Originally created 10/04/04

Jets defeat Dolphins



MIAMI - The New York Jets played takeaway Sunday - as does every defense that faces the winless Miami Dolphins.

The Jets came up with four turnovers by Jay Fiedler in the second half, including an interception returned 66 yards for a touchdown by Donnie Abraham, and won 17-9 to improve to 3-0 for only the third time in franchise history.

New York also won its first three games in 1966 and 2000.

The Dolphins fell to 0-4 for the first time since their expansion season in 1966. They've scored two touchdowns this year while committing 14 turnovers and will need dramatic improvement on offense to avoid their first losing season since 1988.

New York's Curtis Martin topped 100 yards rushing for the third game in a row and the 50th time in his career, moving into 10th place on the NFL's all-time rushing list. He totaled 110 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown, and became the 11th NFL player to rush for 12,000 yards. He has 12,094, passing Thurman Thomas, who has 12,074.

The Jets' Doug Brien kicked a 53-yard field goal, his longest since 1998.

With Fiedler back in the lineup after being benched for 2½ games, Miami totaled a season-high 293 yards to outgain New York. But five possessions in Jets territory produced only three field goals, and Fiedler's two interceptions and two lost fumbles derailed Miami's comeback bid.

The biggest turnover came when Abraham stepped in front of a pass intended for fullback Rob Konrad in the flat and sprinted untouched to the end zone for a 17-9 lead.

It was the third interception returned for a touchdown against the Dolphins this season. They've scored just two TDs - none in the first three periods - and 32 points.

Dolphins fans waited until the fourth quarter to boo, but many stayed home. While the announced crowd was a sellout of 73,157, there were about 15,000 empty seats and perhaps that many Jets fans.

Miami managed to lose despite shutting out the Jets' offense in the second half. Toby Gowin's coffin-corner punt backed up the Dolphins at their 2 with 2:23 left, and John Abraham clinched the win, recovering a fumble by Fiedler attempting a desperation lateral.

The Dolphins had three first-half possessions inside the Jets 20, but New York forced a field goal each time. Olindo Mare made kicks from 36, 37 and 23 yards.

Miami's Leonard Henry, who was on the waiver wire and then the practice squad just last month, made his first NFL start and rushed for 85 yards. That included a 53-yard run that started at the 4, led to a field goal and exceeded the Dolphins' per-game rushing average on one play.

Chad Pennington went 14-for-24 for 143 yards. He also threw his first interception of the season late in the first half, and Arturo Freeman returned it 47 yards to the Jets 8.

When three plays netted just 2 yards, Mare kicked a field goal to leave New York with a 10-9 lead at halftime.

Then the Jets' defense took over. Victor Hobson had an interception, and Eric Barton recovered a fumble.

A replay overrule negated a fumble lost by Fiedler in the first half, allowing the Dolphins to keep possession. Mare kicked a field goal on the next play.

The Dolphins netted 4 yards on their first two possessions, and the Jets had to travel just 43 yards for the opening score by Martin.