Dolphins Rout Jets: Instant Reaction
The Miami Dolphins did exactly what they were supposed to do against the New York Jets on Sunday. They took care of business against a really bad football team.
And for Dolphins fans, they got to see Tua Tagovailoa throw some passes in mop-up duty and completing both of them to get a game-ending first down.
Now, the Dolphins' 24-0 victory was no work of art, but this game also was never in doubt from the moment Joe Flacco threw two incompletions on deep passes on the Jets' first two drives and Miami took the lead.
The Dolphins led 21-0 at halftime, setting a remarkable franchise first with two consecutive games with a lead of 20 or more points at the half.
Ryan Fitzpatrick personified the kind of game it was because his performance was merely solid, but he did throw three touchdown passes for a second consecutive game.
The touchdown passes went to tight end Adam Shaheen and Durham Smythe, as well as wide receiver Preston Williams.
There's obviously something about the Jets that brings out the best in Williams, though it just might be pure coincidence, but his touchdown in the first half was his third in two career games against Adam Gase's team.
The play was one of the Dolphins have run frequently, with Williams isolated wide left and running a quick slant. This is a good play that takes advantage of Williams' great size, which makes it difficult for a DB to get back into position once Williams gets inside and can use his big frame.
Shaheen scored his second touchdown in two games and set up another score with a 43-yard reception down the middle.
This already is looking like a good trade for the Dolphins, who acquired Shaheen from the Bears for a late-round conditional draft pick.
On defense, cornerback Xavien Howard continued to do what Xavien Howard does, coming up with an interception for a fourth consecutive game.
That's the second-longest streak in Dolphins history behind the five-game streak recorded by cornerback Dick Westmoreland way back in 1967.
Howard's return to form combined with Byron Jones' return to the lineup last week has given the Dolphins the kind of cornerback play most NFL teams would envy.
The Dolphins pass rush had another effective outing against a really porous Jets offensive line.
Defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah had his fourth and fifth sacks of the season as he continues to prove a tremendous free agent acquisition.
Christian Wilkins also had a sack, which came one play after he had a tackle for loss. His performance against the Jets was his most noticeable since the opener against the New England Patriots.
It was a dominant effort all around by the Dolphins defense, though it cannot be overstated just how bad the Jets are.
The best example came the way they squandered their three best scoring opportunities.
The first came after they had a second-and-2 from the Dolphins 24 before La'Michal Perine was stuffed for no gain on second down, the Jets were flagged for offensive pass interference on third down, and on the repeat of third down the center snapped the ball before Flacco was ready, leading to a punt.
The second came when the Jets had a third-and-1 at the Miami 24, but Flacco was called for grounding with Shaq Lawson bearing down on him. That resulted in a 13-yard loss and Sam Ficken then badly missed on a 55-yard field goal.
And then there was the 28-yard sack by Ogbah when the Jets had a third-and-4 at the Dolphins 29-yard line.
Along with Ogbah, Wilkins and Howard, there were several solid performances among the Dolphins defense, with linebacker Elandon Roberts and Lawson quickly coming to mind.
The offense didn't do very much in the second half, even though it really didn't need to do much with the big lead.
The inability to convert a single third-down situation certainly doesn't speak very well to the performance of the offense, but Myles Gaskin had the best outing of his young career.
And there were the three touchdowns in the first half.
And the Dolphins won handily.
And that's all that mattered on this day. To not have a letdown against a really bad team.
In the end, there wasn't anything spectacular about this Dolphins victory. But they still won by 24 points.
So there's that.