Dan Marino is not used to this. Neither are the New York Jets.
Marino, the NFL's career passing leader, has had the most success against the Jets. That, of course, was before coach Jimmy Johnson opted to change Miami's offense this year, an alteration that helped the Dolphins go 3-0.
They're unbeaten no longer as the Jets slammed shut Miami's running game, gave Marino a miserable time and dominated in a 20-9 victory Sunday.
"We had two weeks to prepare for this game and had a great game plan," said safety Victor Green, who had one of two interceptions as the Jets (2-2) held Miami (3-1) to 153 yards. "We had him frustrated. When he gets down and starts fussing at his linemen, you know he is frustrated. He's a quarterback who doesn't like to get hit and we got to him and got some pressure on him all day."
The Jets, who had lost four straight and seven of eight to Miami, had only three sacks entering the game. They doubled that Sunday, with end Anthony Pleasant leading the way.
"The most important thing was stopping the running game," Pleasant sai after New York yielded only 34 yards on the ground. "Then we were able to apply the pressure."
Marino, who had 7,699 yards and 67 TD passes vs. New York entering the game, had his worst performance in 27 meetings with the Jets, going 13-for-31 for 121 yards. The Dolphins' running attack also sputtered, gaining just 34 yards.
"We just didn't have enough offense," he said. "We knew what they were going to do, but we just didn't do our job. They didn't do anything we shouldn't have been able to handle.
"If we want to be a real good team, we have to play better in games like this."
Keith Byar, a former Dolphin, set an NFL record for receptions by a running back with 593 catches, getting six Sunday for 71 yards. Some of those, however, came when he played tight end for other teams.
"I play offense," Byars said. "Fullback, tight end, wide receiver, whatever they need.
"Dan threw a lot of those passes to me."
| New York's Victor Green, right, intercepts a pass intended for Lamar Thomas as Aaron Glenn reaches in to help. (AP) |
Byars' running mate, Curtis Martin, gained 79 yards in the first half, was held to 11 on nine carries in the third quarter, and finished with 108 yards and a 5-yard touchdown.
Vinny Testaverde, subbing at quarterback again for Glenn Foley (separated rib cartilage), hit Keyshawn Johnson with a 10-yard TD pass. Testaverde is 2-0 this season, while Foley is 0-2.
"I think he knows I want to play, to be the starter," Testaverde said of coach Bill Parcells. "If it doesn't go that way, I'll just stay ready and be prepared when the time comes."
After Olindo Mare's 46-yard first-quarter field goal, Leon Johnson returned the kickoff 37 yards and the Jets got another 15 yards on Bernie Parmalee's clipping penalty. That set up a 45-yard drive on which Johnson caught a fade pattern over Terrell Buckley for a 10-yard score.
The Jets were fortunates to get John Hall's 47-yard field goal with 22 seconds left in the first half that made it 10-3. On third-and-13 from the Miami 47, Testaverde's lob was intercepted by Patrick Surtain. But Surtain was flagged for interference, even though replays showed no contact on the play.
Martin's touchdown in the third quarter made it 17-3 and was set up by Byars' 16-yard reception on fourth-and-1.
The Dolphins didn't score a touchdown until 5:42 remained. Marino hit a wide-open Troy Drayton for a 2-yard score, but inexplicably, the Dolphins tried a direct snap to placekicker Mare, who attempted to run for a 2-point conversion. He was tackled behind the line.
Hall's 25-yard field goal with 48 seconds to go clinched it.
NotesLI>Byars, who has played for Philadelphia, Miami, New England and the Jets, went ahead of Marcus Allen, a pure running back throughout his career, with a 5-yard reception on the second play of the second quarter.
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