Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin resumes fourth-down gambles

Coach Joe Philbin talks to quarterback Ryan Tannehill in the fourth quarter of the game with the Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands on December 1, 2013.
Coach Joe Philbin talks to quarterback Ryan Tannehill in the fourth quarter of the game with the Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands on December 1, 2013.
Joe Rimkus Jr. / Staff Photo
WEB VOTE Who is the MVP of the Dolphins' win against the Jets?

Joe the Gambler returned Sunday after a three-month hiatus.

Unfortunately for the Dolphins, he kept throwing snake eyes.

Joe Philbin, who went for it on fourth down 15 times a year ago, had tried just six such conversions entering Sunday's game against the Jets.

But on Sunday, Philbin took a fourth-down shot twice in the first half — and missed each time.

On the Dolphins' second drive of the game, Miami faced fourth-and-1 at the New York 43. Ryan Tannehill threw behind Brian Hartline, ending the drive.

Later in the half, Philbin tried it again, this time on fourth-and-goal from the 1. Yet Tannehill misfired again, overthrowing Charles Clay in the end zone.

“Charles Clay's wide open,” Tannehill said. “I can’t miss that throw. It felt good leaving my hand. I just threw it too far.

“I thought it was a good call,” he added. “We had been moving the ball well. The defense was playing great and they continued to play great, and it was a great call, and a great execution, except by me.”

The Dolphins have now converted just 2 of 8 fourth-down tries this year, and 7 of 23 total with Philbin as their coach.

Smith gets hook

Rex Ryan finally lost patience with rookie quarterback Geno Smith.

The Miramar High product, who entered the game as the league's leader in interceptions (18) and turnovers (22), got the hook after throwing another pick in the first half Sunday.

Smith gave way to Matt Simms after completing just 4 of 10 passes for 29 yards. His passer rating was just 8.3.

When the change was made, the Bronx cheer at MetLife Stadium was heard throughout North Jersey.

“At first, I didn't know what they were cheering about,” said cornerback Nolan Carroll. “I was looking around, and was [wondering] if there was some celebrity. When I saw it, I was like, ‘This is crazy. ... This is disrespectful.’ But this is New York.”

Keeping the line

John Jerry left the game in the fourth quarter with an undisclosed injury and did not return. Sam Brenner took his place.

Jerry didn’t appear to suffer anything too serious, however, as he was joking with his fellow linemen in the locker room after the game.

Mike Pouncey, back after missing the last two weeks due to illness, gave Jerry grief coming off the field, and said his teammate was in line for a fine for laying on the ground for too long.

The Dolphins' makeshift offense line held up well against the aggressive Jets' defensive front, allowing just one sack all day.

This and that

• Dolphins inactives: QB Pat Devlin, CB Dimitri Patterson, CB Jamar Taylor, RB Daniel Thomas, OG Danny Watkins, OL David Arkin and DT A.J. Francis.

•  Chris Clemons was active and started Sunday after being listed as questionable before the game with knee and hamstring injuries.

•  Lamar Miller, Jimmy Wilson and Brandon Fields were the Dolphins captains.

• The league swapped umpires before Sunday's game between the Jets and Dolphins. Bill Schuster replaced Chad Brown.

• More than 700 New York-based Dolphins fans gathered in the parking lot pregame. Team CEO Tom Garfinkel paid them a visit.

Read more Miami Dolphins stories from the Miami Herald

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