Dolphins deliver against hapless Jets
Ryan Tannehill threw for 331 yards and two touchdowns as he led Miami to a 23-3 victory over the New York Jets that helped the Dolphins keep pace in the AFC postseason picture.
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The Dolphins also drove struggling rookie Geno Smith out of the game, sending the Jets' shaky quarterback situation into a mess of uncertainty and severely damaging their playoff hopes.
Brian Hartline and Mike Wallace caught touchdown passes for Miami (6-6), which converted two turnovers into 10 points.
Tannehill finished 28 of 43 with an interception as the Dolphins took control in the second half after dominating the stats sheet in the first two quarters.
Despite the dominance, Miami is still the only team in the league to score fewer than 28 points in every game.
But, the Dolphins improved to 3-2 since the bullying scandal involving Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin rocked the franchise.
The Jets (5-7) lost their third straight, and now coach Rex Ryan is forced to consider whether Smith or Matt Simms, who replaced him to start the first half will be under center next week.
Smith was booed loudly at times throughout by the MetLife Stadium crowd while going 4 for 10 for 29 yards with an interception and an 8.3 quarterback rating.
Smith, who has one touchdown and 11 interceptions in his past seven games, overthrew receivers a few times and couldn't get the offense moving.
Simms, the son of former Giants star Phil Simms, came in to cheers to start the third quarter but didn't fare much better while going 9 for 18 for 79 yards with an INT.
Philip Wheeler recovered a fumble by Simms on the Jets' second possession of the third quarter, and the Dolphins took quick advantage.
After a 17-yard run by Lamar Miller, Tannehill hit Hartline on a quick slant and the receiver beat Antonio Cromartie and then slipped out of a tackle attempt by Ed Reed for a 31-yard touchdown that made it 13-0.
Nick Folk finally got the Jets on the scoreboard with a 20-yard field goal with 4:30 left in the third quarter.
New York's momentum was quickly squashed as Wallace caught a short pass from Tannehill and ran through a poor tackle try by Dee Milliner and zipped into the end zone for a 28-yard touchdown and a 20-3 lead with just over a minute left in the third quarter -- and sending many Jets fans heading for the exits early.
Wallace finished with seven catches for 82 yards, while Hartline led the Dolphins with nine receptions for 127 yards. Charles Clay caught seven passes for 80 yards as Tannehill topped 3,000 yards passing for each of his first two seasons.
Caleb Sturgis ended a scoreless snoozer with a 34-yard field goal with 44 seconds left in the opening half, making up for an earlier miss.
Smith gave the ball back to Miami moments later with his 19th interception on a pass he tried to force to Greg Salas that Dannell Ellerbe stepped in front of with 22 seconds remaining.
The Dolphins got an 11-yard catch by Hartline and an 8-yard grab by Clay, setting up a 43-yarder by Sturgis two plays later to give Miami a 6-0 halftime lead.
The Dolphins dominated on offense during the first two quarters in every statistic, outgaining the Jets 265 yards to 39 with 16 first downs compared to New York's 2. Miami also held the ball for 24 minutes, 12 seconds, with New York having it for just 5:43.
The Dolphins ran more plays (50) in the first half than the Jets had total yards. Miami finished by outgaining New York 453-177.
Miami came up empty on its opening possession, a 14-play drive that ate up 9 minutes, 10 seconds, but ended with Sturgis pushing his 41-yard field-goal attempt wide right.
The Dolphins also failed to convert on two plays on separate drives on fourth-and-goal from the 1, but Miami was able to overcome those missed opportunities because of New York's offensive ineptitude.