Rejuvenated Dolphins shake off loss, hammer Jets

Last week, the Dolphins suffered a late-game collapse on Monday Night Football against the Tennessee Titans. In the same game, Tyreek Hill suffered an injury, as did star center Connor Williams. And so Miami was in desperate need of a bounce-back game on Sunday against the New York Jets, especially considering the difficulty of the remaining schedule.

They indeed bounced back.

Despite 10 Dolphins starters listed as inactive, most notably Hill, the NFL MVP candidate and All-Pro cornerback Xavien Howard, Miami dominated New York, especially on the defensive side of the ball, running away with a 30-0 victory in front of 65,967 on their home turf inside Hard Rock Stadium.

Miami’s defense specialized in the pass rush against the Jets, totaling six sacks and 12 pressures on both Quarterbacks. Zach Wilson was the starter for New York, just one week removed from winning AFC Offensive Player of The Week honors. That momentum didn’t carry over, as Wilson did not play after halftime due to a head injury. He finished his day with a 4-of-11  passing performance for 26 yards. He was sacked twice and fumbled.

Jets coach Robert Saleh, who fell to 0-2 vs. Miami this season, spoke on his team’s offensive struggles, saying “credit to (the Dolphins). They won the battle up front, right from the get-go. They made it hard for us to get anything going, both in the pass and the run game.”

Tua Tagovailoa authored a memorable performance, even without Hill, throwing for 224 yards, including a 60-yard touchdown pass to Jaylen Waddle. He also had an 87% completion percentage, one of his best all season.

Miami’s rushing offense was special too, with Raheem Mostert authoring two touchdown runs, raising his season total up to 20, which is the most total touchdowns in a season in franchise history. He also broke Miami’s rushing touchdown record with 18.

Mostert was in “disbelief” that he set the records, adding that “it means a lot, just to be able to be in this position. It’s hard coming, but I did it, but there is always more to be done.”

With three games left, Mostert will look to keep adding to his stellar season, one in which he leads the NFL in touchdowns.

Head Coach Mike McDaniel speaks to the media during his press conference on Aug 7, 2022 (Brennan Asplen/Miami Dolphins)

Miami coach Mike McDaniel was Mostert’s offensive coordinator in San Francisco, and when he was asked about his progression, he said “he’s a different type of athlete, he has a different type of mindset, and I’m just very happy for him. He was told he shouldn’t have an NFL Career from his draft day. He’s one of the strongest-willed people I’ve ever been around.”

Mostert wasn’t the only one wowing fans, as Bradley Chubb dominated the Jets, specifically their tackle Mekhi Becton, who was matched up against Chubb all game. Chubb was able to sack New York quarterbacks three times. On top of that, he forced two fumbles and totaled seven tackles.

Jets defensive back Sauce Gardner seemed very frustrated in the postgame availabilities, saying “we need to give it everything we’ve got. We have three more games to go out there and show what we have.”

The Jets season has been a massive disappointment, even more so now with the Dolphins being able to execute a season series sweep on them for the third time in four seasons.

Miami’s victory puts its destiny in its own hands for postseason positioning. If the Dolphins win out, they will earn the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

The most difficult stretch of their season, though, is coming up. Next week, Miami (10-4) will remain at home on Christmas Eve to take on the 10-4 Dallas Cowboys.

As for the 5-9 Jets, they were officially eliminated from the playoffs and will play a game for pride and potentially a better draft position on Sunday against the 4-10 Washington Commanders.

Anthony Milian is a junior at Florida International University majoring in Digital Broadcasting. He enjoys watching and analyzing sports, reading and learning more about sports history, and spending time with his family and friends