Ronnie Brown and the Dolphins ran all over the Jets last night, winning 31-27 in Miami.

Ronnie Brown and the Dolphins ran all over the Jets last night, winning 31-27 in Miami.

In a week of NFL action that was very unpredictable and had a few surprising results, it’s only fitting that we would get more of the same on Monday Night.  The Chad Henne-led, wildcat running Miami Dolphins defeated the favored New York Jets in South Florida 31-27.  Not only did they beat the Jets, but they dominated the Jets in the trenches, allowing Ronnie Brown, Ricky Williams, Henne, and just about every key Dolphins player to get big yardage off of a now humbled Jets D.

Around this time last year the Patriots, with a backup QB of their own in Matt Cassel, went into New Jersey and beat the Jets.  A year later, it’s the same story as Henne, in his first career start and second career game played, looked like the second-coming of Dan Marino on the field, going a shocking 20/26 for 241 yards and 2 TD’s, including a key 53-yard strike to Ted Ginn Jr. to make it 24-20 Miami with about 10 minutes to play in the 4th quarter.

What really made it possible for Henne to have that level of success, though, was the ability of the Miami offense to establish and execute the Wildcat offense throughout the course of the game.  Ronnie Brown proved to be the star of the show, with 110 total yards and 2 TD’s and Ricky Williams continues to have a breakout start to the season, adding 138 total yards of offense.  The theme for the Wildcat this year has been unpredictability, and it continued last night as the Dolphins had two players in the passing category in Henne and Brown, five different players running the ball (Brown, Williams, Pat White, Lousaka Polite, and Patrick Cobbs), and nine different players with receptions (Williams, Ginn, Anthony Fasano, Greg Camarillo, Davone Bess, Joey Haynos, Brown, Brian Hartline, and Cobbs).

For the Jets, two major things can be pointed out in the loss.  The first is to look at the major defensive categories.  The Jets failed to force a turnover, get a sack, or even touch Chad Henne in the pocket last night.  They had only four tackles for loss, and allowed the Dolphins to control possession for almost 34 minutes.  The other issue that the Jets need to look at is their lack of success running the football.  Thomas Jones and Leon Washington combined for only 86 yards on the ground, with Jones adding two short rushing TD’s of 1 yard and 3 yards in the 4th quarter.  In order for the Jets and Mark Sanchez to be successful this year, they must establish the run early in games to open things up for their weaker passing offense, regardless of who is on the field catching the ball.  That being said, one of the bright spots for the Jets was the performance of Braylon Edwards, who had five catches for 64 yards and a TD.  However, with last night’s loss, the Jets fall back into a tie for first with New England at 3-2, while Miami jumps back into the picture at 2-3.  New York will look to bounce back next week as they host the 1-4 Bills, while the Dolphins look to get back to .500 after an 0-3 start when they take on the red hot 4-0 Saints at home.

Pierre Garcon had the game-winning catch for the Colts in Miami last night.

Pierre Garcon had the game-winning catch for the Colts in Miami last night.

Peyton Manning and the Colts made the most of their limited time on the field last night, coming up with big plays and quick scores in a 27-23 Indy victory that you couldn’t tell from the final stats.  Miami held the ball for just over 45 minutes in the game, using a grinding, hard-nosed offense to maintain possession and run the clock down.  However at the end of the day, the Wildcat was caged just enough by a Colts’ defense that proved, once again, to not be able to handle a solid rushing attack effectively.

Looking back at the game, there are two things we can take away very quickly, and they point directly to the result of the game, that is, for as efficient as the Colts’ offense can be, the Dolphins can be equally as inefficient.  The other problem for Miami is that most of their long, protracted drives only resulted in field goals, which is never going to be enough against one of the most prolific offenses in the league.  The scariest part for Dolphins’ fans and for the rest of the league is that I don’t think Miami could have played much better and they still lost.

For the Colts, they have become the Cardiac Kids, winning their first two games of the year over the Jaguars and ‘Phins by a total of six points, with both of their opponents having opportunities to win the game late in the 4th quarter.  They were completely exposed by the Miami rushing attack, as evidenced by Ronnie Brown’s big day on the ground.  It’s fine to play close games with lesser opponents as long as you win, but as the season progresses, these kinds of games will take their toll on a mediocre Indy defense, which means that the close wins could become close losses, and with a fairly tough schedule, that’s a habit the Colts will want to get out of quickly.