The teams offense again on Sunday looked terrible, as for the second straight week they failed to score a touchdown in the teams 10-6 loss to the division rival Miami Dolphins.
Mark Sanchez threw an interception, lost a fumble and was never able to find any sort of rhythm was his pass catchers. He had two shots late in the game to erase the bad day and get the team in the end zone, but both times was turned away.
“The turnovers obviously hurt us early. We had a lot of poor execution on offense in particular,” Rex Ryan said of his Jets. “I’m very concerned…We have to make sure we find a way to get better.”
Getting better should be a huge concern right now for the Jets. Coupled with the Patriots’ blowout of the Bears in Chicago, the Jets are two games behind New England in the AFC East, and with three games back it’s rather clear they are either headed for a wild card birth, or possibly a January sitting on the couch watching their AFC friends play in the postseason.
The next two games are not that easy either, as they play the 10-3 Steelers next Sunday, followed by a post-Christmas road game in Chicago vs a Bears team that is sure to still be fighting for the NFC North title.
The Jets are 1-4 against teams with a .500 record or better this season and have failed to score a touchdown in any of those, including now Sunday vs a Dolphins team that lost to Cleveland at home last week.
Chad Henne found Brandon Marshall for the game’s only touchdown in the first quarter, and the Dolphins pulled out a the gritty win by stopping the Jets offense all day in rainy conditions at New Meadowlands Stadium.
The Dolphins, now 7-6, were out-gained in yards, 280-131, but took advantage of two of Sanchez’s turnovers in the opening quarter. The Jets D did what it could, holding Henne to a woeful 5-of-18 for 55 yards passing, and they took two fumbles from him.
Sanchez finished 17-of-44 for 216 yards, but failed to help the team to get past six points, and the team has scored just 9 points in the last two losses.
Prior to last weeks terrible 45-3 loss to the Patriots on Monday, the Jets had won four in a row, three coming in the overtime or in the closing seconds. Again New York had a chance to pull one out, getting the ball at its own 25- yard line with 2:16 remaining trailing, 10-6.
Jerricho Cotchery’s 15-yard grab moved the ball to the New York 47, and Sanchez spiked the ball to stop the clock with 1:35 to play.
The Dolphins’ defense stepped up from there with a six-yard sack. After Sanchez threw behind Dustin Keller for an incomplete pass on third down, Cameron Wake sealed the outcome with his second sack in the final series.
“The defense played outstanding,” Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano said. “We knew this was going to be one of these type of football games…It’s a big win.”
Nolan Carroll picked off Sanchez at the Jets’ 42-yard line to set up Dan Carpenter’s 47-yard field goal midway through the opening quarter.
Three plays later, Sanchez lost a fumble at his own 26, leading to Marshall’s six-yard touchdown catch.
The Jets penetrated enemy territory four times in the second quarter but only came away with three points. They punted the first and last time, turned it over on downs when Shonn Greene was stuffed on 4th-and-1 from the 37, and got a 35-yard field goal from Nick Folk with 4 1/2 minutes to go in the frame.
Santonio Holmes dropped a sure touchdown prior to the field goal. Heavy rains came pouring down during a scoreless, punt-filled third quarter. Sanchez and Holmes weren’t on the same page on a fourth-down play early in the fourth, resulting in a possession-changing incompletion.
But Holmes came down with a diving 42-grab to move the Jets to the Miami 32 on the next series, setting up Folk’s 42-yard kick with 5:21 to go. The next three series all ended in punts after three unsuccessful plays.
The Jets had better get ready, if they don’t get ready for a very physical Steelers team next week, the leagues biggest collapse could continue.