Final

Jets 13

(9-6, 6-2 away)

Dolphins 10

(6-9, 4-4 home)

Coverage: ESPN

8:30 PM ET, December 25, 2006

 

1 2 3 4 T
NYJ 0 0 3 1013
MIA 0 0 0 1010

Top Performers

Passing: C. Pennington (NYJ) - 237 YDS, 1 TD

Rushing: R. Brown (MIA) - 18 CAR, 110 YDS

Receiving: L. Washington (NYJ) - 4 REC, 108 YDS

Jets gut out victory, one win from playoffs

MIAMI (AP) -- Stymied for three quarters by steady rain, sloppy play and the Miami Dolphins, the New York Jets found even the simple task of catching a field-goal snap difficult.

But with the game on the line, and their playoff hopes in jeopardy, the Jets came up with the big plays they needed.

Elias Says

Chad Pennington
Chad Pennington boosted his pro record to 30-22 (.577) as a starter. With the victory in South Florida, he now owns the highest winning percentage for any quarterback in Jets' history (minimum: 20 starts); that distinction was previously held by Vinny Testaverde, who was 35-26 (.574).

• For more Elias Says, Click here

New York overcame the weather, a sputtering offense and two late scores by Miami to win 13-10 on Monday night.

"For us it was all about chipping away and waiting for our moment," Jets coach Eric Mangini said. "This was a game with tough conditions. We faced a lot of adversity."

All of the points came in the final 17:25. Miami kicked a tying field goal with 2:09 left, but on the Jets' next play, Leon Washington caught a short pass from Chad Pennington and broke loose for a 64-yard gain.

Four plays later, Mike Nugent kicked a 30-yarder with 10 seconds left. That meant the Jets (9-6) can clinch an AFC wild-card playoff berth if they beat Oakland (2-13) in their final regular-season game Sunday.

"We like controlling our own destiny and not having to rely on someone else to help us," defensive end Shaun Ellis said.

For the Dolphins (6-9), the defeat ensures the first losing season for Nick Saban in his 13 years as a college and NFL coach. Miami was eliminated from the playoff race a week ago.

"When it came to it, we just fell apart on defense," linebacker Zach Thomas said. "And they made great plays when they had to."

The rain resulted in a succession of errant and dropped passes -- and 18 punts. A mishandled snap spoiled a field goal try by New York. Dolphins cornerback Eddie Jackson left the game with a knee injury when he stumbled and fell on the slippery field without being hit.

When the Dolphins' scoreless streak reached six quarters, Cleo Lemon replaced Joey Harrington at quarterback to start the second half. A third-year pro, Lemon threw his first NFL touchdown pass and finished 11-for-16 for 104 yards.

"We decided to go with Cleo to see if he would give us a little bit of a spark," Saban said. "He did a decent job of moving the team a couple of times."

Miami's Ronnie Brown, back in the lineup after missing three games with a hand injury, rushed for 110 yards on 18 carries.

But in the fourth quarter, the Jets answered scores by the Dolphins with scoring drives of 80 and 68 yards.

"We didn't knock them out, but we might have scored a technical knockout," New York linebacker Jonathan Vilma said.

After Lemon hit Randy McMichael on a 7-yard touchdown pass to put the Dolphins ahead 7-3, New York regained the lead on Pennington's 31-yard scoring pass to Jerricho Cotchery with 7:51 to go.

Cotchery was initially ruled down at the 1-yard line, but the Jets challenged the spot, and following a review the play was ruled a touchdown.

A funny bounce then produced the game's only turnover -- and the tying field goal for Miami.

A short punt by the Dolphins took a backward hop before deflecting off the arm of Jets blocker Brad Kassell, and Miami's John Denney recovered at the Jets 42. Eight plays later, Olindo Mare kicked a 25-yard field goal.

Saban opted to kick rather than trying for a first down on fourth-and-1.

"Some guys wanted to go for it and some guys wanted to kick it," Lemon said. "When it's all said and done, Coach Saban's got to make that decision."

The game was an announced sellout, but because of the Christmas holiday, the bad weather and the Dolphins' disappointing season, the stadium was less than half full at the start.

For much of the game, the best plays for the Jets were scrambles by Pennington, who twice ran for first downs. His 15-yard gain in the third quarter sparked the game's first scoring drive, which produced a 22-yard field goal by Nugent.

Pennington finished 14-for-29 for 237 yards

The Jets mounted the best threat in a scoreless first half, driving 67 yards to the Miami 16. But when New York lined up for a 34-yard field goal try, the perfect snap slipped through the hands of holder Ben Graham and hit him in the helmet, giving the Dolphins possession.

Game notes


Miami DB Eddie Jackson sustained a knee injury in the second quarter and was on crutches after the game. DB Andre Goodman aggravated a shoulder injury in the first quarter. DT Keith Traylor hurt his knee in the second half. ... New York CB Andre Dyson hurt his right leg in the third quarter. ... Former T Richmond Webb was inducted into the Dolphins Honor Roll at halftime. ... The starting time of Miami's game Sunday at Indianapolis was changed to 4:15 p.m. EST.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
NY Jets
Miami
1st Downs1214
3rd down efficiency
7-181-13
4th down efficiency
0-10-0
Total Yards324253
Yards per play5.44.4
Total Drives01
Passing229129
Comp-Att
14-2918-31
Yards per pass
7.94.2
Interceptions thrown
00
Sacks-Yards Lost
1-83-17
Rushing95124
Rushing Attempts
3024
Yards per rush
3.25.2
Penalties1-127-78
Turnovers10
Fumbles lost
10
Interceptions thrown
00
Possession30:3229:28

Passing Leaders

NYJC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Pennington14/292378.2101-8
MIAC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Lemon11/161046.5102-9
Harrington7/15422.8001-8

Rushing Leaders

NYJCARYDSAVGTDLG
Barlow18362.006
Washington6264.3011
MIACARYDSAVGTDLG
Brown181106.1017
Morris6142.304

Receiving Leaders

NYJRECYDSAVGTDLG
Washington410827.0064
Cotchery45012.5132
MIARECYDSAVGTDLG
McMichael5469.2120
Hagan33511.7012

Scoring Summary

THIRD QUARTERNYJMIA
FG12:35Mike Nugent 22 Yd
Drive: 7 plays, 56 yds, 3:45
30
FOURTH QUARTERNYJMIA
TD1:34Randy Mcmichael 7 Yd Pass From Cleo Lemon (Olindo Mare Kick)
Drive: 7 plays, 73 yds, 3:59
37
TD6:56Jerricho Cotchery 32 Yd Pass From Chad Pennington (Mike Nugent Kick)
Drive: 11 plays, 80 yds, 5:22
107
FG12:47Olindo Mare 25 Yd
Drive: 8 plays, 35 yds, 4:45
1010
FG14:50Mike Nugent 30 Yd
Drive: 5 plays, 68 yds, 1:59
1310