EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (The Sports Xchange) — Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick threw four touchdown passes, including two to wide receiver Brandon Marshall, as the New York Jets solidified their footing in the AFC wild-card race on Sunday afternoon with a 38-20 win over the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium.
The Jets (6-5) won for just the second time in six games to ensure they’d at least remain in a tie for the second AFC wild-card spot. New York entered the day in a four-way tie for the second wild card, though the Jets were last among the four teams due to tiebreakers.
Fitzpatrick, who trimmed his trademark beard earlier this week in hopes of changing up the Jets’ fortunes, finished 22-of-37 for 277 yards as the Jets swept the Dolphins for the first time since 2007.
His favorite target was Marshall, who roasted Miami cornerback Brent Grimes for nine catches for 131 yards. Marshall caught a 17-yard touchdown in the first quarter and a 3-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Fitzpatrick also threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to rookie wide receiver Devin Smith and a 2-yard touchdown to wide receiver Eric Decker. Running back Chris Ivory (21 carries for 87 yards) broke five tackles during a 31-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter and kicker Randy Bullock added a 38-yard field goal with 2:43 left.
The Dolphins (4-7) lost for the fourth time in five games as their playoff hopes were all but extinguished.
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill was 33-of-58 for 351 yards and three second-half touchdowns – a pair of five-yarders to wide receiver Jarvis Landry and wide receiver Greg Jennings as well as a 33-yarder to wide receiver DeVante Parker with five seconds left in the fourth.
Landry set career highs with 13 catches for 165 yards.
The Dolphins were limited to 19 yards rushing, the fourth-fewest in a game in team history.
The Jets led 14-0 at the end of a first half that “featured” nine punts in 13 possessions. An interception by cornerback
Marcus Williams inside the New York 10-yard-line set up a 12-play, 72-yard drive that ended with Fitzpatrick’s 17-yard touchdown pass to Marshall with 1:53 left in the first.
Smith’s touchdown catch, the first of his career, capped a 92-yard drive with eight seconds left in the second.
Fitzpatrick hooked up with Decker with 8:47 left in the third before Tannehill’s touchdown pass to Landry with 2:30 remaining in the period ended the Jets’ bid for the 12th shutout in team history.
NOTES: At halftime, the Jets inducted former RBs Emerson Boozer and Matt Snell, both of whom were on the Super Bowl III winning team, into their Ring of Honor. Snell, who scored the Jets’ only touchdown in Super Bowl III, did not attend and has not communicated with the franchise in decades. … Among the Jets’ inactives was CB Darrelle Revis (concussion), who was sidelined by a head injury for the second time in his nine-year career. He was also concussed in 2012. … Dolphins WR Rishard Matthews (back, ribs) and C Mike Pouncey (foot) were injured in the first quarter and did not return. … Dolphins DE Quinton Coples was active, five days after he was claimed off waivers from the Jets. ESPNNewYork.com reported Sunday morning that Coples, the Jets’ first-round pick, was released following an incident on the team flight home from Houston last week.
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