The Miami Dolphins had their chances against the New York Jets on Sunday but simply couldn’t capitalize on their opportunities. In fact, they were up 24-14 at one point but their defense was unable to contain the Jets, as has been the case quite often this season. Joe Philbin gave credit to the Jets for making plays and executing well down the home stretch.
“They made plays. Let’s give them credit. They made some plays. I think right after we got up by ten points, Kim, they hit – I’m going to say it was a 78-yard touchdown pass – it was a long one, I can’t remember how long it was, exactly, but they executed the play well. It was a close game and we just didn’t make a lot of plays on offense after that, either. We gave up some explosive passes, they took a lead, a three-point lead there. We had an opportunity to tie the game I think late in the game and we weren’t able to do that. They just played better. They just played better.”
The Dolphins had a series of miscues, including the play where they went for it on 4th-and-5 at the Jets 45 yard line instead of attempting a long field goal. While the call was probably the right one, the execution was off but Philbin said it was because of what the Jets defense did when the ball was snapped.
“They had a free safety blitz. They had a free safety blitz and we obviously had lined up for a punt. We were in that range – do you punt, do you kick, what are you doing to do, do you go for it? We were at fourth-and-five, so it was reasonable. It was a situation we talked about yesterday in our coordinator’s meeting. But they executed their defense better than we executed on offense. We were into the wind a little bit and we didn’t feel good about kicking a 54-yard field goal. We thought, fourth-and-five, it’s not a ‘gimme’, but again, they made the play, you have to give them credit.”
With the Dolphins down by three points, the Jets ran a fake punt and converted, which took a lot of air out of the Dolphins. Ryan Tannehill said that they had a plan in place to take the lead once again.
“Yeah, we had an idea of plays we wanted to attack them with. Down three, felt great about having the game-winning drive. Felt good about our plan going into that drive and I think guys were ready to step up and make plays, but you have to give credit to them. A great call on their part and they made it happen.”
While Philbin put the blame on both the offense and defense, Tannehill blamed the offense and said that they couldn’t execute when it mattered the most.
“It was us offensively. We didn’t come out and execute. We had a 10 point lead and they were able to score and we couldn’t answer. That’s what it comes down to as an offense. It doesn’t matter how many points the other team scores. We have to score more. We didn’t do that, and we weren’t even close. Execution has to be a lot better.”
The offense improved from the 2013 season but were riddled with injuries. With a healthy offensive line and a re-vamped receiving corps, they should be even better heading into 2015.
This story was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs