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Jets' grades: Defense held up better than expected, gets a B

Nate Hairston of the  Jets celebrates his

Nate Hairston of the  Jets celebrates his interception during the second quarter against the Dolphins with his teamates at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. Credit: Jim McIsaac

OFFENSE: C

This wasn’t a good performance, but they did just enough to win. After their failed to get in the red zone or score a touchdown last week in Cincinnati, the Jets got inside Miami’s 20 three times and scored two touchdowns. The one time they didn’t get points, they couldn't get one yard on second-and-1, third-and-1 and fourth-and-1. Sam Darnold made some bad throws and decisions. He overthrew what should have been a Robby Anderson touchdown, underthrew Vyncint Smith leading to an interception, and he got sacked instead of throwing the ball away in the final minute with no timeouts left. But he didn’t make the fatal mistake and made enough plays to set up the winning field goal. The Jets’ offense sputtered in the second half until that final drive.  

DEFENSE: B

This was the old bend-don’t-break game for the Jets’ defense. They allowed the Dolphins inside the red zone six times, and inside the 10 three times and didn’t give up a touchdown. The Dolphins scored all of their points on seven field goals. Miami rang up 362 yards of offense and the No. 1 run defense gave up 122 rushing yards, including 65 by Ryan Fitzpatrick, who also threw for 245 yards. The Jets also had some key penalties: a hold on James Burgess that negated a Burgess pick-6 and a roughing the passer after a Miami incompletion. Both of them came on field-goal drives. But considering the Jets were without their best player, Jamal Adams, the defense held up better than expected against a team that has been putting up points.  

SPECIAL TEAMS: A-

Sam Ficken saved the day for the Jets. He missed an extra point early in the game after a bad hold by Lachlan Edwards. But Ficken made all three of his field-goal attempts, including the 44-yard game-winner with no time remaining. Ty Montgomery returned four kickoffs for 90 yards.

COACHING: B+

The offense got too conservative at times, and only had 76 yards in the second half before the winning drive. Adam Gase took a big part of the blame for some play-calling. But this was the first game the Jets played without Le’Veon Bell, who garners a lot of defensive attention. It was an adjustment. The bigger adjustment came on defense where Gregg Williams didn’t have three starters in his secondary – Adams, Brian Poole and Arthur Maulet. They also lost Quinnen Williams to an injury during the game. But Greg Williams worked wonders with who he had and that enabled the Jets to win the game.

GRADE: B+

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