Tough Loss

The Dolphins gave it a good shot Monday night against the Jets, but as they have too often this season, they came up short. A 64-yard pass play from Chad Pennington to Leon Washington off a screen set up Mike Nugent's game-winning field goal with 10 seconds left in the Jets' 13-10 victory.

The game was played in a steady rain, and the weather conditions clearly affected the Dolphins offense, particulary in the first half when Joey Harrington was at quarterback.

For the second consecutive week, he was replaced by Cleo Lemon. Lemon took over in the second half and threw his first career touchdown pass, an 8-yarder to Randy McMichael early in the fourth quarter that gave the Dolphins a 7-3 lead.

The lead didn't last, though, because the Jets answered right back with an 80-yard drive that again included a missed opportunity by the Dolphins.

That came in the form of a Pennington floating pass right into the hands of Dolphins cornerback Michael Lehan that he couldn't hold on to.

That proved costly because four plays later Pennington hit Jerricho Cotchery with a 32-yard touchdown pass.

Down 10-7, the Dolphins got a big break later in the fourth quarter when a short Donnie Jones punt hit a Jets player in the back and John Denney recovered the fumble at the New York 42-yard line.

The Dolphins marched to a first down at the Jets 16, but on fourth-and-1 from the New York 7, Nick Saban decided to go for a field goal and the tie.

Worse, the Dolphins burned their second timeout of the second half because the play clock was running out.

The Dolphins had burned a timeout earlier in the half when they challenged a 40-yard pass from Pennington to Justin McCareins even though it was pretty apparent from the start McCareins had made the catch.

With only one timeout, that meant the Dolphins pretty much were done after Washington's 64-yard play put the ball at the Miami 16-yard line.

The biggest highlight for the Dolphins was the play of Ronnie Brown, who returned to the lineup and rushed for 110 yards on 18 carries.

But it wasn't quite enough for the Dolphins, who came up short once again.


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