5-Year Phiniversary: Dolphins Score 17 Unanswered in Fourth to Stun Jets, 31-28

The 2017 season isn’t one that will be remembered with any great fondness for the Miami Dolphins, but by the latter parts of October, the team was riding high.

On this day five years ago, the Dolphins rallied from 14 points down in the fourth quarter. Despite an injury to starting quarterback Jay Cutler, Miami closed the game with 17 straight points to stun the New York Jets, 31-28.

Setting the Stage

The Dolphins were 3-2 and had just rallied from 17 points down to top the Atlanta Falcons as they arrived at Hard Rock Stadium on Oct. 22, 2017. Despite the winning record, Miami was averaging just over 12 points per game.

The Jets were 3-3 and coming off a tough loss to the New England Patriots. New York had defeated the Dolphins when the teams met in the Meadowlands earlier in the season, 20-6.

Moore Leads the Comeback

With Cutler injured in the second quarter, the Dolphins were forced to turn to Matt Moore at quarterback. Early on, Moore struggled as a second-quarter interception led to a Jets touchdown.

Josh McCown’s third touchdown pass of the day late in the third quarter gave the Jets a 28-14 lead headed to the final period. The defense came to life for Miami and the offense soon followed.

The final five drives for the Jets culminated in a negative-22 yards. An exchange of punts set the Dolphins up in Jets territory. Four plays later, Moore hit Kenny Stills for a 28-yard touchdown to cut the 14-point lead in half.

Another 3-and-out gave Miami a short field once again with less than 10 minutes remaining. Two long completions from Moore to Jarvis Landry moved Miami inside the New York 5-yard-line. Again, the drive would end with a Moore touchdown pass to Stills — this one for two yards to tie the game 28-28.

For more than 59 minutes, the Jets had played mistake-free. After taking over at their own 15 with less than a minute remaining, McCown made the game’s most critical mistake as his pass was intercepted by Bobby McCain. That would set up Cody Parkey’s game-winning 39-yard field goal with just 22 seconds remaining.

Box score and recap:


In Hindsight

The Jets fell to 3-4 with the loss and would never get back to .500. They finished with a record of 5-11.

At 4-2, Miami appeared to be heading in the right direction, but dropped its next three games and eight of its last 10. The Dolphins finished 6-10 and needed fourth-quarter comebacks for three of their wins. Their biggest comeback of the season came against the rival Jets on this day five years ago.

Featured image courtesy of Miami Dolphins

Mike Ferguson is the managing editor for Fifth Quarter. Be sure to follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeWFerguson. Follow all of Mike’s work by liking his Facebook page.