Fins Stay Alive In AFC Wildcard Race
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Dolphins salvaged hopes of winning the final wild card spot in the playoffs Sunday with a 23-3 demolition of a New York Jets team with a completely inept offense.
The question though as the Dolphins move forward is: was the victory a sign of an improved Dolphins team; or a completely inept Jets offense?
The Dolphins held the Jets to just 10 first downs in the game and outgained the Jets through the air, 328-78. The Jets finally had to bench starting quarterback Geno Smith for his own good as the Dolphins made him look like a high-school quarterback.
Smith finished his afternoon going 4-10 for 29 yards, with one interception, one sack, and a quarterback rating of 8.3. His replacement, Matt Simms, completed 9-18 for 79 yards, one interception and a QB rating of 38.9.
On the flip side, the Dolphins protected quarterback Ryan Tannehill well, giving up just one sack, and that allowed him to torch the Jets’ secondary. Tannehill was 28-43 for 331 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception.
Contributing to the protection for Tannehill was the Dolphins finally getting the running game moving. The Fins ran the ball 36 times for 125 yards including Lamar Miller running it 22 times for 72 yards. Still, outside of Tannehill, no running back averaged more than 3.5 yards per carry.
Tannehill also picked on rookie cornerback Dee Milliner. The first-round pick was benched for the third time after he allowed Mike Wallace to slide out of his grip and run down the sideline for a 28-yard touchdown.
Milliner has been a complete bust after coming out of the University of Alabama where he helped the Tide win the national championship last season. He’s missed three games this season due to a hamstring problem and has been sent to the bench repeatedly.
The Dolphins are now 6-6 on the season and have another game against the Jets. Assuming the Fins can dispatch of the Jets again, the question will be what the Fins will do against the Steelers, Patriots, and Bills.
Still, it’s hard to judge whether Miami has improved that much, or if the Jets are simply awful at every position outside of the defensive line.