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(Sunday, November 1st)
Final Score: Miami 30, NY Jets 25
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - Ted Ginn returned a pair of kickoffs for touchdowns in a wild third quarter and the Miami defense held off a late Jets charge, as the Dolphins pulled out a 30-25 victory over New York at the Meadowlands.
Ginn scored on kickoff returns of 100 and 101 yards, and Jason Taylor returned a fumble for a touchdown in a third quarter that produced a combined 37 points. Chad Henne added a scoring pass in the fourth quarter for the Dolphins (3-4), who bounced back from a devastating loss to New Orleans last week to earn a season sweep of the Jets and improve to 3-0 within the AFC East.
"I thought last week we didn't respond on offense the way we wanted to. Today I thought we did a great job overall. Special Teams did a great job and our defense did an incredible job. To get a win after that big loss in the division is definitely a big plus," Henne said.
Mark Sanchez threw for 265 yards with a pair of touchdowns for the Jets (4-4), whose last possession ended deep in Miami territory with just over a minute to play. New York has lost four of its last five after starting the season with three consecutive wins.
"Sometimes, things just don't make sense," Jets head coach Rex Ryan said. "Statistically, this game is not going to look close. I truly feel that our football team is good enough to beat anybody in this league. But we also can lose to anybody in this league if we spot a team three touchdowns. That's about it going forward. It's a huge loss for us."
Miami blew a 24-3 lead and watched New Orleans rack up 36 points in the second half of last week's 46-34 setback to the unbeaten Saints. After taking a 30-19 lead in the fourth quarter on Sunday, the Dolphins nearly let it slip away again.
The Jets scored with 5:52 remaining when Sanchez hit tight end Dustin Keller with a 16-yard touchdown pass. After a successful two-point conversion was nullified by a penalty and the second play failed, New York trailed by five.
Miami, though, could not run much time off the clock and the Jets got the ball back at their own 45 with 3:39 to play. Sanchez quickly marched the offense into Miami territory and had a first down at the 12-yard line after converting 4th-and-10 with a 16-yard pass to Keller at the two-minute warning.
Thomas Jones ran for three yards on first down and Sanchez was forced to scramble for one on second down before the rookie quarterback was sacked by Randy Starks. On 4th-and-13, Sanchez drifted back to avoid a sack and his pass sailed out of the end zone with just over a minute remaining.
Jones, who ran for 210 yards two weeks ago against Buffalo and added 121 yards last week against Oakland, finished with 102 yards on 27 carries in this game. Sanchez completed 20-of-35 passes and was not intercepted. He also ran for a score in defeat.
The Dolphins, who trail only the Jets in rushing average this season, managed only 52 yards on 23 carries. Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams each finished with 27 yards in defeat.
Henne connected on 12-of-21 passes for 112 yards and was not picked off in his first NFL road start. Miami won despite being outgained, 378-104.
The teams combined for five fourth-quarter touchdowns in the first meeting on October 12 -- a 31-27 Dolphins victory that ended with a two-yard touchdown run by Brown with just six seconds to play. Following a lackluster first half on Sunday, the teams combined for six scores -- five of which were touchdowns -- in an explosive third period.
After Jay Feely tied a career best with a 55-yard field goal early in the third quarter for a 6-3 Jets lead, the fireworks began.
Ginn returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown to put Miami ahead. He raced through the middle, then cut to the right sideline and outraced the Jets to the end zone.
The Miami defense followed with a score a few plays later, as Jets rookie running back Shonn Greene coughed up the ball near midfield. Taylor scooped it up and rumbled 48 yards the other way for the ninth touchdown of his career and 17-6 lead.
Miami's defense forced a quick three-and-out, but Devone Bess failed to catch the punt and the Jets recovered at the Miami 29. Sanchez needed just five plays to convert, taking a bootleg untouched from a yard away for the score to make it 17-13.
Ginn, though, followed with a highlight-reel return for another touchdown. He took the kickoff a yard deep in the end zone, made two tacklers miss with a pair of stutter-step moves and found an opening toward the right sideline on the way to his second TD return of the period.
"You know we just came out and executed. My guys felt good and they made the blocks they needed to make as well as a little freestyle in there. We're just trying to have fun and try and do what we can do. With everybody on the same page, big things can happen all the time," Ginn said.
The Jets answered with a three-play drive for a touchdown. After the kickoff, Sanchez hit Jerricho Cotchery with a 53-yard pass on the first play and capped the quick set with a 19-yard scoring pass to Braylon Edwards. The two-point try was intercepted in the end zone, leaving the Jets down 24-19 with 1:35 to play in the thrilling third quarter.
Miami, which had just three offensive plays in the third to that point, followed with a 13-play drive for another touchdown. The Dolphins may have caught a break when Bess lost the ball after a reception, but the play had been whistled dead and Miami quickly snapped the ball before the Jets could ask for a challenge. Soon after, Henne hit Joey Haynos with a five-yard TD pass.
The Dolphins elected to go for two points and failed, giving them a 30-19 lead with 8:48 remaining.
Back came the Jets with an 81-yard march. A 28-yard pass to Jones out of the backfield and a 20-yard strike to Edwards helped set up the 16-yard scoring pass to Keller to cap the six-play drive.
Neither team mustered a serious threat in the first quarter, as the Jets reached the Miami 35 on their third possession and held the Dolphins without a first down during the period. New York then took over at its own 35 late in the first and drove to the Miami five, but the Dolphins forced a 23-yard Feely field goal just over 2 1/2 minutes into the second quarter for the game's first points.
Miami finally produced a first down on its next series and advanced to the New York 36, but Henne was sacked for a 16-yard loss on third down and the Dolphins again punted it away. After another trade of punts gave the Dolphins good field position at the New York 45, Miami drove far enough for a 48-yard field goal from Dan Carpenter on the first play after the two-minute warning.
The Dolphins last swept the Jets in 2003 and have now won three in a row from their bitter rivals for the first time since taking four straight during the 1996 and '97 seasons...No Dolphins player had even returned two kickoffs for touchdowns in a single season...Ginn, normally a starting wide receiver, was not on the field for Miami's first offensive play as the result of his recent poor play...The last player to return two kickoffs for a touchdown in the same game was Houston's Andre Davis in December of 2007...Sanchez notched his third rushing touchdown of the season, becoming the first Jets quarterback to reach that figure since Richard Todd in 1980...The teams were involved in a skirmish during warmups, as New York safety Kerry Rhodes and Miami linebacker Joey Porter exchanged shoves before other players joined the minor fracas. It was soon broken up.
11/01 19:07:57 ET
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