OFFENSE: Sam Darnold had the first 300-yard game of his career, and he made some throws that further the belief that he will be leading the Jets for a long time. But he also made bad throws. He was picked off twice. On the first, he admitted he didn’t see T.J. McDonald. The other, in the end zone, changed the momentum of the game. He threw the ball away when Quincy Enunwa was open in the end zone. Overall, the Jets committed three turnovers, and they could have had more. They recovered their own fumble three times. They were whistled for back-to-back false starts when they were nearing the red zone in the fourth quarter. Down 14, they had to settle for a field goal. The Jets couldn’t get a running game established, as they totaled just 42 yards on the ground. They also have to find a way to get other receivers involved beside Enunwa. He had 11 targets. Robby Anderson only had five.
DEFENSE: Their lack of a pass rush has been well documented. But the Jets got to Ryan Tannehill, sacking the Dolphins quarterback four times. It should have been six, but two were nullified by defensive holding penalties. The Dolphins took advantage of the first one. They scored a touchdown after the drive was extended by Mo Claiborne’s holding penalty. The Jets hurt themselves too often. A 15-yard face-mask penalty by Buster Skrine preceded the Dolphins’ second touchdown, scored by Albert Wilson after Skrine couldn’t make the tackle. The defense did hold the Dolphins scoreless in the second half. But it gave up a 19-yard gain to Frank Gore on third-and-19 late in the game to put it away for Miami.
SPECIAL TEAMS: This was totally different from last week when the special teams played a big part in the Jets’ victory. Returner Andre Roberts, who brought back a punt for a TD on Monday, finished Sunday with 4 return yards. Four. He made some curious decisions early in the game, not fair-catching punts and letting them bounce deeper in Jets territory. They started on the 4 and 10 on their first two possessions of the game. Six times, Darnold started drives from no better than the Jets 17. The one time Roberts attempted to return a kickoff, Charone Peake was called for an illegal block in the back. Kicker Jason Myers kicked field goals of 55 and 41 yards, but he also missed an extra point.
COACHING: Remember when the Jets said they knew the Lions’ plays last week? Well, they didn’t appear to know the Dolphins’ plays at all. Tannehill opened the game with a 20-yard run. The Dolphins’ QB’s 44 yards rushing were 2 more than the Jets as a team. Todd Bowles said the Jets should have someone out there on those plays. “It was a good game plan on their part and not a good game plan on our part,” Bowles said. It’s not what cost the Jets the game, but it set the tone, and Bowles’ words were strong. The Jets said they would be aggressive offensively. They took a shot at the end of the half instead of going for the field goal. Since it didn’t work and the second quarter ended with the ball on the 1, points would have been better. Wasting timeouts earlier kept them from running one more play, and that was costly.