The McMichael touchdown, a 5-yard pass from Gus Frerotte, cut the Jets' lead to 10-7 early in the fourth quarter.
But the Jets answered with a crushing drive where they overcame an early second-and-20 and converted a third-and-12.
Fullback Jerald Sowell's 1-yard touchdown catch from Chad Pennington gave the Jets a 17-7 lead and the Dolphins didn't really threaten in their last two drives.
The Dolphins' first drive was impressive, but it ended with a missed 21-yard field goal attempt after a bad snap threw off Olindo Mare's timing and he pulled the kick wide left.
Before they ever had the ball, the Dolphins trailed 7-0 on a 7-yard touchdown pass from Pennington to Laveranues Coles. That drive was kept alive by a questionable pass-interference penalty on safety Lance Schulters.
Regardless, the Dolphins defense did a good job of keeping the team in the game the way the offense was struggling.
But the defense couldn't make a stand after McMichael's touchdown, and the enabled the Jets to slam the door shut.
Still, this loss wasn't about the defense. Like most of last year, this was all about the offense not being able to get anything going.