MIAMI - First, the Miami Dolphins missed a potential game-winning field-goal attempt in overtime, and then the New York Jets had a kick blocked with a chance at a victory, and then ...
Kicker Nick Folk received a reprieve that gave the Jets a wild win.
After Folk's blocked field-goal attempt in OT was negated by a timeout, his retry was a successful 33-yarder with 6:04 left, and the Jets beat the Dolphins 23-20 on Sunday.
Mark Sanchez hit Santonio Holmes for a 38-yard gain to set up the kick. Two plays later, Folk's attempt was blocked by Randy Starks charging up the middle, but the officials whistled the play dead just as the ball was snapped because Dolphins coach Joe Philbin had called timeout.
"I thought it was the right call," Philbin said. "I was planning all along to call timeout right before he kicked the ball. ... Typically we're going to ice the kicker."
Folk said he had a similar experience with Dallas in 2008, when a negated kick was blocked and he made the retry. He said he and his Jets teammates heard the whistle when Philbin called timeout, and his blockers eased up.
"I'd rather kick it than sit there and not kick it," Folk said. "I got another warmup kick."
Philbin managed a sheepish grin as Folk lined up for his second attempt. The Jets kicker then made the winner.
"You never see that happen," Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill said. "It's a weird thing. It's one of those things where you say the odds were not in your favour today. It just wasn't meant to be."
On the previous possession, the Dolphins' Dan Carpenter was wide left on a 48-yard field-goal attempt that would have given them the victory. Carpenter also missed from 47 yards early in the fourth quarter.
"I let the team down," Carpenter said.
"We got breaks, no doubt about it," Jets coach Rex Ryan said. "We'll take the win. We're not going to give it back."
New York improved to 2-1, and the Dolphins dropped to 1-2.
"It's a tough game," Miami linebacker Karlos Dansby said. "We were inches away from 2-1."
The Jets' Darrelle Revis and Miami's Reggie Bush left the game with left knee injuries. Revis is scheduled to undergo an MRI exam Monday.
New Jets offensive co-ordinator Tony Sparano had trouble getting his unit moving much of the day, but in the end he called the right play just enough to beat the team that fired him as head coach last December.
"I think he's happy to get the victory for the team, not just himself," Ryan said.
Tim Tebow called a fake punt and ran for 5 yards and a first down, but otherwise again contributed little to the Jets' offence. He still has yet to throw a pass this year, and a third-down throw from Sanchez bounced off Tebow's helmet and fell incomplete.
"I was not expecting it that quick, but I guess I'll learn," Tebow said. "We got a win. That's all that matters."
Sanchez redeemed himself at the end of an erratic afternoon. His 7-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Kerley with 3:01 left to give the Jets their first lead, 20-17.
Tannehill then moved Miami 48 yards, including 19 yards on a third-down pass interference penalty against Revis' replacement, Kyle Wilson. Carpenter's 41-yard field goal with 16 seconds left forced overtime.
Miami lost despite trailing for less than 3 minutes of the game.
"That's the NFL," Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake said. "There's no script. It just happens."
The Dolphins had the better ground game, outrushing the Jets 185-88 despite the loss of Bush. But the Jets' LaRon Landry scored on an 18-yard interception return.
Sanchez twice missed open receivers for potential scores, made several wild throws and had a handful of passes dropped. He finished 21 for 45 for 306 yards and two interceptions. Holmes made nine catches for 147 yards.
"It was a roller coaster, no doubt," Sanchez said. "The defence and the other players picked me up when I didn't have it. It was an ugly win."
Like Sanchez, Tannehill had an up-and-down day. The rookie went 16 for 36 for 196 yards with the one costly interception.
"We expected to win," Ryan said. "But my goodness, it was tough."
Bush hurt his knee on a carry when the Dolphins were running out the clock in the second quarter. He returned to the bench after halftime in uniform and rode an exercise bike, but remained on the sideline.
All-Pro cornerback Revis departed in the third quarter with a non-contact injury.
Some Tebow trickery led to a field goal by New York. Exercising his option to call a fake, he took a short snap from punt formation on fourth-and-3 at the Jets 30 and ran 5 yards for a first down. He was glad the call worked.
"Makes it a lot easier to go back to the sideline," he said. That jump-started a 16-play drive that ended with a 3-pointer.
Tebow also drew a big cheer from the crowd when the scoreboard "Kiss Cam" showed him next to teammate Clyde Gates on the sideline. A teammate encouraged them to kiss, but they declined.
Notes: Jets WR Stephen Hill left the game with a right hamstring injury but afterward said he was fine. ... The Dolphins were 10 for 19 converting third down. The Jets came into the game last in the NFL in third-down defence. ... Former Dolphins Yeremiah Bell had seven tackles. ... Miami's Brandon Fields averaged 58.8 yards on four punts.
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