Dolphins vs Jets: New York's Biggest Winners and Losers from Week 8
In what was a pivotal game in an division as tight as can be, the Jets wasted their time even showing up, losing 30-9 in their own building.
The offense sputtered as Mark Sanchez turned in a terrible performance, and a handful of special teams mistakes put the game out of reach before halftime.
Here are this week's winners and losers.
Loser: Mark Sanchez
Oh, where to begin?
Coming off of three solid performances in a row, Sanchez turned in a performance that was as bad as he has ever played this season.
His final stats may look better because the Jets were able to rack up yards in garbage time, but Sanchez was rattled from the start. He did not trust his protection and his throws were way off-target.
However, the biggest issue for Sanchez today was his decision-making. He turned the ball over the the red zone and got into a staring contest with Dustin Keller multiple times. His receives did not do a great job getting separation, but there is no excuse to continue to turn the ball over as much as he does when sacked.
The New York media will now have two full weeks to marinate this loss, and the calls for Tebow will only gain momentum if Sanchez does not get any better.
Winner: Clyde Gates
Once seen as a raw, developmental player that is only on the roster because of his speed, Gates turned out to be the Jets' most effective offensive weapon of the day, which is really not saying all that much.
With seven catches for 82 yards, it was by far Gates' best day as a pro. He ran clean routes and was able to bring in some tough catches in traffic.
He added to his receiving effort by returning a kickoff into Dolphins territory. Had he not been tackled by fellow Jets Demario Davis by accident, he possibly could have scored.
The Jets' injuries at receiver has brought their depth into question, but Gates was one of the few offensive Jets who did his job today.
Loser: Mike Westhoff
Mike Westhoff has had a legendary career as a special teams coach, but this is a day he is going to want to forget.
Early in the game, the Dolphins were able to execute an onside kick and block a punt. The Dolphins went on to block a field-goal attempt and get a long return on a kickoff.
To put icing on the cake, the Jets were unable to recover their onside kick.
The Jets have always been good in the special teams portion of the game under Westhoff, but the Dolphins' dominance in this phase helped put the game out of reach before halftime.
Winner: Shonn Greene
Ever since he broke out against the Colts, Greene has looked a shade faster and more physical than he has before.
He had an underwhelming 77 yards on the day, but the Jets were forced to abandon the run to try and make up for their huge deficit. Greene was able to break open a huge run that the Jets could not capitalize on. He was able to average 5.1 yards per carry on the day.
As Sanchez gets back to his turnover-filled ways, the focus of the Jets' struggles is turning away from the running back position as Greene continues to turn in solid performances.
Loser: Tony Sparano
Usually, I am not one to blame losses on play-calling and offensive coaching, but this was a complete disaster on Sparano's part.
He had receivers running in the same area, and he continued to put in Tebow in at tight end for no reason whatsoever. If the Jets are going to put in Tebow to use in the Wildcat, that's fine, but putting him in the game at absurd positions just for the sake of getting him in the game is flat-out silly.
His quarterback was never comfortable, and his unit as a whole looked very unprepared. Sparano's offense is very "hit-or-miss," and it was all "miss" today.
Winner: Muhammad Wilkerson
It seems like I highlight him every week, but Wilkerson was arguably the best Jet on the field once again.
The Jets failed in most aspects of the game, but they were at least able to keep Reggie Bush and the rest of the Dolphins running game in check. Wilkerson consistently took on double teams and was able to shed blocks clog up running lanes all game long.
Mike Tannenbaum takes a lot of heat, and rightfully so, but it is starting to look like he got a real player at the end of the first round last year in Wilkerson.
Loser: Pass Protection
After having a string of games in which they gave Sanchez plenty to time, the offensive line started to show some warts this week in protection.
The Dolphins were able to sack Sanchez four times, but the biggest reason for the line's failures is that it was unable to block the Dolphins with five players. Too often, it was forced to use Jason Smith in protection to help against Cameron Wake, which handcuffs the offense.
They also struggled mightily against the blitz, as the Dolphins kept bringing pressure on third down with great success. Sanchez was never able to get into any kin of rhythm, and the offense sputtered.
By the end of the game, the Sanchez was sacked four times.
Winner: Dustin Keller
Dustin Keller is finally back to being his old self after missing a handful of games due to a nagging hamstring injury.
This is the second week in a row in which he has put up big numbers, adding another seven catches for 67 yards. Many of the catches were made were in traffic and on poorly-thrown balls form Sanchez.
The passing game leaves a lot to be desired, but they are getting a lot more production from the tight end position with Keller back in the lineup.
Loser: Kyle Wilson
While the Dolphins were able to score 30 points, most of the fault does not fall in the lap of the defense. However, Kyle Wilson was exposed for being the liability he is opposite Antonio Cromartie.
Kyle has been getting beat rather consistently by opposing receivers, but the Dolphins were the first team to actually capitalize on having open receivers running deep downfield. Both Jabar Gaffney and Marlon Moore were able to cash in on 30-plus yard plays against Wilson to put the game out of hand.
If Kyle Wilson played well as a sideline corner, he could have potentially earned himself a lot of money from the Jets or someone else in free agency. Now, it is starting to look like the Jets would be glad to rid themselves of Kyle Wilson next offseason.
The more Kyle Wilson plays, the more evident it is that he has been yet another stain on Mike Tannenbuam's resume.
Loser: Rex Ryan
Just one week removed from his masterpiece against New England in which his undermanned team was inches away from pulling off the upset, Rex's team was not even competitive against the Dolphins.
From blocked punts to missed assignments, the Jets looked completely unprepared and did not match the Dolphins' sense of urgency and intensity. Rex does not have a ton of talent to work with, but the Dolphins are not exactly the Patriots either.
Give him credit for not letting his players quit on them in the game, but whenever your team is destroyed at home going against at backup quarterback, some of the blame has to fall on the head coach.
Now headed into the bye week, Rex will have a lot of decision-making to do as to how his team handles the time off. Rex needs to find a way to protect his team from the impending media storm that will suffocate it until it starts winning again.