This is how you lose a football game: You miss two field- goal attempts, you allow a punt to be partially blocked and you handle your quarterback with kid gloves.
Despite a sterling effort by running back Chris Johnson, the Jets couldn't muster enough offense or make enough field goals to keep the Dolphins at bay in a 16-13 loss Monday night at MetLife Stadium.
Caleb Sturgis' 26-yard field goal with 1:57 to play broke a 13-13 tie and gave Miami its first lead of the game. "I feel sick,'' Rex Ryan said after the Jets fell to 2-10. "We can't buy a win.''
The Dolphins (7-5) tied it at 13 on a 4-yard run by Lamar Miller with 10:24 left in the fourth quarter. A holding penalty on special-teamer Saalim Hakim on a punt started the drive at the Jets' 39.
On the ensuing possession, to the delight of the raucous Dolphins fans who invaded MetLife Stadium, Nick Folk hooked a field-goal try for the second time in the game. The man affectionately nicknamed "Folk Hero'' by Ryan was wide left from 45 yards.
It was just another example of a wasted opportunity by the Jets, who entered with only pride left to play for. On a night when a flash mob of fans held up "Fire John Idzik'' banners in the upper deck, the Jets struggled in the second half and lost for the 10th time in their last 11 games.
With a steady dose of ground-and-pound early on, the Jets built a 10-0 lead. In Geno Smith's first start since Oct. 26, they did everything in their power to ensure he wouldn't lose the game for them.
The funny thing is, the Jets were in control in the first half, when they ran for 210 yards. Overall, they rushed 49 times for 277 yards while making Smith the epitome of a game manager. He handed off and stood idly by as other players flashed their athleticism and skill.
In an attempt to (finally) take advantage of their true skill set -- or, perhaps, to limit any potential damage that Smith could do with his arm -- the Jets rushed 22 times in 23 plays at one point.
Smith completed 3 of 6 passes for 22 yards in the first half. "We thought what gave us the best chance to win the game was to run the football,'' Ryan said.
Smith wound up throwing only 13 passes, the fewest by any NFL team in a game this season. He completed seven for 65 yards and had a lowly quarterback rating of 35.7.
The Jets said all week that this was the right time to start Smith, who entered with 10 interceptions and two lost fumbles. Yet when the game was on the line, he could do little to help his wayward team. His interception on an underthrown pass intended for Jeff Cumberland with 39 seconds left signaled the end of the game and a sad effort by Smith.
Thanks to a little shake-and-bake by Johnson, who ran for 105 yards on 17 carries, the Jets took an early lead. Johnson electrified the sparse crowd with a 47-yard run to Miami's 20, which set up a beautifully executed end-around touchdown by Greg Salas on the next play.
It took the Jets just six plays and 2:58 to go 85 yards. But Salas appeared to injure himself on the play and later was ruled out with a hamstring injury.
Folk made it 10-0 in the second quarter when he nailed a 40-yard field goal. Thanks to some much-needed stops by Ryan's defense, the Dolphins were forced to settle for a field goal in the second and third quarters. Folk made it 13-6 with 7:17 left in the third with a 45-yard field goal that hit off the crossbar and went through.
But special-teams gaffes reared their ugly head again. Folk missed a field goal from 48 yards and the Dolphins' Dion Jordan partially blocked a punt by Ryan Quigley. And yet the Jets still were in the lead. Not by much, though.
Soon that lead was gone. After Sturgis' field goal, Smith's interception finished the Jets. Said Ryan, "I can't believe we're 2-10.''
Chrebet honored. Wide receiver Wayne Chrebet was inducted into the Jets' Ring of Honor at halftime along with the Jets' former owner, the late Leon Hess. During his 11-year career with the Jets, Chrebet caught 580 passes for 7,365 yards and 41 touchdowns.