Jets 20, Dolphins7

Grading the Miami Dolphins against the New York Jets

 

ssalguero@MiamiHerald.com

QUARTERBACK

Ryan Tannehill had his worst game of the season last week until he came up with the worst game of the season on Sunday. Not the way to end a season with playoffs on the line. He completed just 50 percent of his passes — thanks to some garbage-time completions — but managed only a 42.1 quarterback rating. He never solved the deep throw to Mike Wallace this season, and Sunday’s overthrow on one Wallace was wide open on was an illustration of that. GRADE: F.

RECEIVERS/TIGHT ENDS

When Brian Hartline left the game in the first half with a significant knee injury, the Dolphins could only hope Wallace and Rishard Matthews could pick up the slack. Didn’t happen. Matthews dropped a key third-own pass and didn’t win often enough on the outside. Wallace caught only five of his 12 targets and averaged a terrible 5.0 yards per catch. Rookie Dee Milliner, who was covering him all game long, came away with two interceptions — almost half as many interceptions as Wallace had catches. GRADE: F.

RUNNING BACKS

Well, the Dolphins tried to feed Lamar Miller as much as possible and for them that translates to 17 carries. He gained 73 yards. Miller broke two tackles on his first carry of the day. He might not have broken two more the entire rest of the game. Dan Thomas got two carries and gained nothing. Zero. GRADE: D.

OFFENSIVE LINE

Interestingly, the line handled the New York pass rush. They picked up the blitzes. They handled the pressure, and Tannehill got hit only a couple of times. The problem is the line didn’t answer the call on short-yardage runs and was too inconsistent in the run game to make a difference. GRADE: C-minus.

DEFENSIVE LINE

The 3.7-yard rushing average for the Jets suggests the Dolphins stopped the Jets, but that isn’t necessarily accurate. The Dolphins gave up yards on important downs, including a 7-yard touchdown run by quarterback Geno Smith on third down. GRADE: C.

LINEBACKERS

Phillip Wheeler, like last week, was called for a penalty at an inopportune time. He was second on the team with nine tackles. Dannell Ellerbe had his third tackle for loss of the season. That’s not enough or good enough. He did make six other solo tackles, but those were generally after New York gains. Koa Misi was Miami’s best linebacker, as he has been all year, delivering a tackle for loss and pass defensed. GRADE: C-minus.

SECONDARY

Reshad Jones answered the call. He led the team in tackles and was a force around the line of scrimmage. Jones plays linebacker better than a couple of Miami’s linebackers. Brent Grimes, Nolan Carroll and Chris Clemons did very little to affect the course and outcome of the game. GRADE: C.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Brandon Fields shanked one that went 18 yards. Otherwise the Dolphins special teams had a quiet day. No field-goal attempts and nothing impressive on either punt or kick returns. Marcus Thigpen averaged 12.7 yards on three kickoff returns, and that is bad. GRADE: C-minus.

COACHING

Geno Smith, who cannot complete a slant pass, still completed 17 of 27 passes and posted an 83.9 rating. The run defense again was problematic, the offense again was ineffective. GRADE: D.

OVERALL

The Dolphins would have made the playoffs had they won. They didn't. GRADE: F.

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