MIAMI -- The Dolphins and Jets have staged some games that grab you by the throat. The Jets once scored 23 points in the fourth quarter and won in overtime. The Dolphins' Dan Marino once faked spiking the ball and threw a winning touchdown.
There has been heart-breaking moments: Wesley Walker's touchdown catch won a 51-45 shootout for the Jets and Mark Duper's one-handed catch in the final minute won one for the Dolphins.
There even have been career-ending moments, like when Dolphins center Dwight Stephenson was blindsided by the Jets' Marty Lyons.
Monday night's game, which Miami won 31-27 (BOX SCORE | RECAP), goes in the pantheon of great ones from this rivalry. Here are four things we learned:
1. The Wildcat is here to stay. It was fitting the game was settled on a simple snap to Ronnie Brown,who ran a simple two yards up the middle against the coach who was the most strategic critic of the Wildcat's effectiveness last year.
As Baltimore's defensive coordinator, Rex Ryan showed how to stuff the Dolphins' Wildcat formation. On Monday, the Dolphins showed the new Jets coach how it works.
The Dolphins ran 16 plays for 110 yards (6.9-yard average). And that's not counting Pat White's three plays on a final, 70-yard scoring drive in which the Dolphins had four players take snaps from center: Chad Henne, Ronnie Brown, Ricky Williams and White, who ran six yards for a first down.
The Dolphins officially don't tally White as a Wildcat quarterback since they didn't use an unbalanced line with him. Whatever, the thing worked, as here's how Ryan began his postgame comments:
"First off, it was a complete embarrassment by our defense and by me,'' he said. "Obviously, we need to prepare better. I didn't have the defense prepared the way they should have been, and I take full responsibility for that ... I've never been involved in a game like that in my life."
2. Braylon Edwards looks like a home run -- if this is the Braylon Edwards the Jets get. It's telling that Edwards' three-yard touchdown catch was the smallest of his biggest plays. Traded on Wednesday, practicing on Thursday and playing in his first game for the Jets on Monday, Edwards caught a diving, twisting 34-yarder that set up another Jets touchdown. He also drew a pass interference with five minutes to go, putting them within two yards of what became the go-ahead touchdown to make it 27-24.
In all, Edwards caught five passes for 64 yards and showed the kind of talent that flashed on and mostly off in Cleveland. He made the kind of New York entrance that stars make. Now the question becomes: Is this who he is?
"We will be a dangerous offense,'' Edwards said.
3. Finally, the Dolphins might have a long-term answer at quarterback. Let's not talk ahead of the moment, but Dolphins fans can salivate over this stat: In Marino's final 13 seasons, he had one game in which his quarterback rating was more than the 130.4 rating Chad Henne had in his second start.
Chad Pennington provided great stop-gap quarterbacking for the Dolphins last year. But in the past five years the Dolphins have spent five second-round and two fifth-round picks -- virtually an entire draft -- on quarterbacks. A.J. Feeley. Daunte Culpepper. John Beck. Henne. White.
If Monday is the future, Henne looks like he might be the answer. He directed fourth-quarter touchdown drives of 64, 84 and 70 yards. He brought the long ball back to the offense, completing a 53-yard touchdown pass to Ted Ginn Jr., whose speed can be utilized with Henne's arm strength.
"We made the quarterback look like Dan Marino,'' Ryan said.
Easy, Dolphins fans. Take it easy.
4. Ryan needs work on his endgame. After the Dolphins converted third and 10 from the Jets 16, there was just under a minute left. The Jets had two timeouts. The Dolphins had the ball at the Jets 4. If Ryan takes a timeout, the Jets have some time when they get the ball back, no matter how the Dolphins score. Instead, Ryan let the Dolphins run the clock until Brown scored with six seconds left.