Around the state: Dolphins make statement
The Miami Dolphins followed a week of trash talk with a very emphatic statement.
The visiting Dolphins blasted the New York Jets 30-9 on Sunday to improve to 4-3.
The week leading up to the AFC East meeting included insults and barbs from both teams directed at the other.
Soon after the game started, Miami lost quarterback Ryan Tannehill to a knee injury on its second possession. His replacement, Matt Moore, performed superbly and led Miami to victory.
The Dolphins defense frustrated Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez and the Miami special teams produced several highlights, including scoring a touchdown after a blocked a punt.
It certainly was an all-around team win.
Before a national television audience on Thursday night, running back Doug Martin enjoyed his first 100-yard rushing game to lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 36-17 victory against the Minnesota Vikings.
The Bucs (3-4) have scored a combined 102 points in their past three games.
At Green Bay, Jacksonville displayed some encouraging signs but still fell to the Packers 24-15. The Jaguars fell to 1-6.
Blaine Gabbert threw for more than 300 yards for the first time as the Jags offense was without running back Maurice Jones-Drew (sprained foot).
Here’s a more in-depth look at Week 8 for the Florida teams:
Week in review
Buccaneers 36, Vikings 17 (Thursday): The game marked a coming-out party for Martin, who ran for a career-high 135 yards en route to 214 total yards and two touchdowns.
One of Martin’s scores was a screen pass that he turned into a 62-yard gain.
Josh Freeman completed 19 of 36 passes for 262 yards and three touchdowns.
While scoring 102 points the past three game, the Bucs have accounted for nearly 1,400 yards total offense.
Tampa Bay needed its offensive production because running back Adrian Peterson (15 carries, 123 yards) and quarterback Christian Ponder (19 of 35 for 251 yards, one touchdown and one interception) did their best to keep Minnesota in the game.
Peterson’s effort came against a Bucs defense that went into the game allowing a league-best average of 3.1 yards per carry and 76 yards per game (third).
The game included a shoving match between Minnesota defensive end Jared Allen and Tampa Bay tackle Donald Penn. Allen received a a facemask penalty and a bashed-up nose after Penn pried his helmet off. Penn earned a personal foul. Game gallery »
Packers 24, Jaguars 15: The Jags actually outgained the Packers 341-238 but managed only 108 yards in the second half.
Jacksonville’s total output was more than 100 above the team’s average. With Jones-Drew out, Cecil Shorts (8 catches, career-best 116 yards) and Rashad Jennings (59 yards rushing, 56 yards receiving) helped fill the void.
Gabbert completed 27 of 49 passes for 303 yards.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers had thrown for a combined 680 yards in the previous two games. But with starting receivers Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson sidelined, Rodgers threw for 186 yards and 2 touchdowns. Game gallery »
Dolphins 30, Jets 9: New York won the season’s first meeting at Miami 23-20 in overtime, and the two teams were trading insults leading up to the rematch.
Moore, Miami’s starting quarterback last season, replaced Tannehill and completed 11 of 19 passes for 131 yards and a touchdown. He helped the Dolphins build a 20-0 halftime lead that was never threatened.
Tannehill was injured when he was sacked by Calvin Pace 4:51 into the game. The rookie said he could have returned if needed, though coach Joe Philbin said he would not have put Tannehill back in the game.
Miami’s special teams were pivotal. It blocked a punt, blocked a field-goal attempt, successfully executed an onside kick, had three field goals and a 57-yard kickoff return.
Rookie defensive end Olivier Vernon recovered the blocked punt in the end zone for a touchdown and blocked a Nick Folk field-goal try. Game gallery »
Star of the Week
Bucs running back Doug Martin.
His 135 rushing yards and 64-yard touchdown reception certainly got peoples’ attention on Thursday night. But the first-round draft pick out of Boise State is having a solid season — he’s 11th in the league in rushing with 543 yards (4.2 yards per carry).
Goat of the Week
Jaguars special teams.
Coach Mike Mularkey took the blame for a costly blocked punt in the second quarter that resulted in a Green Bay touchdown.
It was the first time since 2006 a blocked Jacksonville punt produced an opponent’s touchdown.
Bryan Anger shanked a punt that helped set up the Packers’ last score. Josh Scobee had his first out-of-bounds kickoff of the season.
Buccaneers receiver Mike Williams on Doug Martin’s screen-pass touchdown: “I was on the other side (of the field). When he caught the screen, I’m looking. It was like magic happening right in front of my eyes. I was watching the whole time. I got in trouble from Coach (P.J.) Fleck. He told me to stop watching the plays. But I was watching that play.”
Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano on the Bucs defense: “We need to be able to stop that big pass. We’re still not doing that, but I’m really happy with the way they answered the bell tonight. We came up with the big plays when we had to.”
