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Dolphins Digest Week 5: Pain

Elsa. Getty Images.

The Dolphins lost to the Jets 40-17 at the Meadowlands, as the loser fans and Jets celebrated like they won the Super Bowl. The loss was terrible, but the concern for Miami is the rising number of players dealing with injuries. Forgetting that Tua Tagovailoa is in concussion protocol, the Dolphins were without their two top corners as Xavien Howard joined Byron Jones on the sidelines with a groin injury. Jaylen Waddle, also dealing with a tender groin, was able to play but was not 100%. On the first play, Teddy Bridgewater was injured, forcing the Dolphins to put Skylar Thompson, a seventh-round rookie out of Kansas State, behind an offensive line without left tackle Terrion Armstead, who exited in the second quarter with a toe injury. The Jets did not beat the Dolphins; they beat a wounded team that was weakened and unable to fight back. 

The game had a disastrous start for the Dolphins as Teddy Bridgewater was called for intentional grounding in the end zone. Funny, I always thought that if your arm was hit, the call was negated, but on a day when the officials were happy to throw flags, the Jets got two points and the ball. Making matters worse, Bridgewater hurt his elbow and was examined by concussion doctors who, under new protocols after the Tua incident, did not allow him to return. Most of the Dolphins' injuries date back to that game against the Bills, the Dolphins won, but it cost them everything. 

The Dolphins forced the Jets to punt after the safety as Skylar Thompson came in at quarterback. The Dolphins, again, were pinned deep and unable to get anything going. The Jets got into Miami territory after a punt and settled for a field goal. On the last play of the first quarter, Zach Wilson took advantage of the Dolphins' injured secondary as Breece Hall had a 79-yard run and catch to the one-yard line. Michael Carter would score a touchdown giving the Jets a 12-0 as the second quarter began. 

Down 12-0, the Dolphins responded as Skylar Thompson took advantage of a 27-yard pass interference call against D.J. Reed, who dropped his arms around Tyreek Hill, preventing a big play. The drive ended with a 12-yard touchdown run by Raheem Mostert, who did his best to keep Miami in the game by rushing for 113 yards on 18 carries. On the Dolphins' next drive, Thompson made a rookie mistake as Sauce Gardner picked him off. The Jets would go down and score a touchdown, as the Jets grabbed a 19-7 lead. 

With Mostert carrying the ball, the Dolphins found the end zone again as the half end, with Thompson scoring a one-yard sneak from the one. Despite the troubles, the Dolphins were in the game, trailing by five points and getting the ball first in the third quarter. However, with Terrion Armstead out with a toe injury, the Dolphins offensive line was helpless, giving the rookie quarterback no time to find his rhythm and connect with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. The Dolphins managed a field goal on the drive and trailed 19-17.

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In the third quarter, the Dolphins tried to stay in the game, stopping the Jets on fourth and one from the 44. As the fourth quarter began, the Dolphins had a chance to take the lead after another long pass interference call got the ball down to the New York 41-yard line. However, the tiring Dolphins line could not give any protection as the drive stalled, with Jason Sanders missing a 57-yard field goal. 

The missed field goal let the air out of the Dolphins' tires as the Jets went down the field and put the game away with a Michael Carter touchdown. From there, the wheels fell off as the Jets scored two more touchdowns following a fumble and a turnover on downs to win the game 40-17.

The Dolphins next face the Vikings, and if they can't get healthy in a hurry, their season will be off the rails for good.