MIAMI -- They called it the ultimate "team win," crediting themselves for gutting out a victory against the relentless and physical Dolphins.
But truth be told, it was luck -- and, more specifically, Joe Philbin's ill-fated timeout -- that gifted the Jets Sunday with a 23-20 overtime victory.
Had Dan Carpenter not pulled a 48-yard field-goal try to the left with 7:53 to go in overtime, there would have been no 38-yard Mark Sanchez pass to Santonio Holmes two plays later, or Nick Folk's winning 33-yard kick.
But "what ifs" don't matter when you're 2-0 in your division, right? Wins and losses are what count in the NFL, and for the second time this season, the Jets beat an AFC opponent.
The Jets (2-1) may have won the game, but they lost Darrelle Revis. Their star cornerback left and did not return after suffering a non-contact injury with about four minutes left in the third quarter. Revis' left knee appeared to buckle as he tried to get in position to defend Daniel Thomas. After the play, Revis was on his back writhing in pain, grabbing his knee.
Revis, who missed last week's loss in Pittsburgh because of a concussion, was treated on the field for several minutes by head trainer John Mellody. Revis limped off the field under his own power, but a short time later, he was carted to the locker room.
Revis will have an MRI Monday to determine the extent of the damage.
"Whew. I don't know if I've been in a tougher one than this," Rex Ryan said, purposely tempering his excitement. "Feel very fortunate. We expected to win, but my goodness it was tough. Obviously, at the end, we got some breaks, but we'll take it."
The "break" came in the form of a timeout by Philbin, the Dolphins' first-year coach, who tried to ice Folk with 6:09 left in OT. The referees blew the whistle just as the ball was snapped and before Dolphins tackle Randy Starks blocked Folk's kick.
Folk said he heard the whistle and thought his linemen let up, but "I like to get one in," he said. "So I tell [long snapper] Tanner [Purdum] all the time, even if it's late, to go ahead and snap the ball and we'll put it down and kick it."
Given a reprieve, Folk's field goal capped an ugly game that featured three interceptions (two by Sanchez), several silly penalties and offensive deficiencies for much of the first half. Sanchez was 21-for-45 for 306 yards and a touchdown. Dolphins rookie Ryan Tannehill completed 16 of 39 passes for 196 yards and a touchdown. He also threw a pick-six to safety LaRon Landry early in the third quarter.
Despite Holmes' 147 yards on nine catches -- personal bests in his three seasons as a Jet -- the game still was in doubt until Folk hit the winner.
Miami's Reggie Bush (10 carries, 61 yards) also suffered a left knee injury late in the second quarter and did not return. A lucky break for the Jets, who couldn't contain the shifty back. The Jets allowed 381 yards, including 185 rushing.
"In certain situations, we didn't execute," Landry said, "and we got a 'W'."
Calvin Pace said the team showed poise in the face of adversity. "From not starting fast, to Revis getting hurt. [We just kept] fighting," Pace said. "I'm proud of the guys. Even though it didn't look good, we found a way.''
The game featured plenty of Tim Tebow, who lined up on the opening drive as a slot receiver/tight end. He had nine first-half snaps on offense, including one at quarterback. But Tebow's biggest contribution came on a fake punt, on which he ran for 5 yards and a first down.
Jeremy Kerley gave the Jets their first lead 20-17 with 3:01 to go in the fourth on a 7-yard pass from Sanchez. All the Jets had to do was stop a rookie quarterback from driving his team into field-goal range -- and they couldn't. Carpenter's 41-yard field goal with 16 seconds left sent the game into overtime.
Even though Sanchez admitted he wasn't at his best, the quarterback said he was confident the Jets would pull it out.
"I had no doubt that if this thing came down to the wire, we've got the firepower to win it," Sanchez said. "I always feel like that."