The short-handed Miami Dolphins were not able to overcome the New York Jets on Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium, falling 40-17 to their division foes.
Down to third-string quarterback Skylar Thompson, who replaced Teddy Bridgewater after he went down on Miami’s first drive, the Dolphins (3-2) turned to running back Raheem Mostert – and he answered the call. The New Smyrna Beach, Florida native rushed for 113 yards and one touchdown, becoming the first Dolphin to hit the 100-yard rushing mark this season.
Thompson finished with 166 passing yards and an interception in his NFL debut. Tyreek Hill led all receivers with seven receptions for 47 yards.
With quarterback Tua Tagovailoa out due to injury, Teddy Bridgewater became the second Dolphin from Miami-Dade County to start at quarterback on Sunday, but it was short-lived. Cornerback Sauce Gardner hit the seven-year NFL veteran in the end zone on Miami’s first offensive play of the game, forcing him to fling a last-second pass that was called intentional grounding and resulted in a safety. Bridgewater left the game to be evaluated for a head injury and with an elbow injury but did not return.
As Thompson acclimated himself to Miami’s offense, New York (3-2) capitalized on the Dolphins’ offensive woes. The Jets built up a 12-0 second quarter lead thanks to a 34-yard field goal and a 79-yard pass to running back Breece Hall that set up a one-yard touchdown rush by Michael Carter.
But, as evident by their 21-pont comeback victory against Baltimore in Week 2, the Dolphins are no stranger to fighting through adversity.
With a rookie quarterback, Miami turned to its ground game. Mostert rushed for 77 yards in the first half, including a 12-yard touchdown run where he turned the corner on the right sideline to make it 12-7 in the second quarter.
When the Jets scored another touchdown, Thompson started to find his footing. On the last drive of the half, the Dolphins marched 75 yards down the field in 2:34 to score.
Thompson nearly had his first career touchdown pass with a nine-yard throw to Mostert on the drive, but he stepped out just before breaking the pylon. Moments later, a direct snap to tight end Durham Smythe on second-and-goal from the one made it 19-14 in favor of the Jets at halftime.
Mostert picked up right where he left off in the third quarter by hitting the 100-yard rushing mark with a 20-yard run that brought Miami past midfield. Kicker Jason Sanders then nailed a 46-yard field goal that cut the Dolphins’ deficit to two.
Miami’s defense held New York scoreless in the third, allowing just 50 yards of total offense. Safety Brandon Jones registered the Dolphins’ second sack of the game in the quarter as he sprinted down quarterback Zach Wilson for a 17-yard loss.
Miami gave the Jets good field position after missing a 54-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, though, and Carter soon found the end zone on a one-yard rush to make it a two-possession game with 9:22 remaining.
Thompson fumbled on the ensuing drive, and the Jets recovered at Miami’s five-yard line, scoring a touchdown on the next play. New York ended the game with 21 unanswered points.
Next up, the Dolphins return to Hard Rock Stadium to face the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, Oct. 16. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.