Despite losing 13-6 to the Dolphins, the Jets defense put up one of its best performances of the season in holding the Miami offense to 168 yards, the fewest yards the Green & White have allowed since the season opener in 2014.
“It was tough,” said defensive lineman Leonard Williams, who registered one quarterback hit and one tackle for loss. “We only gave up two field goals. The defense was playing pretty lights out. It almost felt like we won the game from our perspective, but then you look at the scoreboard and we didn’t win. I don’t know how to feel right now. Kind of disappointing.”
The Jets only surrendered 34 yards in the second half. The last time the team gave up fewer than 34 yards in the second half was against the Cardinals in 2012 (22 yards) and the last time on the road came in 1995 to the Colts (three yards).
The Green & White entered Sunday’s game as the league’s fourth-ranked third-down defense and the Dolphins converted just three of their 16 third-down attempts, one of which came in the second half. The Jets defense played well wire-to-wire, holding the Dolphins to a pair of field goals.
“The thing for us is to continue to be like that the whole game, which is what I was proud of,” Williams said. “We started off the half like that and we finished the game like that, defensively. Sometimes we’ll be playing lights out in the first half and the offense starts scoring — that’s when the defense starts lighting up. It’s kind of frustrating, but we’re going to stick together.”
Dolphins quarterback Brock Osweiler completed 15 of his 24 passes for 139 yards and was sacked four times, two of which were credited to OLB Jordan Jenkins. The Jets were in the backfield all day as the defense totaled seven quarterback hits and seven tackles for loss (four on sacks, three on run plays).
“We’re getting home more,” Jenkins said. “We stressed it a lot this offseason, we stressed it in camp, we stress it a lot during individual periods and during practices. Now, it’s finally falling our way. It’s like last year. There were times where we were close. Now, we’ve made that extra step, getting rid of that inch and we’re making plays.”
Despite a three-game losing streak, head coach Todd Bowles isn’t worried about the team’s resolve and believes the players are sticking together through a rough patch, a sentiment Williams shares.
“I’m still not worried about the guys in the room,” he said. “We have to stick together, keep fighting. We have another division game coming up, so we can’t just roll over and give up on the season. We have to keep fighting and hopefully some other teams in our division will start to lose their divisional games. We have to play our part and do as much as we can.”