What I learned watching Monday Night Football: neither the Jets nor the Dolphins are playoff-worthy teams.
Despite the proven talent they have on both sides of the ball, the Dolphins continue to look like one of the worst teams in the league. And while the quarterback situation is less-than-ideal, that’s not what’s preventing Miami from competing.
The pass rush has been terrible. Cameron Wake has been solid, but he’s receiving even less support than he had last year. Mark Sanchez had all day to work, and eventually even the struggling Sanchez was able to find a groove as the game wore on. The Dolphins got to Sanchez just once tonight, giving them a grand total of seven sacks on the season.
And the coaching has been worse than terrible. Tony Sparano has taken a beating on this blog before, and he deserves another one tonight. Down eight points with a timeout, 62 seconds remaining in the first half and the ball at his own 29, Sparano decided to hand it off and head to the locker room. I want to believe teams aren’t sucking for Luck, but what kind of decision is that? I’m also not sure what he was thinking by punting from the Jets’ 36-yard line on the first series of the third quarter. You can’t win in this league without taking chances, and Sparano made some bad decisions on Monday night.
And I don’t know if this is a Matt Moore thing or a Brian Daboll thing, but why did Miami spend the entire night throwing at Darrelle Revis? It seriously feels like they don’t want to win.
And yet despite what the final score would have you believe, the Jets were rather lucky to win tonight. Without a controversial Revis pick six (that sure looked like pass interference) and an awful drop in the end zone from Brandon Marshall, they might not have been in a position to pull away in the second half. The offense was nonexistent in the first half — it took New York 24 minutes to register a first down.
The running game continues to sputter. Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson averaged less than three yards per carry tonight, which isn’t surprising. How did general manager Mike Tannenbaum not see this coming in the offseason? Tomlinson is too old and Greene proved last year that he isn’t ready to be a consistent contributor.
And the defense continues to struggle against the run. Last year’s No. 3-ranked run defense ranked 28th in football coming into this game, and they let Reggie Bush average 7.1 yards per carry as Miami racked up 118 yards on the ground despite trailing for much of the day. With the pass rush failing to get consistent pressure and the front seven getting gashed against Miami, I fear for the Jets in their next three games, against San Diego, Buffalo and New England.
On the bright side, they did get the W tonight, giving us this cool stat…