Miami Dolphins

Quarter-by-quarter analysis: Miami Dolphins’ 37-24 loss to New York Jets

Miami Dolphins defender Jordan Kovacs misses New York Jets wide receiver Chris Owusu as he crosses into the end zone at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens on Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014.
Miami Dolphins defender Jordan Kovacs misses New York Jets wide receiver Chris Owusu as he crosses into the end zone at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens on Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014. MIAMI HERALD STAFF

First quarter

▪ Impact player: Jets wide receiver Chris Owusu brought down a 36-yard pass before racing 23 yards to a touchdown on an end around.

▪ Highlights: The Jets’ first drive ended with a field-goal attempt off the left upright after a Randy Starks sack killed the Jets’ drive. The Dolphins drove 46 yards to a 37-yard Caleb Sturgis field goal. Brian Hartline had two catches for 31 yards on the field-goal drive. Lamar Miller broke off a 20-yard run.

▪ Lowlights: The field-goal drive died when Daryn Colledge’s block blew up a third-and-1 run, and Miller got stuffed for a loss of 1. The next possession set the tone for the day — the Dolphins didn’t make Jets quarterback Geno Smith pay for throwing into double coverage. Instead, Owusu leaped for the catch. The Dolphins seemed to be caught flat-footed on the Owusu end-around TD.

Second quarter

▪ Impact player: Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill completed 9 of 12 passes for 99 yards and a touchdown in driving the Dolphins to a 17-14 halftime lead.

▪ Highlights: While stiff-arming Dolphins safety Reshad Jones, Smith fumbled, and Jason Trusnik recovered at the Jets’ 21. Daniel Thomas plowed in from 1 yard out five plays later. Pinned deep after the Jets took a 14-10 lead, Tannehill drove the Dolphins 93 yards and hit Charles Clay with a 23-yard touchdown pass after converting a third-and-15 with a 16-yard pass to Hartline.

▪ Lowlights: Eric Decker beat Cortland Finnegan deep for 40 yards, the first of several big plays for him. That set up Chris Ivory’s 8-yard touchdown catch on which Ivory was wide open in a blown coverage.

Third quarter

▪ Impact player: Smith had a career quarter — completing 8 of 10 passes for 192 yards and a touchdown as the Jets stormed back to tie the score 24-24.

▪ Highlights: A Koa Misi solo tackle, then a big push in the middle of the line prevented the Jets from turning third-and-1 at the Dolphins’ 2 into anything. After turning it over on downs, Miller blew through the right side for a 97-yard touchdown run.

▪ Lowlights: Owusu returned the second-half kickoff 87 yards. After Miller’s run put the Dolphins up 24-14, instead of the defense applying a crushing blow, it allowed a 74-yard touchdown pass from Smith to Decker. Going for it on fourth-and-5 from the Jets’ 36, the Tannehill missed Jarvis Landry with a pass that would’ve have gotten the first down. Another Decker catch, this time for 50 yards, set up a 26-yard field goal that tied the score.

Fourth quarter

▪ Impact player: Jets linebacker David Harris had 11/2 sacks, one of which caused a fumble that New York converted into its final points of the season.

▪ Highlights: They were few. Landry’s 17-yard catch to open the quarter seemed an indication the Dolphins would rejoin the offensive show.

▪ Lowlights: Sturgis’ 53-yard field-goal attempt floated wide right. The game remained 27-24, Jets, when on fourth-and-12 from the 39, punter Ryan Quigley caught the Dolphins asleep and lobbed a pass to Zach Sudfield. The 38-yard gain drained some of the life from Sun Life Stadium. Smith’s 23-yard touchdown pass to Jeff Cumberland on the next play put the Jets up 34-24 and finished the job. Tannehill was sacked five times in the quarter.

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