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Exhale: Jets Get Win They Needed

The hapless Dolphins give the Jets everything they need to end their losing streak

By Josh Alper
|  Tuesday, Oct 18, 2011  |  Updated 2:28 PM EDT
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Revis might have saved the season in the first quarter.

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If attractive, well-played football is your cup of tea, Monday night's game between the Jets and Dolphins wasn't for you.

If you simply wanted to see the Jets win a game, put an end to their three-game losing streak and restore some of the hope that washed away during said streak, however, then you got what you wanted. The Jets weren't pretty and they struggled far too much against an awful Dolphins team, but they did get a 24-6 win to stanch the bleeding and even their record at 3-3.

As we said earlier on Monday, that result was the only thing that mattered on Monday night. Expecting the Jets to fix all of the problems that led to those three losses was foolish, all you could hope is that enough of them would be tamed so that the Jets could move forward.

Mission accomplished, although it took a while for the wheels to get in motion.

The offense was as bad as it has ever been through most of the first half -- four straight three-and-outs -- and the defense made both Reggie Bush and Matt Moore look like highly competent players, something that seemed impossible based on their previous NFL results.

Thankfully, Darrelle Revis was there to save the day. Revis knocked a pass away from Brandon  Marshall in the end zone to thwart the first Dolphins scoring chance, then picked off a pass on the goal line after a fumbled kickoff and took it 100 yards for a touchdown that seemed to take some of the weight off the Jets' shoulders.

You have to question a game plan that involved throwing at Revis as much as the Dolphins did on Monday -- he picked off a second pass in the fourth quarter -- or you would if Miami offensive coordinator wasn't part of Eric Mangini's Jets staff. The Jets needed a player to step up and lead them when things were haywire in the first quarter and Revis did just that thanks to the Dolphins' insistence on letting him impact the game.

The offense finally kicked into gear on their final possession of the first half, going 81 yards on 11 plays on a touchdown drive that actually featured some nifty playcalling by Brian Schottenheimer. Another long drive led to a field goal in the third quarter as the Jets finally started stringing together positive plays and established something resembling a rushing attack. 

By the time Mark Sanchez hooked up with Santonio Holmes for a 38-yard touchdown early in the fourth, the game was over. The Jets had the win that they needed, but that's about all they had. 

The team looked better on both sides of the ball, but drawing any big conclusions based on beating a Miami team that had about as much effort as a bulldog on a steamy summer day is impossible. The Chargers are in town on Sunday and that will provide a clearer picture of where the Jets are in comparison to teams that aren't doing everything they can to land Andrew Luck.

For now, just be happy that the Jets' season still matters and that the team showed that they still have spine left after three of the weaker weeks you could ever imagine. 

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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