All Is Not Lost

The Dolphins missed a great opportunity to take early control of the AFC East by losing to the Jets on Sunday night, but there was reason to feel good about the team after the game regardless.

The obvious first step would be to mention the passing game, which came to life after two lackluster performances in the victories at Buffalo and Minnesota, and there's certainly something to that.

In essence, Chad Henne showed on Sunday night the Dolphins can ride his arm to a victory. He had shown that last year as well — most notably at home against the Jets and Patriots — but there was some doubt about him after an ineffective preseason was followed by those ho-hum first two games.

Against the Jets, Henne again showed off the strong arm and he also made some nifty back-shoulder throws and allowed Brandon Marshall to make plays.

Of course, it was good to see Marshall have a huge game because we saw glaringly just what kind of a difference-maker he can be.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, the Jets didn't have Darrelle Revis, but that doesn't change the fact the Dolphins passing game was impressive.

On the flip side, the Dolphins defense had its problems after the two dominating performances against Buffalo and Minnesota and ended up allowing more than 400 yards.

But, really, did anybody expect the Dolphins to hold every opponent on their schedule to 10 points?

What went wrong against the Jets appears very fixable, whether it be the outside linebackers not setting the edge or Jason Allen not turning back quickly enough to pick up the ball when covering Braylon Edwards one-on-one.

There were some issues in the kicking game that also can be cleaned up, such as Dan Carpenter kicking off out of bounds or the Dolphins failing to pick up Eric Smith looping inside on his way to blocking a Brandon Fields punt.

The most important thing is the Dolphins held their own against a very, very good Jets team. This was a game they clearly could have won.

Coming back the way they did after falling behind 14-0 very quickly showed you the Dolphins can play with the big boys.

Remember, the Jets are supposed to be a Super Bowl team, right?

Don't know about that, but there's no doubt they're a quality team. But so are the Dolphins. They showed that on Sunday night. Even in defeat.

Based on who they faced and the circumstances of the game, you could almost make the case the Dolphins looked better in defeat than they did in their two victories.

Don't get me wrong, it's disappointing to lose to the Jets, but this was not a season-turning loss. On the contrary, the Dolphins showed they should be in the thick of the division race for the long haul.

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