Patience paid off. The Jets came up with four turnovers by Jay
Fiedler in the second half, including an interception returned 66
yards for a touchdown by Donnie Abraham, and won 17-9 to improve to
3-0 for only the third time in franchise history.
"Our defense made huge plays," Jets quarterback Chad
Pennington said. "We're thrilled to be 3-0, because we're winning
as a team. The offense and defense have to complement each other,
and that's what happened."
New York also won its first three games in 1966 and 2000, but
failed to make the playoffs in those two seasons.
"The scary thing is we're not playing our best ball yet,"
receiver Wayne Chrebet said.
The Dolphins fell to 0-4 for the first time since their
expansion season in 1966. They've scored two touchdowns this year
while committing 14 turnovers and will need dramatic improvement on
offense to avoid their first losing season since 1988.
"Things aren't going how we expected them to go -- 0-4 around
here is taboo," cornerback Patrick Surtain said. "If we don't
stick together, we might as well give our helmets to the United
Way. ... We've got to get it together, or before you know it we're
going to be 0-8, 0-9, 0-10."
Next week Miami plays at New England, which has won 18
It wasn't all defense for the Jets: Curtis Martin topped 100
yards rushing for the third game in a row and the 50th time in his
career, moving into 10th place on the NFL's all-time rushing list
with 12,094 yards. He totaled 110 yards, including a 1-yard
"I feel as good as I've ever felt," said Martin, off to the
best start in his 10-year career. "I can't explain it other than
hard work. It's great to see it pay off."
The Jets' Doug Brien kicked a 53-yard field goal, his longest
With Fiedler back in the lineup after being benched for 2½
games, Miami totaled a season-high 293 yards to outgain New York.
But five possessions in Jets territory produced only three field
goals, and Fiedler's two interceptions and two lost fumbles
derailed Miami's comeback bid.
"I've never been around anything like this," beleaguered coach
Dave Wannstedt said. "This is beyond me from the standpoint of
just giving games away on not really difficult stuff. We're just
not executing like we're supposed to."
The biggest turnover came when Abraham stepped in front of a
pass intended for fullback Rob Konrad in the flat and sprinted
untouched to the end zone for a 17-9 lead.
"The only thing I was thinking was, 'Don't drop it,'" Abraham
It was the third interception returned for a touchdown against
the Dolphins this season. They've scored just two TDs -- none in the
first three periods -- and 32 points.
Dolphins fans waited until the fourth quarter to boo, but many
stayed home. While the announced crowd was a sellout of 73,157,
there were about 15,000 empty seats and perhaps that many Jets
One bright spot for Miami was Leonard Henry, a former
practice-squad player who made his first NFL start and rushed for
85 yards. That included a 53-yard run that exceeded the Dolphins'
per-game rushing average on one play.
But Miami squandered too many chances. Pennington threw his
first interception of the season late in the first half, and Arturo
Freeman returned it 47 yards to the Jets 8. But three plays netted
just 2 yards, and the Dolphins settled for a field goal to trail
10-9 at halftime.
"That's demoralizing," Surtain said. "I guess Arturo should
have run it in for a score."
The Jets won even though their offense was shut out in the
second half. Toby Gowin's coffin-corner punt backed up the Dolphins
at their 2 with 2:23 left, and John Abraham clinched the victory,
recovering a fumble by Fiedler attempting a desperation lateral.
"We have a lot more potential," Pennington said. "We have a
chance to be a great team."
Dolphins T John St. Clair hurt his right knee and ankle on
Abraham's interception return. ... The Jets' lone injury was Donnie
Abraham's hip-pointer, coach Herman Edwards said. ... Martin has
three consecutive 100-yard games for the first time since 1999. ...
Wannstedt said he expects Fiedler to start against Patriots. ...
Jets C Kevin Mawae started his 158th consecutive game despite a
broken right hand. He snapped with his left hand.