LONDON - The Jets didn't need 350 rolls of toilet paper to clean up the mess that is the Miami Dolphins. All it took was a heavy dose of a healthy Chris Ivory, steady blitzes and one big-time throw by Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Ivory rushed for a career-high 166 yards as the Jets dismantled the Dolphins, 27-14, in front of a sellout crowd of 83,986 at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.
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The Jets improved to 3-1 heading into this week's bye and might have sealed the fate of Dolphins coach Joe Philbin.StatsBoxscore: Jets vs. Dolphins
Despite traveling more than 3,500 miles and adjusting to a five-hour time difference on a short week of preparation, the Jets showed no signs of fatigue in their first AFC East matchup of the season. They outgained Miami 282-65 to take a 20-7 halftime lead and finished with a 425-226 edge. The Dolphins (1-3) were 0-for-12 on third downs and 0-for-4 on fourth downs. Said Jets coach Todd Bowles: "I'll take that all day long."
Asked what London fans learned about the Jets, Brandon Marshall said: "We're aggressive . . . Tough. Strong and physical. That's who we are."
Though the Jets are an admitted work in progress, they believe the win is proof they could be on the verge of something special. "Everybody's bought in to coach Bowles and his message," linebacker Calvin Pace said.
"We're trying to stack wins up and play for something bigger than 8-8 or 4-12, you know?" he added, referencing the records under Rex Ryan the past two seasons. "So it's a great start, a great first quarter of the season. We've just got to keep it going.''
"The sky's the limit for us," cornerback Darrelle Revis said.
Marshall (seven catches, 128 yards) hauled in a 58-yard pass from Fitzpatrick on the Jets' first play from scrimmage. "It was big, man," Ivory said of the catch that set up his 3-yard score two plays later. "That lit a fire right there . . . Gotta start fast."
Ivory took over from there, running circles around the Dolphins, including high-priced defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.
The secret to beating the Jets is simple: Stop Ivory and force them to be one-dimensional. But the Dolphins did anything but. The Jets are 5-1 when Ivory rushes for more than 100 yards.
"That's our philosophy," Marshall said. "We want to run the ball, and if you want to put eight, nine men in the box, we're still going to figure out a way to run the ball."
Eric Decker, who, like Ivory, missed last week's loss to the Eagles because of injury, had four catches for 46 yards and a TD.
Fitzpatrick (16-for-29, 218 yards, TD, interception) made throws when it counted most, but many of his passes were way off line. Still, the Jets overcame those poor throws and 14 penalties for 163 yards with the help of Ivory, Buster Skrine's blitzing and fourth-quarter interceptions by Revis and Marcus Williams.
According to ESPN Stats and Information, Bowles blitzed a defensive back 22 times, the most by any team in five seasons.
The Dolphins are in disarray. There was speculation all week that Philbin was on the hot seat, and NFL.com reported that he could be fired if the Dolphins lost in London.
The Jets, on the other hand, are feeling good.
Said Marshall: "That's championship football right there, where special teams are playing well, the offense is playing well, defense is playing well. That's a great formula for success.''
Bowles, of course, had a far more measured response.
"Through four games, I'm happy," he said. "Sixteen games, we'll see."