Bucs guard Carl Nicks on Tampa Bay’s offense under new coordinator Mike Sullivan: “I think Coach Sullivan is doing a great job. We’re all growing as Tampa Bay Buccaneers. We came from here, here and here, but now we all have a feel for each other and things are rolling.”
Bucs cornerback and undrafted rookie Leonard Johnson, who didn’t tell anyone he would make his first NFL start despite knowing it all week: ”I didn’t want to say anything because I didn’t want to psyche myself out or say anything to my mom or anyone else and have them all excited and put more pressure on me. I just wanted to stick to what I knew.”
Jaguars linebacker Paul Posluszny: “We played well against a high-caliber team and we took a step forward, but we’re not getting the most important part done. We’re not winning games. We’ve got to learn how to find a way to win.’’
Jags coach Mike Mularkey on going for two points after a touchdown even though it was only the second quarter: “I went against the rules to go for two early. I’ll tell you why. I wanted to score points. I wanted to go in at halftime tied. That’s why I did it. I know that goes against all the rules in people’s statistical books, but at some point we’re going to have to go for two. After the fact, I wished we would have kicked the extra point.’’
Dolphins defensive tackle Randy Starks after the Dolphins victory against the Jets followed a week of trash talking between the teams: “It feels good to shut them up after all that talking they were doing during the week.”
Miami center Mike Pouncey, on being 4-3: “We turned this thing completely around from last season starting out 0-7.”
Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore on replacing injured Ryan Tannehill: “When you get in there, manage the game, don’t turn the ball over, but at the same time, take your shots and make big plays. That’s how I approached it.”
Miami’s Olivier Vernon on Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez: “The first time we played him, whenever we got pressure on him, he was like a chicken with his head cut off.”
Did You Know?
• Tampa Bay had a 16-play, 87-yard second-half drive that took 9:09 and included five third-down conversions — 6, 10, 10, 9 and 1 yard.
• The Bucs had more than 400 total yards of offense in three consecutive games for the first time in franchise history, tallying 1,392 combined yards against the Chiefs, Saints and Vikings.
• In scoring 102 points the past three games, the Bucs established a franchise scoring record for any three-game span during the regular season. Tampa Bay scored a total of 106 points vs. San Francisco, Philadelphia, Oakland in the 2002 playoffs.
• Bucs kicker Mike Koenen extended his NFL-record touchback streak to 21 consecutive touchbacks before Minnesota’s Percy Harvin’s 43-yard return in the third quarter.
• Blaine Gabbert’s first 300-yard passing performance could have been even greater. A 43-yard pass to Cecil Shorts and a 25-yarder to Justin Blackmon were initially ruled catches, but later reversed after challenges.
• Jacksonville back-up tackle Guy Whimper scored his first NFL touchdown when he caught a 1-yard pass in the second quarter.
• Miami is above .500 for the first time since being 7-6 on Dec. 12, 2010.
• The Dolphins have been outgained 825 to 428 over their past two games — nearly a 2-1 margin — yet they’re 2-0.
• Miami has seven sacks in the last two games. Cameron Wake has 7.5 on the season.
Tweets of the Week
— Fergie (@Fergie) October 28, 2012
Tough loss today we played a good game but it was just not good enough. Things are coming together we are so close we just need to finish.
— Julian Stanford (@Mr_NxtLvl) October 29, 2012
— Michael Koenen (@MichaelKoenen) October 26, 2012
Miami at Indianapolis (Dolphins favored by 1): The highlight of this game will be the first meeting of rookie quarterbacks Ryan Tannehill and Andrew Luck, assuming Tannehill is healthy enough to play.
Luck was the first player taken in the draft. Tannehill was the eighth.
Tannehill reportedly suffered a sustained a bone bruise in his left knee and a bruised left quadriceps, but the MRI also revealed no structural damage.
His status will not be know until later in the week.
Indianapolis beat Tennessee 19-13 in overtime on Sunday.
Detroit at Jacksonville (Lions favored by 3.5): The Jaguars will be without running back Maurice Jones-Drew and safety Dwight Lowery again this week when they host Detroit.
The Lions (3-4) are coming off 28-24 victory against Seattle.
Detroit, which had been widely expected to contend for a playoff spot, desperately wants to get to .500 before facing second-half opponents that include Green Bay, Houston and Atlanta.
Tampa Bay at Oakland (even): Tampa Bay could be without cornerback Eric Wright, who reportedly faces a possible suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing drugs.
If that doesn’t sideline Wright, an Achilles’ tendon injury suffered in Thursday’s game might.
Oakland (3-4) won 26-16 at Kansas City on Sunday.
The Bucs are 1-2 on the road.