It wasn't pretty, but a win is a win (especially on the road against a divisional opponent). With the 49ers and Texans up next, Gang Green has a lot of work to do. The Jets managed a come-from-behind win despite numerous miscues, missed opportunities and a weak running attack. Fortunately for the Jets, usually dependable Dan Carpenter missed two field goals and rookie head coach Joe Philbin nullified a Dolphins blocked field goal while trying to ice Nick Folk.
Offense: Sanchez and Other Issues
Despite unimpressive stats, I think Sanchez played well. Most importantly, with the team down by four and less than six minutes left, he drove the Jets down for the field for a Jeremy Kerley 7-yard touchdown pass.
Throughout the game, Sanchise took some big hits while holding strong in the pocket. His first interception was due to Clyde Gates failing to run a crisp route, and his low completion percentage (21-for-45) was in large part due to bad route running, dropped passes (including a Stephen Hill drop in the end zone) and offensive line breakdowns that kept him heavily pressured most of the day. In particular, Austin Howard exhibited growing pains. He couldn't handle Cameron Wake in pass protection, getting badly beaten at least four times. On a positive note, Santonio Holmes was an absolute beast, finishing the game 9/147 and drawing two offensive interference penalties.
Defense: Overall, Not Great
The Jets' defensive plays of the game were LaRon Landry's 18-yard pick-six on a pass intended for Anthony Fasano, and Darrelle Revis recovering a Daniel Thomas fumble. However, overall they didn't play great. The Fins found many holes in the Jets defense, rushing the ball on average 4.3 yards per carry. Dolphins running back Reggie Bush was averaging 6.1 per carry and the outcome likely would have been very different had he not gotten hurt at the end of the first half. In terms of pressure, Gang Green recorded no sacks, settling for just two quarterback hits.
Special Teams: Kudos for Folk, Westhoff, Tebow
On special teams, the only standout was placekicker Nick Folk, who was 3-for-3 in field goals, including the overtime gamewinner. Also, mad props to special teams coach Mike Westhoff and Tim Tebow on the call and execution of the fake punt deep in the Jets territory. The gutsy call led to a first down and an eventual score.
Look Ahead: More Powell for 49ers
So, with the 49ers coming to town next week, what adjustments should the Jets make? After the Dolphins game, I think it is clear that Bilal Powell has got to get more carries. The second-year running back ran for 45 yards on 10 carries. Compared to Shonn Greene (19-for-40), he clearly was the better back. Stats aside, Powell looks quicker and has a better burst. Rex, if you want to establish the "ground and pound," please get Powell the ball more.