EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Maybe the Jets should just stop talking about Reggie Bush.
Antonio Cromartie’s psyche might not be able to handle much more of it.
Bush delivered a tone-setting stiff-arm on the Jets’ cornerback on the game’s opening drive, knocking Cromartie off balance — both physically and figuratively. Cromartie bounced up after the run and responded by head-butting Bush, drawing a 15-yard personal foul penalty.
“I think it fired us up,” said Bush, who said the trash talking from the week definitely bled into Sunday’s game.
Earlier in the week, Jets linebacker Aaron Maybin now infamously said the Jets were going to try to knock Bush out of the game. They didn’t, Maybin was a non-factor, and Bush finished with 59 yards on 14 carries.
Despite averaging more than 4 yards a carry and getting through the game healthy, Bush had fewer rushing attempts than Daniel Thomas, active for the first time since sustaining a head injury on Oct. 7. Thomas had 15 rushes for 42 yards and a touchdown.
Third-string back Lamar Miller was active Sunday but didn’t play.
“It was good to have [Thomas] back out there and good to have that one-two punch combination,” Bush said.
Forget the stats
From the stats-do-lie file: The Dolphins have been outgained 825 to 428 over their past two games — nearly a 2-1 margin.
And yet, they’re 2-0.
The reason: They have won the turnover battle by a 3-1 margin and have allowed just two touchdowns in their opponents’ seven trips into the red zone.
Furthermore, the Dolphins have tallied seven sacks in their last two games. Cameron Wake had another one Sunday, giving him 7.5 on the season.
“The first time we played [ Mark Sanchez], whenever we got pressure on him, he was like a chicken with his head cut off,” rookie linebacker Olivier Vernon said.
This and that
• Dolphins inactives: Pat Devlin, Richard Marshall, Josh Kaddu, Will Yeatman, Michael Egnew, Rishard Matthews and Anthony Armstrong.
• Linebacker Karlos Dansby (wrist, elbow) and defensive tackle Tony McDaniel (knee) missed parts of Sunday’s game because of injury.
• Brandon Fields averaged 53.3 yards per punt with a net of 46.7. He punted four inside the 20.
• Brian Hartline led the Dolphins with four catches for 41 yards. Davone Bess added four receptions for 28.
• Before Sunday, Clyde Gates had just four catches in his young career, spent first with the Dolphins and now the Jets. But the wideout exploded while facing his old team, catching seven balls for 82 yards in a losing effort.
• The game officials used pink flags Sunday in recognition of breast cancer of awareness month. The idea came from 11-year-old Dante Cano, who attended the game as the guest of commissioner Roger Goodell.
• The Jets retired Dennis Byrd’s number at halftime, 20 years after he sustained a spinal injury that left him paralyzed. With intensive physical therapy, Byrd eventually regained use of his legs, but he never played football again.
• Fergie, who owns a minority stake in the Dolphins, was on the sidelines before Sunday’s game and met with tailgaters with Dolphins owner Stephen Ross.