Miami Dolphins vs. New York Jets Ten In-Depth Observations

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7. It’s been a mostly down rookie season for cornerback Dee Milliner, but he played the game of his life yesterday. The Dolphins started picking on Milliner an awful lot on their touchdown drive, and they continued to throw it at him after seeing that Antonio Cromartie, who has been a disappointment overall this year, was locking things down on the left (well, the right side of the defense) side. Milliner rose up to the challenge, and I’m sure the Dolphins regret throwing it at him so much (as the game wore on, Tannehill started targeting the middle of the field). He finished with two interceptions and five passes defended in a phenomenal performance, and it was a great way for the rookie CB to finish his season. Milliner was easily the highest-rated CB in this year’s draft, and he showed why there’s still plenty of hope that he can be a great No. 1 corner in the future.

8. Rex Ryan has done an amazing job of coaching the Jets this season, and it’s a testament to his coaching prowess and ability to motivate his players that the Jets are 8-8. He put a huge stamp against any rash, stupid decision to fire him by leading this team to victory over the rival Dolphins, and the Jets coaching was incredible yesterday. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg did a great job of calling plays, including some crafty running plays. The Jets ran a lot of read option, and it definitely worked with Geno at the helm. The defense also did a great job, Ryan made some nice game-management calls with timeouts, and he called a great game on defense. Ryan is one of the best defensive minds in the game, and he’s a great head coach.

9. There are a quite a bit of bad things to say about this Dolphins team following the loss, but I’d like to give a quick nod to star cornerback Brent Grimes. He and Cameron Wake have been the Dolphins best players this season, and Grimes was one of the few bright spots for the Dolphins. He did a nice job against Santonio Holmes overall, and he had a critical pass defended on third down. Grimes also had a big tackle on Geno Smith on the Jets first series, as Geno unwisely tried to run for the first down. This season, Grimes has been one of the Dolphins few reliable tacklers, and he was reliable yesterday with five solo stops.

10. The Jets thoroughly outplayed the Dolphins in this game, and the 20-7 scoreline mirrors a game that was dominated by the Jets. They were much better than the Dolphins in the trenches, their secondary was better, and Smith definitely outplayed Tannehill. Smith never made any big mistakes, whereas Tannehill made a few terrible throws (the Ed Reed interception wasn’t his fault, though). I don’t think the Dolphins played better than the Jets in any facet of the game, and they came up flat in the most important game of the season. It wasn’t as embarrassing of a result as last week’s shutout loss to the Buffalo Bills, but this was even more dis-heartening. I think serious questions need to be raised when it comes to the Dolphins coaching staff, because they came out unprepared against two division rivals that don’t have as much talent. Joe Philbin will likely stay, but I wouldn’t feel safe calling him a “lock”, nor do I think everyone on the Dolphins coaching staff is safe.

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