Dolphins 23, Jets 3

The SportsXchange

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw for 331 yards and a pair of touchdown passes Sunday afternoon and the Miami Dolphins manhandled the New York Jets in a 23-3 win at MetLife Stadium.

Wide receivers Brian Hartline and Mike Wallace caught the touchdowns for Miami and kicker Caleb Sturgis booted three field goals as the Dolphins (6-6) moved into a tie for the final AFC wild card spot the Jets held just two weeks ago.

Tannehill finished 28-of-43 with an interception in the fifth 300-yard game of his career. Hartline had nine catches for 127 yards, Wallace had seven catches for 82 yards and tight end Charles Clay added seven receptions for 80 yards for the Dolphins, who outgained the Jets 454-178.

Beleaguered rookie quarterback Geno Smith was benched at halftime for the Jets (5-7), who were all but eliminated from playoff contention with their third straight lopsided loss. The Jets have been outscored 79-20 since returning from their Nov. 10 bye.

The Dolphins dominated the first half -- they moved into Jets territory on all six possessions and outgained the Jets 265-39 and ran 53 plays to just 17 for the Jets. But Miami led just 6-0 at the half thanks to a missed field goal by Sturgis, who was off from 41 yards to end the Dolphins' first drive, and a pair of curious failures on fourth-and-short.

The Dolphins went for the first down at the Jets' 44-yard-line late in the first period but turned the ball over when Tannehill's pass for Hartline was incomplete. With a fourth-and-goal at the Jets' 1-yard-line at the two-minute warning, the Dolphins passed up the field goal and got no points when Tannehill overthrew Clay on a fade route.

The Jets promptly went three-and-out and the Dolphins - who used their two remaining timeouts on the Jets' possession, which took just 13 seconds off the clock - finally got on the board when Tannehill and Clay connected on passes of 10 yards and 28 yards to set up a 34-yard field goal by Sturgis.

The Jets took over at their own 20 with 43 seconds left and tried to move into field position. The gamble backfired three plays later, when Smith's pass into double coverage was intercepted by linebacker Dannell Ellerbe and returned to the Jets' 44. Sturgis kicked a 43-yard field goal with five seconds left to double the Dolphins' lead.

With the Jets receiving the ball to start the second half and still somehow in the game, Jets head coach Rex Ryan had no choice but to pull Smith - who was 4-of-10 passing for 29 yards in the first half - and turn to Matt Simms, an undrafted free agent whose prior NFL experience consisted of a pair of garbage time performances in lopsided losses to Cincinnati and Buffalo. Simms was greeted by an ovation from Jets fans.

The Jets went three-and-out on Simms' first series before generating a pair of first downs on their next drive. But any momentum they had was squelched when running back Bilal Powell fumbled a handoff from Simms. Dolphins linebacker Philip Wheeler pounced on the ball and Miami put the game out of reach two plays later, when Hartline eluded numerous tackles on a 31-yard touchdown catch.

The Jets sustained a scoring drive on their next series. Running back Chris Ivory rushed for 44 yards on six carries to set up a 20-yard field goal by kicker Nick Folk. Running back Marcel Thigpen returned the subsequent kickoff 50 yards to the Dolphins' 44 and Miami needed just six plays to find the end zone again and expand the lead to 20-3 on Tannehill's 28-yard touchdown pass to Wallace.

After consecutive three-and-outs, Simms - the son of legendary New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms - directed the Jets inside the Dolphins' 20-yard-line late in the fourth quarter before his fourth down pass was intercepted in the end zone by cornerback Brent Grimes.

Simms finished 9-of-18 for 79 yards.

NOTES: The Dolphins placed OT Jonathan Martin on the non-football injury list on Saturday. The transaction means Martin - who left the team on Oct. 28, alleging he was harassed by teammate Richie Incognito - will not play again this season. To replace Martin on the active roster, the Dolphins promoted S D.J. Campbell from the practice squad. Incognito remains suspended with pay. ... Jets WR Josh Cribbs, who also serves as the Jets' kickoff and punt returner as well as their quarterback in the Wildcat, left in the first half with a shoulder injury. ... Miami DT Damon Harrison was helped off the field after the Dolphins' first play of the third quarter. ... WR Jeremy Kerley (dislocated left elbow) and LB Garrett McIntyre (knee) each missed their third straight game for the Jets. Kerley warmed up beforehand but wasn't cleared to play. ... This year is the second time since the NFL went to the eight-division, two wild card format in 2002 that a wild card leader has been under .500 after 11 games. In 2004, St. Louis and the New York Giants shared the second NFC wild card spot with 5-6 records.
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