EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – New York got a safety on Miami’s first offensive play, Michael Carter scored on a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs and the Jets ran past the Dolphins 40-17 on Sunday to snap a 12-game skid against AFC East opponents.
Zach Wilson, Breece Hall and Braxton Berrios also rushed for scores to help the Jets to their first 3-2 start since 2017. It was the franchise’s first win against a division rival since topping Buffalo in Week 17 of the 2019 season.
The Dolphins lost another quarterback to injury when Teddy Bridgewater — starting for Tua Tagovailoa — was hit by rookie cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner on a blitz as he was about to throw on Miami’s first play from scrimmage. Bridgewater was called for intentional grounding in the end zone on the play, resulting in a safety.
Bridgewater injured an elbow and was examined for a concussion before being ruled out. He was replaced by rookie Skylar Thompson, who had a few efficient drives for the Dolphins (3-2).
Thompson was 19 of 33 for 166 yards and an interception, and Raheem Mostert had 113 yards rushing and a TD for Miami, which dropped its second in a row after a 3-0 start.
Bridgewater was starting after Tagovailoa suffered a concussion Sept. 29 at Cincinnati. That came four days after Tagovailoa took a hit against Buffalo that caused him to slam to the ground. He appeared disoriented afterward and stumbled as he tried to get to his feet, but later returned after clearing the NFL’s concussion protocol.
On Saturday, the NFL and NFL Players Association agreed to make changes to the league’s concussion protocol following a joint investigation into the procedures after the back injury Tagovailoa suffered.
After consecutive facemask penalties on Melvin Ingram and Raekwon Davis put the Jets in Dolphins territory late in the first quarter, New York stalled in the red zone and settled for a 34-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein.
Wilson hit a wide-open Hall on a wheel route, and the rookie running back zipped downfield and carried a few defenders with him 79 yards before being taken down at the 1. It was the seventh-longest reception by a rookie running back since 1970.
Carter took a handoff on the next play and ran it in for a 12-0 lead.
Thompson and the Dolphins followed with an eight-play, 75-yard drive that was capped by Mostert’s 12-yard run — helped by some missed Jets tackles.
After Gardner’s first NFL interception gave the Jets the ball near midfield, New York increased its lead to 19-7 on Wilson’s 5-yard run.
Thompson, a seventh-round pick out of Kansas State, led another solid drive just before halftime to make it a five-point game. Tight end Durham Smythe took a direct snap and shoved his way across the goal line for a 1-yard touchdown.
Jason Sanders’ 46-yard field goal on the opening drive of the second half cut the Dolphins’ deficit to 19-17.
But with a chance to give Miami its first lead, Sanders was wide right on a 54-yard attempt early in the fourth quarter.
And the Jets took advantage with a sudden scoring surge.
After a 21-yard catch-and-run by Hall got the ball to the 1, Carter ran it in to make it 26-17.
A strip-sack by Carl Lawson was recovered by Quinnen Williams, and Hall increased the Jets’ lead with a 5-yard TD run.
Berrios capped the win with a 15-yard run for a score that made it 40-17 with 4:24 left.
Jets offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker started Sunday for the first time at right tackle, a week after making his first career start at left tackle. The 2021 first-rounder started earlier this season at right guard after spending his rookie year at left guard.
According to Sportradar, Vera-Tucker is one of just three players since 2006 to start at four offensive line positions in his first 21 games. The others are Brady Christensen (Panthers) and Michael Ola (Bears/Chargers)
Dolphins LT Terron Armstead left early in the first quarter with a toe injury and didn’t return. ... Smythe left in the second half with a hamstring injury. ... Jets rookie DE Jermaine Johnson was carted to the locker room in the third quarter with an ankle injury.
Dolphins: Return home next Sunday to host Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings.
Jets: Travel to Green Bay next Sunday, when New York coach Robert Saleh will take on close friend/Packers coach Matt LaFleur — brother of Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur.