Miami Dolphins

Keys to the Miami Dolphins’ 37-24 loss to the New York Jets

New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87) on a long pass reception as Miami Dolphins cornerback Cortland Finnegan (24) defends in the second quarter as the Miami Dolphins host the New York Jets at Sun Life Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014.
New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87) on a long pass reception as Miami Dolphins cornerback Cortland Finnegan (24) defends in the second quarter as the Miami Dolphins host the New York Jets at Sun Life Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014. MIAMI HERALD STAFF

Dolphins cornerbacks vs. Jets WR Eric Decker

Who won: Jets.

The impact: Only Buffalo’s Eric Moulds, in a Dolphins playoff win (remember those?) almost 16 years ago, racked up more receiving yards in a game against the Dolphins than Decker’s 221 on 10 catches Sunday afternoon. Decker made cornerback Cortland Finnegan, listed on the injury report as probable with an ankle/knee, look doubtful for next season by beating him deep for a 40-yarder and a 74-yard touchdown, then got Brent Grimes for a 50-yard gain. The closest the Dolphins came to stopping Decker before the Jets went into clock-killing mode was when Decker got hit between the legs at the end of a 12-yard reception.


Dolphins pass rush vs. Jets pass protection

Who won: Jets.

The impact: At times, the Dolphins forced Jets quarterback Geno Smith to leave the pocket. But Smith, the former Miramar High star, wasn’t so much running for his life as meandering outside the pocket to see what happy surprises awaited him downfield. The Dolphins managed one sack and painfully few (and few painful) hits. Officially, there was only one. Given that time and plush recliner-style comfort in the pocket, any NFL quarterback can find his accuracy and make good decisions, as Smith did on his way to a 20-of-25, 358-yard, three-touchdown day passing.


Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace vs. Miami coaching staff

Who won: Jets.

The impact: The Dolphins lone second-half score was Lamar Miller’s 97-yard run that put the Dolphins up 24-14. Aside from that play, the Dolphins found only 90 yards of second-half offense and no more points. Maybe the Dolphins could have used their No.1 wide receiver, swift Mike Wallace, in the game just to loosen up the Jets defense or turn a short pass into a long one. Maybe even to catch a long one. Instead, a dispute between Wallace, who was thrown to only once in the first half, and the coaching staff resulted in his second-half benching.

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