IT’S FICKEN GOOD!!

Sam Ficken hits game-win­ning field goal to lift Jets over Dol­phins, 22-21

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - SPORTS - By DEN­NIS WASZAK Jr. AP Pro Foot­ball Writer

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. >> Sam Ficken kicked a 44-yard field goal as time ex­pired to give the New York Jets a 22-21 come­back vic­tory over the Mi­ami Dol­phins on Sun­day.

Sam Darnold got the win­ning drive go­ing with a short pass to Vyncint Smith, who turned it into a 37-yard gain that in­cluded a high-step over a would-be tack­ler. Af­ter a sack two plays later put the ball at the Dol­phins 46, Darnold threw an in­com­plete pass to Smith — but the Jets ar­gued that Nik Need­ham in­ter­fered with the re­ceiver by wrap­ping his right arm around Smith’s right shoul­der.

Of­fi­cials over­turned the call af­ter a video re­view — giv­ing the Jets a first down and new life. A 12-yard catch by Ty Mont­gomery got the ball to the 26. Two plays later, Ficken won it, help­ing the Jets (5-8) avoid a sea­son sweep by the lowly Dol­phins (3-10).

Mi­ami coach Brian Flores ap­peared in­censed as the game ended, up­set by the of­fi­cials’ re­ver­sal.

Darnold, who in­jured his right hand at the be­gin­ning of the fourth quar­ter, was off on a few of his late passes but fin­ished 20 of 36 for 270 yards

and touch­downs to De­mary­ius Thomas and Robby An­der­son. Darnold also was in­ter­cepted once.

An­der­son had seven catches for 116 yards and the score. Bi­lal Pow­ell, start­ing in place of the ill Le’Veon Bell, had 74 yards on 19 car­ries.

The Jets — who lost to the pre­vi­ously win­less Cincin­nati Bengals last week — over­came a Dol­phins fran­chise-record seven field goals by Ja­son San­ders, in­clud­ing a 37-yarder that gave Mi­ami the lead with 1:33 left.

Ryan Fitz­patrick was 21 of 37 for 245 yards with an in­ter­cep­tion, play­ing with­out top re­ceivers DeVante Parker and Al­bert Wil­son who both left with con­cus­sions.

San­ders kicked a 48-yarder to put the Dol­phins up 18-16 with 6:59 re­main­ing, but Ficken’s 42-yarder gave New York the lead again with 4:05 left.

STARTS

Af­ter San­ders’ 22-yard field goal gave the Dol­phins a 3-0 lead late in the first quar­ter, Darnold put New York ahead on its next pos­ses­sion with a 26-yard touch­down pass to An­der­son. Ficken missed the ex­tra point, but the Jets led 6-3 early in the sec­ond quar­ter.

New York got the ball right back when Nate Hairston picked off Fitz­patrick when he snatched the ball out of Allen Hurns’ hands on first down. The Jets turned the turnover into three points and a 9-3 lead on Ficken’s 37-yarder.

The Jets took a 16-6 lead with 1:55 left in the open­ing half on Thomas’ 14-yard touch­down catch, his first for New York, af­ter the ini­tial call of an in­com­plete pass was over­turned by a video re­view as of­fi­cials ruled Thomas had pos­ses­sion as he was tack­led by Need­ham while fall­ing into the end zone.

New York nearly had an­other score a few plays later when James Burgess in­ter­cepted Fitz­patrick and took it into the end zone, but the Jets line­backer was called for de­fen­sive hold­ing — negat­ing the turnover.

Mi­ami ended up get­ting a 28-yard field goal from San­ders with 19 sec­onds re­main­ing in the half to cut the deficit to 16-9.

TAK­ING A CHANCE

Af­ter San­ders was wide right on a 34-yarder af­ter a low snap by Tay­bor Pep­per that holder Matt Haack couldn’t han­dle cleanly, the Jets marched down the field and ap­peared poised to add to their 16-12 lead.

On fourth-and-1 from the 14, Adam Gase chose to go for it rather than kick the field goal and make it a 7-point game. Pow­ell was stuffed for no gain, though, and the Jets turned it over on downs.

STREAK STOPPED

The Jets had scored on their first pos­ses­sion in six straight games, but were forced to punt af­ter a promis­ing open­ing drive stalled at the Dol­phins 40.

SIDE­LINED STARS

The Jets were with­out two of their best play­ers with both Bell and safety Ja­mal Adams sit­ting out.

Bell was ruled out Satur­day be­cause of an ill­ness. He prac­ticed fully Wed­nes­day, but then sat out Thurs­day and Fri­day.

Adams was of­fi­cially ruled in­ac­tive 90 min­utes be­fore the game af­ter he missed prac­tice all week with a sprained an­kle. It was the first game Adams has missed in his three-year NFL ca­reer.

ADAM HUNGER - THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

New York Jets kicker Sam Ficken (9) re­acts with team­mates af­ter kick­ing the win­ning field goal dur­ing an NFL foot­ball game against the Mi­ami Dol­phins, Sun­day, Dec. 8, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J.

ADAM HUNGER - THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

New York Jets kicker Sam Ficken (9) kicks the win­ning field goal dur­ing the sec­ond half of an NFL foot­ball game against the Mi­ami Dol­phins, Sun­day, Dec. 8, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J.

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