Besides the opening-drive touchdown, Bryce Petty excelled in another area as the Jets' starting QB: his hard count.
"That's just something that was in the game plan," Petty said when I asked him if barking out signals to get defenders to jump offside was part of his game at Baylor or at Midlothian High. "It's was working good and you like that because, shoot, that's a free 5 yards, so continue to work on that."
Why not? Petty's bark got three Miami D-linemen — Andre Branch, Ndamukong Suh and Jordan Phillips — to leap out of their stances early in the first two quarters.
If you don't remember that being in the Jets' quarterbacking repertoire in a while, you'd be right. Ryan Fitzpatrick executed eight hard counts last season but no more than two in any one game. Mark Sanchez became good at it in 2010 and '11, six each season but again no more than two in a game.
The last Jets QB with three hard counts in a game was Chad Pennington, who did it twice in 2006, vs. Detroit in Game 7 and Houston in Game 11, in the middle of a whopping 24-hard-count season.
While Petty didn't admit to having a monster hard count as a Texas high school QB, he did recall, "As a young kid growing up, you always watched the hard counts, the Peyton Mannings and whatever. Always keep 'em on their toes."
Dolphins Helped Even MoreThose were Miami's first three presnap penalties last Saturday night. They committed four more after that — two offensive false starts and an illegal shift and another defensive offside when Fitzpatrick was under center.
The seven presnap penalties are the most by a Jets opponent in the last five seasons. The last seven-presnap games both came in 2011, in the season-opening win over the Cowboys and again in the Game 7 win over the Chargers.
Robby RabbitSpeaking of that opening drive once more, Jets fans might want to know if there was anything really special about Robby Anderson's 40-yard catch-and-run score from Petty only 3:28 gone in the game.
We can tell you that it was the 67th-fastest score in a game in franchise history and the 53rd-fasted TD. We can add that it was the 42nd-quickest scrimmage TD and the 21st-quickest passing TD.
But the part that Anderson really likes is that it was the second-fastest TD in Jets annals scored by a rookie, the fastest being Leon Washington's 5-yard run against the Lions in the aforementioned Pennington hard count game in 2006.
And that makes Anderson the rookie to score the fastest at the start of a Jets game on a TD pass.
"That's pretty good," Anderson said with a smile. Yes, Robby, it was pretty good.
Brandon's BluesAt the opposite end of the wideout spectrum, it was a mystery that Brandon Marshall caught just one of the 11 passes targeted to him against the Dolphins. We've charted targeted passes by the Jets since 1994 and this was one for the record books.
No receiver had any game in that 23-season span with one catch on 10 or more targets. The closest we could find were a pair of 2-for-10 games, by WR Chas Wilson at Carolina in 1995 and TE Dustin Keller vs. Buffalo in 2009. There were also only two 1-for-9 games in that span, by then-rookie WR Keyshawn Johnson at the Bills in '96 and Santana Moss vs. New England in '02.
The 10 balls that eluded Marshall were of all varieties. One was a plain old drop, a few more were off-line Petty and Fitz passes or passes defended by Dolphins DBs. One came on some very aggressive yet unflagged coverage by CB Xavien Howard.
We know this: B.Marshall still has a lot of talent and a lot of pride. He will bust out of his 1-for-11 slump.