Dolphins clinch final AFC playoff berth, Jets offense struggles again in 11-6 season finale loss – The Denver Post


MIAMI — The Jets already knew they would be spending the playoffs at home following Sunday’s season finale.

Their objective was to make sure the Dolphins would be joining them on the couch, as with a win and some help, they could be in the playoffs.

In a defensive battle, Miami came out on top.

Dolphins (9-8) defeated the Jets (7-10), 11-6, after a late safety on a 79-degree, mostly sunny day at Hard Rock Stadium in front of 66,429 fans. Gang Green lost its sixth consecutive game to end season.

Joe Flacco started his fourth game of the season after Mike White was sidelined due to a reaggravated rib injury sustained in last weekend’s loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Flacco finished 18-of-33 for 149 yards.

Sunday might have been Flacco’s final start of his 15-year career. He will be an unrestricted free agent during the offseason as it is unclear if Flacco will continue playing.

The Dolphins also were missing their starting quarterback as Tua Tagovailoa missed his second consecutive game due to a concussion he suffered against the Packers on Christmas Day.

With Teddy Bridgewater also out because of a dislocated pinky on his throwing hand, rookie Skyler Thompson started the second game of his career. Thompson completed 20-of-31 passes for 152 yards.

Both offenses struggled to get much of anything going. The Jets had just 102 yards of total offense at halftime compared to 149 for the Dolphins.

Following 25 minutes of scoreless football, the Jets attempted to get points on the board early in the second quarter. However, Greg Zuerlein’s 55-yard field goal attempt was no good.

The Dolphins began the drive with excellent field position on their 45-yard line. Miami drove down to Gang Green’s 19 before settling for a 37-yard field goal by Jason Sanders, giving them a 3-0 advantage.

The Jets responded by getting as far as the Dolphins 14-yard line. However, the team had to settle for a 32-yard field goal by Zuerlein, which tied the game.

Halfway through the third quarter, the Dolphins retook the lead, 6-3, after Sanders’ 37-yard field goal. Following a 14-play, 73-yard drive, the Jets tied the game when Zuerlein converted a 35-yard field goal with 11:59 left in the fourth quarter.

Both teams continued to struggle offensively in the final minutes. A horse collar penalty by Quincy Williams put the Dolphins in enemy territory. That put them well in Sanders’ range as he kicked a 50-yard field goal to win the game.



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