The New York Jets head coach had just dumped a bucket of Gatorade onto linebacker Jason Taylor. After a week in which he and his team had been the focus of uncomfortable questions and pointed criticism, it was time to celebrate. Moments earlier, reserve cornerback Drew Coleman had grabbed Chad Henne pass in the end zone to salt away a 31-23 win over the Dolphins in Miami . The Jets (2-1) conclude their first quarter of the season Sunday against the winless Bills in Buffalo .
It would be a fool's errand to attempt to decipher what the 2010 New York Jets are after three games as they are not whole. They will not be a complete unit until Monday night, October 11, when Santonio Holmes dresses and plays as a Jet for the first time this season.
Still, there are aspects of the Jets that are fair to examine.
The positives for the Jets are Mark Sanchez and Dustin Keller. The twosome shredded the Patriots last Sunday and that continued last night. Sanchez completed 15 passed for 256 yards and three touchdowns. Two of those touchdown connections went to Keller. The tight end caught six passes for 98 yards.
What won't please Ryan and defensive coordinator Mike Pettine was the ease that Chad Henne had throwing the ball. Without Darrelle Revis to match up against Brandon Marshall, Henne was able to play pitch-and-catch with his receivers to the tune of 366 yards and two touchdowns.
The biggest question surrounding the Jets will only be answered at the end of the season. They are regarding the group's collective maturity on-and-off-the-field. Already, Ryan has had to talk to his team about acting foolishly in practice and its treatment of a female television reporter. The latest incident was Braylon Edwards' DWI arrest in Manhattan early Tuesday morning.
About two-and-a-half hours before kickoff, GM Mike Tannenbaum announced that Braylon Edwards would sit out the first quarter as a punishment .
The Jets—Sanchez in particular—had picked apart the Dolphins No. 1 rated defense for 121 yards and a touchdown in 20 plays over two-and-a-half series when Edwards entered the game at the start of the second quarter.
The embattled receiver made his first catch of the game at 8:29 of the third quarter, a 67-yard touchdown after the Dolphins had scored on three straight possessions to take a 17-14 lead.
Dan Carpenter's 20-yard field goal with 5:14 remaining in the third quarter cut the Jets lead to 21-20. The Jets ran four plays before punting away. Five plays later, the Jets had the ball on the Dolphins' 23 yard line after special teams captain Eric Smith blocked a Brandon Fields punt.
However, the Jets only managed a 30-yard Nick Folk field goal to push the advantage to 24-20. That was in part due to a Matt Slausen holding penalty negating a Sanchez touchdown run.
Carpenter banged a 50-yard field goal with 6:42 left in the game that sliced the lead to 24-23.
The Jets then re-introduced their Ground and Pound offense, driving 80 yards in 12 plays culminating with LaDanian Tomlinson's first touchdown as a member of Gang Green and setting the stage for Coleman's game-sealing interception.
You can follow GWR's Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman