There was still a minute of football to be played, but Jets owner Woody Johnson had seen enough. Johnson strode quickly out of MetLife Stadium, barley breaking stride with TVs overhead showing his team still on the field in mop-up time.
It was the first time anyone associated with the Jets had moved with a purpose in hours.
Johnson witnessed his team fall to the Dolphins 34-13 Saturday night, another embarrassing loss in a season that has seen several of them. They have been outscored 75-23 over their past two home games, both in prime time. The Jets let this one slip away during a four-minute, third-quarter span in which Miami scored 21 points and ended any hope for the Jets.
Johnson’s Jets are now 4-10 after losing five of their past six games. Quarterback Bryce Petty stunk up the joint then left with a chest injury in the fourth quarter. Ryan Fitzpatrick replaced him and finished the game off with an interception in the end zone, a perfect punctuation mark for this debacle.
“It’s all on me,” coach Todd Bowles said. “I did a terrible job as far as getting these guys ready to play. I thought we were ready to play in the first half. In the second half, me being the head coach of this team and us not looking very good right now, it’s all a big reflection on me. I take full responsibility.”
Word around the Jets is Johnson does not want to make a coaching change, but these embarrassing losses have to be wearing on him. This one came to the Dolphins (9-5), who in the playoff hunt. Former Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum, now a Dolphins vice president, was all smiles outside the Miami locker room.
The Jets trailed by three at halftime, but had a blocked punt returned for a touchdown, an interception that set up another Miami touchdown then a 66-yard touchdown pass come in a four-minute span that put the Dolphins up 34-10.
“Once we got down a couple of points, I don’t know if guys continued to fight like we did last week,” defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson said. “We’ve just got to do a better job of fighting and finishing and believing in each other.”
Jets fans would have been better off wrapping Christmas presents or making a last-minute trip to the mall than watching this slop.
Petty threw two interceptions, which obscured a few nice passes he made. He went 20-for-36 for 235 yards with a 40-yard touchdown pass to Robby Anderson. The second-year quarterback was picked off by lineman Cameron Wake on a play on which he never saw him drop into coverage and by cornerback Tony Lippett on an underthrow of Anderson.
“I just missed on a couple of throws,” Petty said.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, the Jets messed up the snap count and the offensive line did not move when the ball was snapped. That left Wake and Ndamukong Suh running unblocked. They met at Petty, sandwiching him and injuring his chest. Petty left the game and was replaced by Fitzpatrick. X-rays were negative, but Petty will undergo a CT scan Sunday to see if there is any damage to his lungs.
The Jets’ offensive line was without three starters, and it showed. There were Dolphins running free at Petty all night. It was not just Petty, however, the entire team stunk.
“I’m not gonna sit up here and give a Bryce assessment,” said wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who had one catch on 11 targets. “None of us playing well this season, that’s what will I say. We’ve only won four games, so we’ve all stunk it up.”
The Dolphins were playing without starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who injured his knee last week. Matt Moore made his first start since 2011, and showed no signs of rust against the terrible Jets defense. Moore went 12-for-18 for 236 yards with a career-high four touchdowns and an interception.
“I don’t think we covered very well,” Bowles said.
Moore threw a 52-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Stills, who ran past rookie Juston Burris, and a 66-yarder to Jarvis Landry, who beat Marcus Williams.
The Dolphins held a 13-10 lead at halftime, but blew the game open in the third quarter. The first touchdown came on the latest special teams gaffe in a season full of them by the Jets. Dolphins safety Walt Aikens ran past Brandon Wilds to block Lachlan Edwards’ punt and he then returned it 11 yards for a touchdown and a 20-10 lead with 10:30 left in the quarter.
Moore marched Miami down the field after Petty’s second interception of the game gave Miami the ball. Moore hit Jarvis Landry for 31 yards and Dion Sims for 28 yards before finding Sims for a 1-yard touchdown, his second of the game. The score came 2 minutes, 43 seconds after the blocked punt touchdown.
The onslaught continued with a 66-yard touchdown pass from Moore to Landry on their next series, making it 34-10 just 1 minute, 11 seconds after the last touchdown.
With two games left, Bowles is promising better results.
“I can damn sure coach better and make sure the coaches and players know exactly what’s going on play by play,” Bowles said. “When we’re not winning ballgames, it starts with me. It’s my responsibility. I will be a better damn coach and we’ll be a better team.”