The New York Jets‘ march to 0-16 continued with a three-score loss to the Miami Dolphins, who now stand at 7-4 and are very much in the AFC playoff picture. This is a game that Miami needed to win with several tough matchups still on its schedule down the stretch, and the result was never really in doubt.
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STORY OF THE GAME
The Ryan Fitzpatrick-to-DeVante Parker connection is back, and it was a significant portion of what the Dolphins were able to do offensively in this game. Parker caught eight of his 13 targets for 119 yards — his highest receiving marks since back in Week 4 against the Seattle Seahawks. The former first-round pick out of Louisville made multiple contested catches and forced missed tackles after the catch.
When looking at Fitzpatrick’s game as a whole, the first thing that jumps out is how quickly he got rid of the football. By initial count, his average time to throw was 1.73 seconds. For context, Ben Roethlisberger currently has the lowest average time to throw in the NFL by a wide margin this season at 2.18 seconds. A quarterback can mask a lot of deficiencies along the offensive line when getting rid of the ball that fast. It’s something we saw early in the year when Fitzpatrick was starting in Miami.
Sam Darnold also returned to the field following his injury, but the Jets weren’t able to do much against a talented Dolphins pass defense. The Jets recorded an EPA per pass play of -0.33 after entering the game with a league-worst mark of -0.14. Darnold finished the game with a passer rating of just 51.0. The results were particularly bad when Miami was able to get home with pressure.
Xavien Howard was one of the stars defensively for the Dolphins. He had as many combined interceptions and forced incompletions (three) as receptions allowed (three) in another strong showing. Howard has allowed fewer than 50% of the passes into his coverage to be completed this season.
Mekhi Becton has been one of the more impressive rookies in the NFL this season, and he was one of the more impressive players on the field in this game. He did a great job of keeping Darnold clean in pass protection, and his size and athleticism remain an issue for defenses week in and week out. Becton is certainly a reason for optimism coming out of this season in New York.
At receiver, Denzel Mims brought down four catchesfor 67 receiving yards. That's three straight weeks that Mims has recorded at least 60 receiving yards with totals of at least 40 in every game since making his debut in Week 7.
On the Dolphins' side, Austin Jackson and Robert Hunt had solid showings at left and right tackle, respectively. They were outplayed by Becton on the other side, but we’ve seen several disastrous performances for both Jackson and Hunt at times this season. Their play today certainly didn’t fall into that category.
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