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Jets' Top 3 Players, Plays of the Game

Posted Dec 2, 2014

Chris Johnson, Greg Salas, Darrin Walls & David Harris in the MNF Spotlight vs. Miami

The day after each Jets game, win or lose, Randy Lange and T.J. Brennan will look at our top players and plays from that game, including videos and stories on each player and play.

Several Jets players had big games and made big plays against the Dolphins before eventually falling 16-13, in the lowest-scoring Monday night game of the season. Here are our lists of the three plays and players of the game for the Green & White. Let us know what you thought of this list and if you had any other candidates:

PLAYERS OF THE GAME

RB Chris Johnson

Johnson jumpstarted the Jets' rushing attack that racked up 277 yards on the ground, carrying the ball a season-high 17 times for 105 yards. Monday night was the first time Johnson rushed for over 100 yards in a Jets uniform.

“This is the most fun I’ve had all year,” Johnson said after the game. “But at the end of the day, it put a big damper on it because we didn’t get the victory.”

Johnson couldn’t take all the credit for his performance, directing the praise to the big guys up front blocking Dolphin defenders.

“The offensive line got up on them and were pushing those guys around,” he said, “giving not just me but all the running backs lanes to run.”

CB Darrin Walls

Head coach Rex Ryan said during training camp that he believed Walls could lead the league in interceptions if he were able to catch the ball better. After letting one drop from his hands in the second quarter, Walls made up for it in the third, picking off a Ryan Tannehill pass intended for Dolphins RB Lamar Miller, who deflected it up in the air and into Walls’ hands.

“It was kind of a lucky bounce. I was in Cover-2, and I was waiting for the QB to throw it to the flat and he threw it to the flat,” Walls told newyorkjets.com’s Eric Allen. “I think we got pressure on the play and he threw the ball to the back that he couldn't handle so it bounced up and I caught it.”

It was Walls’ first interception as a Jet and his first since Game 16 of 2011 when he was with the Falcons.

LB David Harris

"The Hitman" was all over the field, registering a team-high 11 tackles, one sack and one tackle for loss.

“I felt like on defense, we made them one-dimensional, but at the end they made plays and we didn't,” Harris said. “We allowed them to get into field goal range and their kicker made a big kick for them.”

Harris’ play near the line of scrimmage helped the defense hold the Dolphins to 74 yards on the ground.


PLAYS OF THE GAME

Chris Johnson 47-yard run to Miami 20, first quarter, 8:15 remaining

Something about Miami brings out the best in Johnson. As a Titan, he averaged 116 yards a game and 5.0 a carry in three games against the Dolphins. And Monday night, he dusted off some CJ2K moves on his 47-yard burst to set up our only touchdown.

Johnson took Geno Smith's handoff and flowed to the right behind blocks by RG Willie Colon, RT Breno Giacomini, TE Jeff Cumberland and pulling LG Oday Aboushi. At the line he shot the rapids back to the left and left four Miami defenders — DE Olivier Vernon, safeties Louis Delmas and S Jimmy Wilson, and CB R.J. Stanford fighting off Eric Decker's block — grasping air. Vernon pursued, threw off Jeremy Kerley and finally made the tackle at the 20.

Greg Salas 20-yard touchdown run, first quarter, 7:45 remaining

That crowd-pleaser set up Salas' touchdown end-around, giving him his first pro TD on his second pro run and his fifth 20-yard play this season.

Salas was flanked wide right, then motioned left before the snap. Smith faked the handoff to Chris Ivory and eight Dolphins in the box initially followed him. But the handoff went to Salas at the Miami 28 and he then galloped through open space between blocks by Decker and Zach Sudfeld, and spun into the end zone off of a grab by Stanford at the 2.

Said Jon Gruden in the ESPN booth, "Nobody in the state of Florida expected the Jets to run a reverse with Greg Salas."

The shame of it was that on his first offensive touch since his 27-yard reception against Denver four games earlier, on which he sustained wrist and ankle injuries, Salas suffered a hamstring pull on this play, possibly right after he took the handoff. We'll see later this week if he's able to dress for the Vikings on Sunday.

David Harris 10-yard sack of Tannehill, second quarter, 0:55 remaining

Harris' big game on defense included his third sack of the season, giving him 29.5, including playoffs, for his career. It came at an opportune time, when the Dolphins had driven from their 38 to a first-and-10 at the Jets 25 at the 1:00 mark.

The Jets gave a 4-2 look out of the nickel, but Harris had something else in mind besides a pass drop. He perfectly timed his A-gap blitz as part of a five-man rush, bumping the right shoulder of LG Shelley Smith, who let him through, and then ripping past the late pickup of RB Daniel Thomas to take Tannehill down at the 35.

The 'Fins made it back only to the 25 after that and settled for Caleb Sturgis' first of three field goals from 43 yards out as the first half came to an end.



NYJETS.COM SUGGESTS:

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READ: Jets' Run Had 'Fins on Their Heels for a Half

WATCH: Chrebet: 'I'll Never Forget Tonight'

WATCH: Cumberland: 'Pretty Much Sums Up Our Season'

WATCH: Geno: 'The Game Plan Was Working'

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