Fitzpatrick’s return, Dolphins defense keep Jets winless
Ryan Fitzpatrick, returning to the starting lineup due to Tua Tagovailoa’s injury, passed for 257 yards and two touchdowns to lead the visiting Miami Dolphins to a 20-3 win over the winless New York Jets on Sunday afternoon.
Dolphins receiver DeVante Parker had eight catches for a season-high 119 yards.
But Miami (7-4) really won with defense, forcing six punts, a fourth-down stop and interceptions by Nik Needham and Xavien Howard. Miami has forced a turnover in 17 straight games, tying a franchise record. Howard’s pick gives him an NFL-leading seven this year.
New York fell to 0-11. The Jets are five losses away from joining the 2008 Lions and 2017 Browns as NFL 0-16 teams.
Fitzpatrick started because rookie Tagovailoa was out due to a thumb injury on his throwing hand. The last time Fitzpatrick, who is 4-3 this season, started was Oct. 18, when he led Miami over the Jets, 24-0.
Jets quarterback Sam Darnold, who hadn’t played since Nov. 1 due to an injured non-throwing shoulder, was sacked three times and was intercepted twice, passing for 197 yards. He’s now 1-5 in his career against Miami and 0-7 this season.
The Dolphins were also without their top two running backs, Myles Gaskin (knee) and Salvon Ahmed (shoulder), and starting guard Solomon Kindley (foot).
New York was without starting guard Alex Lewis (non-injury) and its top two right tackles: George Fant (knee) and Chuma Edoga (ankle).
The Jets took one of their rare leads this season on Sergio Castillo’s 38-yard field goal, but the first quarter ended tied 3-3 when Jason Sanders matched him with a 54-yarder.
In the second quarter, Miami went ahead 10-3 on Fitzpatrick’s 13-yard TD pass to tight end Mike Gesciki, who beat rookie safety Ashtyn Davis.
Miami then added Sanders’ 51-yard field goal to take a 13-3 lead. It was Sanders’ 10th straight make on field goals of at least 50 yards.
On the last play of the first half, Castilla missed a 28-yard field goal wide right.
The Dolphins lost two fumbles — by Matt Breida and Patrick Laird — in a scoreless third quarter.
But Miami’s defense held each time, including a fourth-and-1 stop on Frank Gore by Dolphins linebacker Elandon Roberts with 13:29 left in the fourth.
That was a turning point, and Miami cashed in with a seven-yard TD pass to tight end Adam Shaheen with 6:54 left.
–Field Level Media