Again. And again. And again.
Question on the Dolphins: Did the Dolphins quiet their critics -- for at least a week?
A win will always alleviate the critics, but they need to defeat a quality opponent before it really should. The Dolphins may need to worry about the ton of yardage they gave up through the air.
Question on the Jets: Until Pennington returns, what can they do to improve their offense?
They need to be more creative on offense. They're having problems running the ball and getting Testaverde time to throw the ball. It may be time to revert to the shotgun and start shortening the field. They also might want to put a guard in at fullback to help jumpstart the running game.
Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.
Williams ran for 125 yards on 34 carries and the Dolphins
rebounded from an embarrassing loss to the Houston Texans with a
21-10 victory over the rival Jets on Sunday. Miami won at the
Meadowlands for the first time since 1997, and avoided its first
0-2 start in 15 years.
In the 21-20 loss to the Texans, Williams had just 17 carries
for 69 yards. His effort against the Jets helped the Dolphins gain
187 yards on the ground, to just 21 for New York (0-2). The
Dolphins also had the ball for over 11 minutes more than the Jets.
"We just did a good job of converting third downs early, and
that opens everything up," Williams said. "Like we said last
week, if we had done a better job on third downs and with the
passing game, then I would have gotten the ball a lot more."
The victory keeps Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt off the hot
seat, for now. Following the loss last week, Wannstedt and the
Dolphins received heavy criticism for losing to a second-year team.
"These guys stepped up today and it started Monday in the
preparation after last week's game," Wannstedt said. "We never
really find out what's inside us as individuals until we're
squeezed. Our football team responded."
Despite the loss, Vinny Testaverde became the ninth quarterback
in NFL history to pass for over 40,000 yards in his career,
finishing 29-of-45 for 373 yards after a horrible start in the
opening loss to Washington.
He tried to rally the Jets.
After jumping to a 21-3 halftime lead, the Dolphins stalled in
the second half. The Jets had their chances to come back.
Shaun Ellis forced Jay Fiedler to fumble and Chester McGlockton
recovered at the start of the fourth quarter. The Jets scored when
Testaverde threw a 32-yard pass to Santana Moss with 12:42
remaining to make it 21-10.
They crossed midfield on their next possession, but the drive
ended when Jason Taylor and Jay Williams sacked Testaverde. The
Dolphins punted again, and the Jets crossed midfield again. But
Patrick Surtain intercepted Testaverde to end the drive.
The Jets had another chance to score in the third. On their
final possession of the period, the Jets put together a nice drive
in which Moss caught a 61-yard pass and broke several tackles for a
first-and-goal at the 9. They went for it on fourth-and-goal from
the 3, but Testaverde threw incomplete to Anthony Becht at the back
of the end zone.
"We needed something positive to happen," Jets coach Herman
Edwards said. "I didn't think kicking a field goal was going to do
Even Fiedler got into the action on the ground, gaining 35 yards
on five carries. He ran for a 9-yard touchdown in the first quarter
and finished 14-of-19 for 190 yards, with one touchdown pass to
"We wanted to get Ricky going and we were able to get them out
of their base defense to play something they don't usually do and
bring the safety up," Fiedler said. "That allowed us to make some
plays in the passing game."
The Jets took a quick 3-0 lead with a 12-play drive, but that
was their only sustained effort of the half. Miami then scored 21
unanswered points. Fiedler started the scoring with his TD run just
before the end of the first quarter.
On the next scoring drive, Williams gained 18 yards on a draw on
third-and-16. Fiedler then threw an 8-yard scoring pass to
McMichael to make it 14-3.
And on their next possession, the Dolphins were poised to punt
at the Jets 42. But new special teams acquisition Michael Bates
jumped offsides, giving the Dolphins new life. They took advantage,
and Williams scored on a 2-yard run just before halftime.
As the teams left the field, the restless crowd booed the Jets.
"Ricky was picking his holes real well and that makes it real
tough," Jets safety Jon McGraw said. "If you can't stop the run,
you're in for a long day."
Jets CB Donnie Abraham injured his shoulder in the second
quarter and didn't return. Coach Herman Edwards didn't know the
severity of the injury. ... Moss had five receptions for a
career-high 142 yards. ... Chris Chambers had four receptions for
91 yards. ... Wayne Chrebet moved past Al Toon for third place on
the team's receiving yards list with 6,635 yards.