The New York Jets snapped their four game losing streak against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, as they finally defeated their division rival, 22-21. This was one of the only two positives in this game for the Gang Green. The other was that the defense, despite being depleted by even more injuries, managed to keep Ryan Fitzpatrick and Co. out of the end zone. They kept bending but never broke, limiting Miami to seven field goals.
QB Sam Darnold almost lost it for the Jets when he took a sack that effectively put the team out of field goal range with just 1:17 remaining in the final quarter. It looked like all was lost for the Gang Green when Darnold’s pass to WR Vyncint Smith was ruled incomplete on the ensuing 3rd and 18. That’s when the Jets got help from the refs. The no call on the field became a defensive pass interference that gave the Jets a 1st and 10 on Miami’s 38-yard line instead of a 4th and 18 from 46.
Darnold then moved the Jets inside Miami’s 30-yard line, just enough for PK Sam Ficken to score the game-winning field goal as time expired. Did the refs make the right call? Maybe or maybe not. Both teams struggled throughout the game, and frankly, it should have been a tie. The Jets won for the fifth time this season, and for the fourth time in the last five games.
Sam Darnold was 20 of 36, 270 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT. Seven of his completions went to WR Robby Anderson who went over 100 receiving yards for the second game in a row. Anderson caught 7 for 116 yards, 1 TD.
RB Bilal Powell, who started in place of RB Le’Veon Bell (out with illness) gained 74 yards on 19 carries. He got yards than Bell did in the previous 12 games, raising the question of whether the Jets needed to sign Le’Veon Bell at all. Bell’s 589 rushing yards this season (3.2 yards/carry) could have been easily amassed by Powell, a free agent no name running back or a low round draft pick. Bell’s $52.5M contract with $25M in guaranteed money might haunt the Gang Green for years to come. GM Joe Douglas will have a task of unloading Bell to another team in the offseason but don’t expect the Jets to get much in return.
Bell’s salary cap number is going to balloon to $15.5M next season (7.8% of the entire salary cap). Would another team take on that kind of salary for a running back who’s averaged just 3.2 yards per carry this season? Doubtful. The Jets will have $19M of dead money if they cut him before June 1st. They will save $500K and take on $15M of dead money if they cut him after June 1st.
LB Jordan Jenkins recorded both Jets’ sacks in this game. He has now overtaken S Jamal Adams, who sat out with an injury, as the team’s sack leader. Jordan now has 7 sacks this season, which equals his total from 2018.
On Thursday the Jets will take on the Baltimore Ravens (11-2). The early line has Baltimore favored by 15 points in what many think might be Ghost Game 2.0. The Jets’ defense has struggled against mobile quarterbacks this season and they will be facing the best one there is, Lamar Jackson…