The Miami Dolphins apparently limped into MetLife Stadium on Sunday and when the last seconds ticked off, they limped back to Miami.
For all of about three plays it appeared that the Dolphins were going to put a serious whooping on the New York Jets. The first series for New York was not pretty and Cam Wake was a force putting Josh McCown on his back. When the Jets kicked from deep on their own side, it looked like it was going to be a long day.
The weather was perfect for the Miami Dolphins. A humid and hot Florida style heat wave that had fans in the stands drowning in sweat as their energy seeped away with their fluid levels. But apparently the Dolphins were not told that this was as close to a home game as they could have on the road.
Miami came out lifeless. And it remained for the entire game. Play calling was atrocious and when a play was actually called that might amount to a decent pick-up, the receiver dropped the ball. Jay Ajayi was ineffective as the offensive line didn’t get the memo that the Jets front seven was nothing special. On the other hand the Jets got that memo and set out to prove everyone wrong.
The Jets didn’t put up a huge fight against the Dolphins they just annihilated them. During commercial breaks as the loud sound system drowned the stands with hip-pop music and dance music, the Jets defenders were gyrating and dancing on the field getting the fans riled up in the process.
MetLife Stadium had a lot of empty seats for a Jets home game. Especially for a Jets home opener. The fans just assumed the Jets were doomed and they carried an attitude like they didn’t really care if the Jets won or lost. But as the players on the field found their “rhythm” so did the fans in the stands.
It got loud despite the empty rows of seating and all the while, the Dolphins simply went through the motions of playing football. They were out hit, out played, and out coached from the start. As Jets players ran on and off the field, the Dolphins walked with helmets off and heads low. And the score was still only 3-0 New York.
Something wasn’t sitting well on Sunday for the Dolphins. Something wasn’t right. They lacked focus and drive and when it appeared they would make a play, they simply gave up. Three consecutive penalties inched the Jets down the field and the snickers and cheers from the Jets fans reverberated with every announcement that the play was dead and was being marked off five yards.
Miami didn’t have any answers either. They couldn’t stop the run and they sure as hell couldn’t stop the pass. The only fire they showed us sitting in the cheap seats was on the final drive of the game. By then it was over. By then it didn’t matter. So when Cody Parkey missed his extra attempt, we all just laughed and cheered the miserable play we had been serenaded with all day.
I’ve only seen the team play this lifeless once before. A home game about six years ago against the Ttitans. In that game, they were being blown out by half-time. In this game they were down 10-0 at the half and that seemed as if it would be insurmountable. Turns out it was.