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Dolphins Rally to Make it Six in a Row

AllDolphins
AllDolphins
 2021-12-19

The one thing that had been missing from the Miami Dolphins winning streak had been a down-to-the-wire victory, so they added that to their resume Sunday.

Duke Johnson scored two touchdowns after being elevated from the practice squad and the defense turned up the heat in the second half to produce a 31-24 victory against the New York Jets at Hard Rock Stadium.

The Dolphins' sixth consecutive victory improved their record to 7-7, and while being at .500 isn't necessarily impressive, this is something that seemed unattainable after the forgettable 1-7 start.

Johnson rushed for 103 yards to go along with his two rushing touchdowns, becoming the Dolphins' first 100-yard rusher of the season.

Two days after coming off the COVID-19 list, Myles Gaskin added 54 yards on the ground, including a key 30-yard run on the game-winning drive, which was capped by Tua Tagovailoa's 11-yard touchdown pass to DeVante Parker.

It was Tua's second TD pass of the day, the first going to Christian Wilkins after he lined up in the backfield as a fullback. That score gave the Dolphins a 24-17 lead, but that was erased by Jets DB Brandon Echols' 20-yard pick-six when he stepped in front of an outside pass intended for rookie tight end Hunter Long.

The game-winner to Parker came with 3:37 left in the fourth quarter and the Jets then made the strange decision of punting on fourth-and-7 from their 28 on the next possession with only 2:14 left on the clock.

The Jets did get the ball back, but the Dolphins clinched the victory when they failed to convert a fourth-and-10 after Zach Wilson completed a 9-yard pass to Keelan Cole.

This was the second time during the winning streak the Dolphins defeated the Jets, and those were the two closest outcomes.

In this one, the Dolphins had to overcome deficits of 10-0 and 17-7 and trailed 17-10 at the half, the first time all season the Jets led going into the second half.

The Dolphins' previous largest deficit during their streak had been three points, against both Baltimore and the New York Giants.

The Dolphins found themselves quickly down 10-0 after the Jets scored a touchdown on their opening drive and then got a field goal after Tagovailoa threw his first of two interceptions.

As usual, the defense played a big role in the victory, holding the Jets to three first downs and 54 total yards in the second half.

In addition, the defense recorded six sacks — two by Jerome Baker and one each by Brandon Jones, Andrew Van Ginkel, Zach Sieler and Emmanuel Ogbah.

Helping to compensate for Tua's worst outing of the streak — he passed for 196 yards and had a passer rating of 75.5 — the Dolphins rushed for a season-high 184 yards while outgaining the Jets 380-228.

Bottom line is it wasn't pretty, but the Dolphins once again took care of business and kept themselves in position to be able to make a late run for a playoff spot.

The schedule gets considerably harder starting next week when the Dolphins face the New Orleans Saints at the Superdome, followed by games at Tennessee and against New England.

But the Dolphins have managed to make things interesting for the final three weeks of the season by taking of the soft portion of their schedule. How they did it wasn't as important as just getting it done.

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