The only thing uglier than the weather at New Meadowlands Stadium Sunday was the football.
The Jets (9-4), hailed as Super Bowl contenders for the first three months of the season, turned in their second straight stinker in a rain-soaked, wind-swept 10-6 loss to the Miami Dolphins.
Mark Sanchez looked just as lost he did during Gang Green’s humiliating 45-3 defeat to AFC East-leading New England last Monday night, a performance that prompted Rex Ryan to literally bury a game ball just outside the team’s practice facility earlier this week.
The tough-talking Jets coach might want to get the shovel out again after watching the film from this one.
Sanchez completed just 17-of-44 passes for 216 yards with an interception and a fumble as both turnovers led to the Dolphins’ only scoring drives of the game.
“The turnovers obviously hurt us early,” Ryan said. “We had poor execution, on offense in particular.”
However, the second-year quarterback did toss an apparent touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes in the back corner of the end zone late in the second quarter. But the former Super Bowl MVP dropped the ball, forcing the Jets to settle for a 35-yard field goal and a 10-3 halftime deficit.
The late-game magic that the Jets rode during a four-game winning streak prior to the Patriots loss averted them as Sanchez was sacked on 4th-and-16 on the Jets' final drive with 47 seconds to play.
The Dolphins (7-6), who kept their slim playoff hopes alive for at least another week, ran out the clock as the Jets completed their ninth consecutive quarter without a touchdown.
“Clearly we have talent, but we’re not getting it done,” Ryan said. “We need to find a way to get better. We have to get better.”