First-place Dolphins soar past Jets, improve to 8-3

The Miami Dolphins’ dynamic receiving tandem of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle combined for 216 yards in the NFL’s first-ever Black Friday game, a resounding 34-13 victory over the New York Jets in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

The duo each topped 100 yards in the same game for the sixth time as teammates, and the Dolphins (8-3) padded their first-place lead in the AFC East, while the Jets fell to 4-7.

Miami safety Jevon Holland inflated the Dolphins’ lead by two possessions heading into halftime with a 99-yard pick-six in the second quarter’s final play.

“That was absolutely a huge momentum swing,” Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel said, “[and] there are very few players that could have pulled off what Jevon did.”

Tua Tagovailoa, taking on the Jets for the first time since the 2021 regular season, threw for 243 yards and one touchdown, but also was saddled with two interceptions. One was a pick-six for the Jets just before Holland’s theartics.

“I think it’s doing much more than what is asked. Trying to be a little too aggressive on certain things,” Tagovailoa said. “You just can’t do that. With that pick-six, I basically — to look at it this way — kind of kept them in the game. Our defense played phenomenal up to that point and throughout the entire game. I just can’t do that.”

The lone touchdown thrown by Tagovailoa was caught by none other than Hill, who posted his tenth receiving score of the season from Tagovailoa. That total led the NFL through Friday, before the rest of the Week 12 Sunday slate. Hill closed the win with nine receptions and 102 yards.

Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel enters the field before an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Jets cornerback Brandin Echols accounted for New York’s lone touchdown of the first half, returning the Tagovailoa interception 26 yards to the end zone on a day when New York’s offense amassed just 12 first downs and 159 total yards.

“We’re young on that side and I know they’re fighting. They’re working their tails off,” New York coach Robert Saleh said about the Jets’ offensive struggles. “Coaches are trying to figure out how to put them in the best position possible. They’re practicing. They’re working, they’re deliberate and everyone is doing their best.”

Breece Hall produced 49 total yards while Garrett Wilson had seven receptions for 44 yards and the lone offensive touchdown for the Jets. Tim Boyle threw for 179 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Boyle, who replaced Zach Wilson as the club’s starter last week, also took seven sacks for a loss of 49 yards.

“It’s just coverage issues,” Boyle said of the sacks. “At some point, I have to assess the fact that I can’t put the ball in harm’s way or just got to eat the ball, and get down.” 

The Dolphins didn’t escape MetLife Stadium unscathed. In the fourth quarter, linebacker Jaelan Phillips was carted off due to a non-contact injury to his Achilles. Miami will likely be without Phillips on Sunday, when they take on the Washington Commanders (4-8), who are fresh off a Thanksgiving Day loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

Meanwhile, the Jets on Sunday will face the Atlanta Falcons, who were 4-6 before taking on the New Orleans Saints in Week 12.

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