MIAMI - They might've had butterflies the size of pterodactyls swarming through the pits of their stomachs, given the eerily similar scenario that was unfolding before their very eyes.

When the Jets took on the rival Dolphins in prime time at Sun Life Stadium almost exactly a year ago, they found themselves in a see-saw affair. They surrendered three fourth-quarter leads in a game that wasn't decided until the closing seconds, when the Dolphins yanked the Jets' hearts out on Ronnie Brown's game-winning touchdown.

But even with that on their minds, the Jets found a way to get it done Sunday night with 70,481 mostly orange-clad fans screaming their heads off.

LaDainian Tomlinson had a key 2-yard touchdown run with 1:55 remaining and the Jets staved off Miami's last gasp on fourth-and-4 from the 5-yard line, sending them to a scrappy 31-23 victory that left them tied with the Dolphins and Patriots for first place in the AFC East at 2-1.

"To be honest, I thought about it. There's no question I thought about it,'' coach Rex Ryan said. "I was like, 'Oh, you've got to be kidding me, man. It's déjà vu all over again.' But we brought in some of these guys to help us close out some of these games - Jason Taylor had some great pressures - and I'm just proud of the way our guys finished."

Braylon Edwards, benched for the entire first quarter as a disciplinary measure after Tuesday's early-morning DWI arrest, had a 67-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter that gave the Jets a 21-17 lead. Mark Sanchez, who was coming off his best game as a pro, completed 15 of 28 attempts for 256 yards and threw three touchdown passes for the second consecutive week, marking the first time he's done that in his 20 career starts.

Dustin Keller caught touchdown passes of 24 and 12 yards to give the Jets a 14-0 lead, igniting an offense that amassed 402 yards and racked up 20 first downs. They came back from a 17-14 deficit on Edwards' touchdown, and with the Jets leading 24-23 after the third field goal by Miami's Dan Carpenter (a 50-yarder), their 12-play, 80-yard drive capped by Tomlinson's score was a big-time answer, responding just when they needed it most.

"Scoring that touchdown was big for us," Tomlinson said. "It showed a lot. It showed that this team can handle adversity and we were able to do that."

Chad Henne completed 26 of 44 passes for 363 yards and two TDs with one interception. With All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis out with a tight hamstring, the Jets had problems with wide receiver Brandon Marshall. He had 10 catches for 166 yards and a touchdown.

After Miami seized the momentum on Marshall's first touchdown as a Dolphin, an 11-yard third-quarter pass from Henne, Edwards made an impression the very first time he was targeted.

Edwards caught a simple hitch from Sanchez along the left sideline, spun on cornerback Jason Allen to leave him looking silly, and hit the afterburners. His 67-yard TD gave the Jets a 21-17 lead with 8:29 left in the third, and they entered the fourth quarter up 21-20.

"It was just an out route," Edwards said. "Been practicing all week. Been a good practice route for us all week. Jason Allen slipped. I just tried to stay up the sideline and outflank the safety."

Fighting off the hostile early-game atmosphere, the Jets started in solid fashion. They sent a message to Miami that they were starting this divisional matchup by picking up where they left off last week against the Patriots, marching 72 yards in 10 plays.

Sanchez hooked up with Keller for the TD, connecting with the tight end on second-and-9 from Miami's 24. Keller beat safety Yeremiah Bell on an out-and-up and Sanchez found him just behind the front right pylon for a 7-0 lead with 9:17 left in the first quarter.

Keller and Sanchez again made sweet music together two drives later to cap a seven-play, 90-yard drive. Backed up at their 10, the Jets put together another nice package of plays and got into scoring position, aided by an unnecessary-roughness penalty.

On second-and-7 at the Dolphins' 12, Sanchez dropped back and looked for Keller over the middle. Keller beat Bell and linebacker Bobby Carpenter for his second touchdown of the game and third in the last two games.

"To jump out fast like that on the road is huge," Sanchez said, "because it kind of takes the crowd out of it and it's just a great effort. I'm really proud of our guys."

Miami shaved the Jets' 14-point cushion in half behind a nine-play, 76-yard drive. Henne hit Anthony Fasano, who ran a curl route and boxed out Eric Smith, on first-and-goal from the 3, making it 14-7 with 9:13 left in the second quarter.

Carpenter's 44-yard field goal trimmed the Jets' advantage to 14-10 with 1:02 left in the half. Jets kicker Nick Folk's 61-yard attempt was blocked as the half ended.

"This gives us a little momentum," former Dolphin Taylor said. "Our goal was to come down here and get a win regardless of all the fanfare and all the stuff that was going on outside of true football. Our plan was to come down here and try to get a win and take first place in the division for right now. We understand we have another division game next week [against Buffalo] and it makes it even more important to win this one - particularly on the road in Miami's home opener and all the stuff going on around it."

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