1) Red Zone Woes
The Dolphins played another game, this time against the New York Jets, where they competed for 60 minutes and were in position to win. Miami's offense drove the ball into the red zone five times against a talented Jets defense, but couldn't execute clean enough to cross the goal line. As an offense, Miami has shown the ability to find a way to score points in the red zone over the last month and a half. The inability to run the football, find an open receiver or defeat defensive pressure kept the Dolphins from their fourth win of the season. Miami settled for seven Jason Sanders field goals, which broke the single-game franchise record of six set by K Olindo Mare on Oct. 17, 1999 at New England. It was great news for Sanders, but frustrating and demoralizing for the offense. It was the difference in the game because the Dolphins never capitalized on long drives and momentum, allowing the Jets to hang around and keep the score close.
2) Lacking Defensive Pressure
The Miami defense finally registered a sack late in the fourth quarter when rookie Andrew Van Ginkel recorded his first career on the final possession of the game. That sack put the Jets offense well behind the chains and appeared to set the stage for a Dolphins win, but an interference call decided by a booth review gave the Jets new life and cleared the path to a victory. Lacking consistent pressure against New York quarterback Sam Darnold gave the second year player time to move within and outside the pocket. It also gave the Jets wide outs time to exploit openings in the Dolphins secondary that would lead to extending drives or scoring chances. The touchdown to Robbie Anderson was a result of Darnold having more than enough time to scan the secondary and find his big play receiver, who filled an opening in the middle of the Miami zone coverage, and score from 26 yards out. The other play that stands out occurred on the last drive of the game. The Dolphins decided to bring pressure against Darnold, much like they did late in the home game last month that created a sack, and closed the game out for Miami. This time, the corner blitz didn't get there in time, and the Jets took advantage of the aggressive defensive play call. Safety Steven Parker was late getting to wide out Vyncint Smith, who turned a short pass it into a 37-yard gain that included a high-step over another Dolphins defender. This play help set up the game-winning kick by place kicker Sam Ficken from 44 yards out.
3) Missing Parker's Presence
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick only looked to wide out DeVante Parker twice in the first half against the Jets. The second connection on Miami's third offensive series was a lot like we've seen over the past few weeks from Parker, snagging a well thrown pass over an opposing defensive back for an explosive play. The result was a 21-yard reception on a third-and-six play that gave the Dolphins a first down close to midfield. It also resulted in Parker landing awkwardly on the turf, hitting head first and missing the rest of the game in concussion protocol. The injury to Parker, coupled with a later injury to Albert Wilson, limited the play calling, and offensive formations used in the second half. Although Isaiah Ford and Allen Hurns combined for nine receptions for 106 yards, it wasn't enough to stretch the field or create the explosive play Miami needed to take control of the game. Fitzpatrick also tried to get tight end Mike Gesicki involved, especially in the red zone targeting him six times, but only resulting in one catch for six yards.