EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The New York Jets got a big play on defense and then kept running on offense.
All the way to a blowout win — and against an AFC East rival, at that.
New York got a safety on Miami's first offensive play when Teddy Bridgewater was forced out of the game, and the Jets ran past the Dolphins 40-17 on Sunday.
Michael Carter had a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs after big catch-and-run plays by Breece Hall, helping New York stop a 12-game skid against division opponents.
“The expectation is changing,” quarterback Zach Wilson said. "We’re expecting to come in here and win ... and be shocked when we don’t.
“That’s how the mindset needs to be for everybody.”
Wilson, Hall and Braxton Berrios also rushed for scores, sending 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.
“We’re still getting every team's best shots, regardless of us being the Jets,” said Hall, who finished with 97 yards on 18 carries and 100 yards receiving on two catches. "We’re not the old Jets. We’re the Jets now. And we’re definitely trending toward becoming a winning team.”
The Dolphins (3-2) lost another quarterback to injury when 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.
The Dolphins announced Bridgewater injured an elbow and was examined for a concussion before being ruled out under the NFL's new concussion protocol. Coach Mike McDaniel said Bridgewater doesn’t have any concussion symptoms and passed tests, but a spotter saw Bridgewater stumble — so he was removed from the game.
Bridgewater was replaced by rookie Skylar Thompson, who was 19 of 33 for 166 yards and an interception in his NFL debut.
“You never want to see one of your teammates go down, especially to see Teddy on the first play,” the seventh-rounder from Kansas State said. “It was a little bit to take in.”
Raheem Mostert had 113 yards rushing and a TD for Miami, which dropped its second in a row after a 3-0 start.
Bridgewater started after Tagovailoa suffered a concussion Sept. 29 at Cincinnati. That came four days after Tagovailoa took a big hit against Buffalo that caused him to appear disoriented afterward and he 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.
“Honestly, I’m happy that there’s some policy that the medical experts deem is safe for the players collectively,” McDaniel said. “That’s a positive thing. As far as the determination that things were followed appropriately, that didn’t surprise me. That’s what I’ve been saying.”
Wilson hit a wide-open Hall on the final play of the first quarter, and the rookie running back went 79 yards — carrying a few defenders along the way — before being taken down at the 1.
Carter ran it in on the next play 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.
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.
The Dolphins made it a two-point game early in the second half after tight end Durham Smythe's 1-yard touchdown run, and Jason Sanders' 46-yard field goal.
Miami had a chance to take the lead, but 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's 5-yard run increased the Jets' lead.
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 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 WR Tyreek Hill was seen wearing a walking boot on his left foot after being stepped on late. ... LT Terron Armstead left in the first quarter with a toe injury and didn't return. McDaniel said Armstead would remain in New York for evaluation. ... 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 takes on close friend/Packers coach Matt LaFleur — brother of Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur.
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