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Jets Win Ugly Overtime Game in Miami

Nick Folk finally ends the game with a field goal in overtime

By Josh Alper
|  Monday, Sep 24, 2012  |  Updated 6:49 AM EDT
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New York Jets 2012-13 Season in Photos

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Winning ugly's certainly better than losing that way.

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People usually go to Miami to have fun. 

Fun wasn't part of the program on the Jets' trip to South Florida. Not for the Jets and not for anyone who watched the game. 

Naturally, that means it took more than 60 minutes of miserable slogging to find a winner. When they finally did, it was the Jets on top by a 23-20 score. 

After failing on their first overtime, the Jets were bailed out when Dan Carpenter missed a 48-yard field goal that would have won the game for Miami. The Jets got the ball back, Mark Sanchez hit Santonio Holmes in stride for a 38-yard play and Nick Folk was finally able to end things with a 33-yard kick.

Well, almost. First he got one blocked, but it didn't count because Dolphins coach Joe Philbin called timeout before Folk's kick. 

In some ways, though, the game was counted as a loss long before that second kick went through the uprights. Some of that has to do with the way the Jets played, but much of it has to do with the loss of cornerback Darrelle Revis after a third quarter knee injury. 

Revis had to be carted off the field in the third quarter after injuring his knee while planting in hopes of making a tackle. There was no contact on the play, conjuring up memories of several similar and serious injuries over the years, and Revis' reaction was one of a player in serious pain.

There must have been something in the heavy air, because Dolphins running back Reggie Bush also was forced out of the game with a knee injury. The one plus for these two is that neither of them need to shoulder any of the blame for the unwatchable nature of this contest.  

No, that falls on Sanchez, Tim Tebow, Ryan Tannehill, Carpenter, all of the offensive coaches on both sides and the guy from that Buffalo Wild Wings commercial. Why him? Because he's got all those buttons at his disposal and chose not to do something that led to a resolution after just making people suffer through regulation.

Before Sanchez's big play to Holmes, he'd spent most of the day overthrowing wide open receivers down the field and watching his receivers fail to get open against Dolphins defenders. Holmes wound up with good numbers -- nine catches for 147 yards -- but it actually felt like he left a lot of plays on the field as a result of his erratic effort. 

Sanchez also had a 66-yard gainer to Jeremy Kerley, but he was 21-of-45 overall with two interceptions in another vexing day that makes you wonder what's wrong with the offense. Sanchez didn't look good, but neither did anyone else on the unit until they showed a little bit of fire late to get back into a game they once trailed 10-0.

The hardest thing to figure out after this game isn't why the Jets offense is so bad or why the team is under the delusion that things are about to get better on that side of the ball. No, the lead conundrum is why in the world they decided to trade for Tim Tebow in the first place. 

The Jets had two series inside the Browns' five and they scored a total of three points on them because they didn't just use Tebow to ram the ball into the end zone. He did play a snap, but the Jets had him try to throw a pass (maybe, it's hard to tell just what the Jets want to do sometimes) and Sanchez got picked off on the next play when he underthrew Stephen Hill. 

Tebow picked up a first down on a fake punt that helped set up the first Jets points of the day, which only makes it harder to understand why the team was unwilling to try that on the second drive that wound up on the doorstep. That one ended with Sanchez comically overthrowing a wide open receiver, a false start and a scramble that was stopped short. 

They also threw a pass to Tebow. It bounced off his helmet, which probably should be the one and only clip that goes on the 2012 Jets offensive film if the team wants to send a message of just how much better things need to be.

But they won a game that they absolutely had to win, which is really the thing that matters at the end of the day. The Jets might be an ugly 2-1, but they're still 2-1 and that's a lot better than the alternative. 

Josh Alper is also a writer for Pro Football Talk. You can follow him on Twitter.

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