The Miami Dolphins did exactly what they had to on Sunday afternoon, and that's take care of business by defeating the New York Jets, 23-3.
After somewhat of a slow start, the Dolphins eventually put it all together to play a very complete and solid football game on both sides of the ball. On offense, nearly everyone had a role in contributing and on defense, multiple players made plays to put Miami in position to win the game.
Here are my three observations from today's 23-3 win over the Jets: 1) Tannehill Shines:
We should have known when we saw the sun shining in New York in December, it was going to allow Ryan Tannehill
to throw the ball effectively in MetLife Stadium. The sun shining and low wind gave Tannehill great opportunity to take advantage of passing game, and he did. Tannehill was not only efficient in the passing game, but he was able to hit multiple receivers and locate the football when he needed to, especially on third down. I thought the offensive line was outstanding today, not only providing protection for Tannehill, but allowing the running game to run for 126 yards against the best-run defense in the NFL. Tannehill threw for 331 yards and 2 touchdowns and it was the fourth time this year he was able to throw for over 300 passing yards. The final score of 23-3 is probably the least amount of points that this Dolphins’ offense could have achieved after amazing 454 total yards on the day. But in December, a W is a W and Tannehill’s performance keeps the playoff hopes alive. 2) Wide Receivers Shine:
It’s nice when you can count on two big-time receivers to come up with big time plays in the same game. And that’s what we had today in Mike Wallace
and Brian Hartline
. Wallace had seven catches for 82 yards and turned a simple 7-yard hitch route into a 28-yard touchdown versus man-coverage. Wallace was consistently open against a unit that wasn’t up to the challenge today. And his run after catch opportunities is where Wallace shined brightest. Hartline showed you his consistency and his ability to come in and out of routes, which allowed him run after catch opportunities including the slant route, when he broke two tackles to get into the end zone. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the contribution from tight end Charles 'Big Play' Clay. Clay had seven catches for 80 yards and is turning into a real threat for opposing defenses to game plan against. 3) Dominating Defense:
It was nice to see the Dolphins defense collectively take advantage of a rookie quarterback with consistent pressure in the pocket and gave Geno Smith and Matt Simms nowhere to throw the football. The defense was led by Olivier Vernon
and his 2.5 sacks and seven total tackles, and he was a beast with his speed rush off the edge. The interception by linebacker Dannell Ellerbe
gave the offense an opportunity to kick a field goal at the end of the second quarter and Brent Grimes
’ fourth interception on the year limited the Jets’ scoring chances late in the game. The Dolphins defense only allowed 177 total yards in one of their best performances of the season.