said. ”It was about what I

expected. I’m the visiting team now.”

LaDainian Tomlinson’s 1-yard touchdown run with 1:55 left put

the Jets up 31-23. The Dolphins then drove 64 yards to the 5 with

34 seconds remaining, but Henne’s fourth-down pass was deflected by

Eric Smith and intercepted by Coleman.

Smith also blocked a punt to set up a field goal.

”We kept fighting at the end,” Henne said. ”Sad how it turned

out.”

Henne threw for a career-high 363 yards, while Brandon Marshall

had 10 catches for 166 yards. But Miami led for only 18 seconds –

after Marshall caught an 11-yard pass for his first score with the

Dolphins, putting them up 17-14.

Edwards quickly struck back, catching a pass near the sideline,

then sprinting the final 55 yards untouched after cornerback Jason

Allen fell.

”Not a good feeling,” Allen said. ”My job is to not let him

catch any balls, and he caught the ball.”

It was Edwards’ longest reception since joining New York last

year.

”All week we said we just want to make plays after the catch,”

he said. ”Anybody can throw a deep ball. For us, we just wanted

yards after the catch. It was a situation where I caught it outside

and Jason slipped, and I was able to go the distance.”

Sanchez hit Dustin Keller for scores of 24 and 12 yards to put

the Jets ahead 14-0, which helped negate the Dolphins’ potent

ground game. Ronnie Brown ran for only 54 yards, and Ricky Williams

was held to 28.

”This is one of those games where you got to have it,”

Marshall said. ”We just didn’t get it done tonight.”