QB Joe Flacco, Offense Convert Two Third Downs; Defense Flashed at Times Ethan Greenberg
The same issues for the Jets (0-6) continued in a 24-0 loss to the Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday.
"We never put anything together consistently," head coach Adam Gase said. "We haven't done anything well this year at all. We just hurt ourselves so much. ... We have to figure out a way to improve really quickly from top to bottom. Coaches, players, it doesn't matter. We have to get things better."
The offense couldn't find a rhythm and converted its first third down in the fourth quarter. The offense finished 2 of 17 (12%) on third-down conversions. The Jets' scoring opportunities were squashed because of penalties. After starting the game with a pair of three-and-outs, the Green & White crossed midfield and marched to the Dolphins' 24-yard line. TE Ryan Griffin was called for offensive pass interference on third-and-2, which backed up the team to the 34. Then C Connor McGovern snapped the ball early on the next play as QB Joe Flacco was surveying the defense. Flacco recovered and was tackled on the 40, which put the Green & White out of field-goal range.
"It was a tough game," said Flacco, who threw for 186 yards and 1 INT. "The only thing you can in these situations is hold your head up high and keep on fighting and fighting and fighting. It was ugly. We didn't play well, they came after us and we just weren't able to get a lot going."
In the third quarter, Ty Johnson put the offense on the Dolphins 33-yard line with a 34-yard scamper, but Flacco was flagged for intentional grounding three plays later, which backed up the Jets from the Dolphins' 24 to the 37. Sam Ficken couldn't convert on the 55-yard field goal try, his first miss of the season.
The Jets weren't set up with good field position either and started inside their 20-yard line in four of their six first-half possessions. WR-KR Vyncint Smith, who was activated off injured reserve on Saturday, muffed the ensuing kickoff after the Dolphins took a 14-0 lead in the second quarter. Miami, conversely, had three of their seven first-half drives begin in New York territory.
Similar to the Week 4 game against the Broncos, the Jets were victimized by penalties. They had seven flags for 80 yards, 6 flags in the first half (67 yards).
"We have a lot of things to fix on offense," Gase said. "We just have to make the plays when they're there to be made and we have to protect the quarterback better. We can't let Joe be getting teed off on that early in the game."
He added: "It's different things. Keep running when we have a guy beat. It's making sure when we pick up a blitz, we physically get the guy removed from the whole before the quarterback doesn't have a guy in his lap. This game was way less mental issues, it was physical."
The Jets defense couldn't contain QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Dolphins offense in the first half ,but individual players flashed.
DL Bryce Huff, an undrafted rookie free agent out of Memphis, had his first career sack, chasing down Fitzpatrick for a 1-yard loss in the second quarter. On the next play, OLB Tarell Basham had his first sack of the season, putting a stop to a Dolphins drive and keeping their lead at 14-0. Then with 29 seconds left in the first half and the Dolphins in the red zone, Brian Poole picked off Fitzpatrick for his second interception of 2020.
Fitzpatrick had 147 yards, 3 TD passes and 1 INT in the first half, putting the Dolphins up ,21-0. He finished the game with 191 yards, 3 TDs and 2 INTs and completed 66.7% of his passes for a 93.3 rating.
"Those early struggles put us in a hole," S Marcus Maye said. "We fought back the rest of the game, but we can't put ourselves in that whole in the beginning of the game and especially down 21 points that fast, it's tough to fight back even though we played well once we settled in."
Maye had his first interception of the season on a ball intended for WR Preston Williams. Maye had good position on Williams, who did his best to break up the pass as Maye secured possession with the ball on his backside.
"I just read the route and did what I'm coached [to do]. See the ball in the air, go get it. They tried to set that move up a couple times earlier in the game and I was waiting on it, being patient. Fitz finally threw it and I was there ready for it."
The Jets did a good job on third down, holding the Dolphins to 11% (1 of 9). Miami's first third-down conversion came with less than two minutes left in regulation with rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa in the game in relief of Fitzpatrick.
Healthier Offense Doesn't Result in Points
The Jets receivers were healthier than last week, but that didn't result in an improved performance. Breshad Perriman returned to the lineup after missing three games with an ankle injury and Vyncint Smith (core) was activated off injured reserve. Jamison Crowder has been the staple of the WR corps and entered Sunday's game leading the NFL in yards per game. He had three straight games with at least 100 yards but didn't eclipse the century mark against the Dolphins and finished with 7 catches for 48 yards. Perriman, who was targeted on deep passes on the second and third play from scrimmage but both fell incomplete, led the group with 62 yards on 4 receptions.
"Our attention to detail for the most part," Perriman said on what the offense needs to improve. "When it's there, we have to make the plays no matter what position it is. I feel like when you have your opportunity, you have to make it. That's including me."
Perriman added on the deep attempts: "The first deep ball, I definitely feel like I should have made that. I kind of misjudged it and if I had kept running a little bit, it probably would've just fell in my lap. The other deep ball, we just didn't connect."
In the offense's first game after the team released RB Le'Veon Bell, Frank Gore led the backfield with 46 yards on 11 carries, followed by La'Mical Perine (7-27) and Ty Johnson (3-42).