JETS JINX CONTINUES

It's getting almost incomprehensible. Three-hundred and fifty-six days after a nightmarish collapse on a Monday night in the Meadowlands that saw the Miami Dolphins blow a 23-point fourth quarter lead, they did it again.<p>

Trying desperately to snap an agonizing six-game losing streak to the rival New York Jets, the Dolphins were in line to do it Sunday afternoon at the Meadowlands.

All they had to do was call the game off at halftime as they were dominating and leading the contest 17-0. But, as always seems to be the case, Miami couldn't slam the door and allowed the Jets to come back and record a stunning 21-17 come-from-behind win. Instead of entering the bye week 4-1 and alone in first place in the AFC East, Dolphins players will now have to sit around and stew over their inability to make plays when they needed to make them the most in the second half. Probably might need see their shrinks as well in an effort to figure out just how to beat the guys in the kelly green jerseys.

After floundering around the entire second half, the Miami offense finally put together a drive in the closing minutes of the game and had the ball on the Jets 6-yard line with a minute-and-a-half left. But then quarterback Jay Fiedler made his only poor decision of the day at the absolute worst time when he tried to "squeeze" one into Oronde Gadsden running a quick slant-in in the end zone. Gadsden was covered like a blanket by Damien Robinson and Marcus Coleman and the ball was tipped into the air and intercepted by linebacker Marvin Jones.

Miami used its timeouts to get the ball back but a desperation pass in the final seconds was picked off by Victor Green to seal the win for the Jets.

"I can't say enough about this bunch of guys who don't quit, who have a lot of heart and who fight," said Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde. "They are the type of guys you want to play with, guys who compete until the last whistle."

At halftime, it was Jets players who were shaking their head as the Dolphins completely dominated the first half, holding the ball for 22:01 to the Jets' 7:59 and outgaining New York 250-27.

The Dolphins made a statement on the game's opening drive as they went on a 60-yard drive that ate up more than half of the first quarter but saw it end in frustration when Lamar Smith fumbled at the 1-yard line.

Regardless, the Dolphins answered on their next drive by driving downfield to take the lead on a 14-yard Fiedler-to-Smith touchdown pass.

Miami made it 14-0 midway through the second quarter when Travis Minor scored his first touchdown as a pro on a 29-yard run. Olindo Mare capped off the near-perfect half by the Dolphins when he connected on a 26-yard field goal as time expired.

Meanwhile, the Miami defense was getting it done in a big way as they harassed Testaverde and the entire Jets offense. Testaverde had minus-2 net yards passing at the half.

But things quickly changed at the start of the third quarter as the Jets took the kickoff and drove downfield and scored on a 22-yard scoring toss from Testaverde to Laveranues Coles.

Needing to offset the new-found momentum by the Jets, the Dolphins did just the opposite as Smith coughed up the ball on the second play. The Jets recovered and wasted no time as Curtis Martin ran around the right side 27 yards for the score. Just 3:52 had elapsed in the third quarter and the Miami lead had already been cut to three.

"It wasn't a letdown," said Miami cornerback Patrick Surtain. "Coming out after the half, we had a mindset to play like we were behind, not up 17-0."

But in a total role reversal, the Jets outgained the Dolphins 159-19 in the third quarter and took the lead for good when Coles beat Sam Madison, making a bobbling 25-yard touchdown catch with 12:08 left in the game.

"It feels just the same as last year," said Miami head coach Dave Wannstedt. "Just as sickening. Just as upsetting."


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