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Jets grades: Special teams a bright spot

The Jets had a sudden collapse at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 22, 2017. After leading by 14 points entering the fourth quarter, the Jets committed costly penalties and quarterback Josh McCown threw a critical interception in the final minute in a 31-28 loss to the Dolphins. The Jets had a chance to move out of the basement of the AFC East. Instead, they remain there at 3-4, following a contest in which they played well on defense for three quarters, getting three sacks, picking off two passes and knocking Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler out of the game. Credit: Newsday / Calvin Watkins

Offense: D

First the good news: The running game averaged 4.2 yards per carry, Josh McCown threw three touchdown passes and backup right tackle Brent Qvale played well in placed of injured Brandon Shell (neck). Now the bad: McCown threw a key interception in the final minute and the offense produced minus-4 yards in the fourth quarter. After taking a 28-14 lead, the Jets punted on their next three possessions before the interception.

Defense: C

This was probably the Jets’ best defensive game of the season. There were three sacks, 12 quarterback hits — including one that knocked Jay Cutler out of the game — seven tackles for a loss and four pass breakups. Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson, who didn’t record a sack, stayed busy with four tackles, a quarterback hurry and an interception. Not practicing might have been the best move for the nicked-up Wilkerson, who is playing with toe and shoulder injuries. Cornerback Buster Skrine had two fourth-quarter holding penalties that hurt. The rest of the secondary played well, including safety Jamal Adams, who tipped a pass leading to Wilkerson’s pick.

Special teams: B

There were no field-goal attempts by Chandler Catanzaro, but punter Lachlan Edwards came out seven times. He had a net average of 41.1 yards including two punts inside the 20 and a 60-yarder. Jeremy Kerley returned four punts but averaged only 6 yards. The Jets held the Dolphins to 8.3 yards per punt return.

Coaching: D

After a wonderful start with the offense, John Morton’s group stalled down the stretch. The defense played well but gave up 17 fourth-quarter points. The Jets committed a season-high 12 penalties for 124 yards. While the players are making the mistakes, something is getting lost in translation from what the coaches expect.

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