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Miami Falls to End Season

The Miami Dolphins went into Sunday’s game against the New York Jets with a few goals – with the decision of Head Coach Joe Philbin’s status behind them (it was announced that he will return for 2015), and with the playoffs already out of the question, the primary goal was to avenge the season-ending loss of 2013 to one of their division rivals and head into the offseason with no major injuries and no major drama.

At least they got some of what they were hoping for.

The New York Jets outscored Miami by 16, 23-7, in the second half to defeat the Dolphins on their home turf for the second consecutive year to end their 2014 campaign. And while this game doesn’t have quite the same sting as the loss a year ago – which cost them a playoff berth – this one still hurts.

Case in point: QB Ryan Tannehill surpassed a major milestone on Sunday, becoming the first Miami player since Dan Marino in 1994 to throw for 4,000 yards, and his 392 completions also broke the legend’s single-season record of 385.

However, after the game, Tannehill relented the accomplishment, saying that he “just wanted to win.”

Tannehill was also shown upon his own field by Geno Smith; the same quarterback who threw only 13 times in their first meeting and was intercepted late to seal the Miami win looked more like Marino on Sunday. The second-year player finished his season on a high note, completing 20 of 25 passes for a career-high 358 yards and three touchdowns.

The entire New York offense looked more inept in fact, putting up a season high in points (37) while gaining more than 100 total yards of offense than Miami. Their defense had bright spots too, holding Miami scoreless in the final period and sacking Tannehill seven times.

Miami did have one bright spot on offense, as Lamar Miller ran for a career-high 178 yards, which included a 97-yard run for a TD that also marked the longest play from scrimmage in the entire NFL this year.

While the entire second half was a little baffling to many onlookers, the biggest question mark Miami will now have entering the offseason from the game’s final two periods will not be something they saw on the field, but rather what they saw off of it. Wide receiver Mike Wallace was benched the entire second half, which Philbin simply referred to as a “coaching decision,” but clearly was the sign of a dispute between the coach and one of Miami’s star players. The outcome of that falling out may not be known for some time.

Miami’s season doesn’t begin for another eight months, but I can almost guarantee one change the Dolphins want to see on their schedule next year – and that’s hopefully not ending with the New York Jets at Sun Life Stadium.