MIAMI — They did it. The Miami Dolphins won a game.
And they did it at Adam Gase’s expense.
The Dolphins outplayed, outcoached, outsmarted and outperformed Gase’s Jets Sunday. And were rewarded with their first win since the Miami Miracle, beating New York 26-18.
Yes, it came with a long-term cost. The quest for the No. 1 pick got much harder, with the Dolphins falling behind the winless Bengals and into a four-team, one-win logjam for second. If the season ended today, they’d pick fourth in April’s draft. Their hopes of landing Tua dimmed greatly.
But that’s a worry for another day.
Sunday was a day for celebration for the Dolphins in general, and Brian Flores in particular. The first-year coach got his first NFL win.
And it was a reminder that Ryan Fitzpatrick can still play. The journeyman quarterback completed 24 of 36 passes for 288 yards and three touchdowns.
Not all good news, however, as rising star receiver Preston Williams was carted off the field with a knee injury. He did not return.
The Dolphins raced out to a halftime lead, and then put the clamps down on Sam Darnold and the Jets offense in the second half.
What a weird, wild, wacky and wonderful first half.
n The return of FitzMagic, as Fitzpatrick threw three touchdown passes — including two to Williams.
n But also the return of FitzTragic, who fumbled the snap at his own goal line late in the second quarter, gifting the Jets an easy five points (the safety plus a last-second field goal).
n One of the worst passes you’ll ever see, as Sam Darnold, under pressure, threw it up for grabs. Jomal Wiltz, who plays for the Dolphins, grabbed it.
n And a Dolphins halftime lead — 21-12 — for the third straight games.
That’s when things usually fall apart.
But the Jets are no usual team. They, like the Dolphins, are a 1-7 team.