It’s getting difficult to keep track of all the ways in which the Jets are setting all-time marks for offensive incompetence, but here’s one historical note from Miami’s 24-0 Sunday blowout of Adam Gase’s Symphony of Destruction. With 9:28 left in the game, and the Jets with the ball at the Miami 29-yard line on third-and-4, quarterback Joe Flacco took the ball from center and dropped back… and back… and back… until he was sacked for a 28-yard loss by Dolphins lineman Emmanuel Ogbah.
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“I think there’s a lot of … These guys like playing together, so when other guys make plays, whether it’s offense, defense, special teams, you see a lot of excitement, a lot of energy,” Dolphins head coach Brian Flores said after the game, about Ogbah’s teammates being happy that this play took the Jets out of field goal range and preserved the shutout. “Guys were excited for Ogbah to make a play. Guys were excited about the situation, of getting a stop and getting them out of field goal range, and they were excited about the potential to get a shutout. That’s what I like to see, guys enjoying kind of the process of working through the week, prep and preparing, walk throughs, meeting, practice, and then going out and executing on a Sunday afternoon. I think they’re just happy for each other and kind of reaping some of the fruits of their labor.”
This maladjusted piece of offense immediately brought another play to mind involving the Dolphins. In Super Bowl VI on January 16, 1972, the Cowboys brought their long championship drought to an end with a commanding 24-3 win over Miami. Perhaps the spotlight play of that game was a 29-yard sack of Dolphins Hall of Fame quarterback Bob Griese by Cowboys Hall of Fame defensive lineman Bob Lilly. It is still the longest negative play in Super Bowl history, and the similarities are striking.
It was a long way for the then 11-year veteran to run, as he said after the game.
“I never thought I would ever catch him. I must have scrambled 100 yards, and defensive tackles aren’t supposed to do that.”
The 1972 Dolphins recovered from that loss to become the only perfect team in NFL history, and they won the next two Super Bowls. We do not expect the Jets to present a similar transformative result.