Tyreek Hill celebrated a touchdown catch by giving the ball to his new wife in the stands, Jevon Holland returned an intercepted first-half Hail Mary attempt 99 yards for a score, and the Miami Dolphins cruised past the New York Jets 34-13 in the NFL’s first game played on Black Friday.
Raheem Mostert also ran for two touchdowns for the Dolphins (8-3), who cushioned their lead atop the AFC East by sending the Jets (4-7) to their fourth straight loss.
Tua Tagovailoa was intercepted twice, including one returned for a score by Brandin Echols, but Miami was in control for most of the game. Tagovailoa finished 21 of 30 for 243 yards with the TD to Hill and the two INTs.
Tim Boyle started at quarterback for the Jets in place of the benched Zach Wilson, but New York’s stagnant offense failed to get much going other than Boyle’s 1-yard TD pass to Garrett Wilson with 4:37 remaining.
The Dolphins took a 10-0 lead when Tagovailoa connected with Hill, who avoided a tackle attempt by Jordan Whitehead and zipped into the end zone for a 7-yard touchdown with 8:21 left in the second quarter.
Hill took off his helmet and looked into the MetLife Stadium stands, found wife Keeta Vaccaro and blew her a kiss before tossing her the football. The two were married during the Dolphins’ bye two weeks ago.
Hill’s touchdown catch was his 10th of the season, making him the first Dolphins player since Mike Wallace in 2014 to have double-digit TD receptions.
With the Jets’ offense struggling – as usual – the defense stepped up to get the Jets into the game.
On first-and-10 from the Dolphins 27, Tagovailoa threw a pass intended for Braxton Berrios, but Echols jumped the route, intercepted the toss and took it 30 yards to the end zone.
The usually reliable Greg Zuerlein was wide right on the extra-point attempt, and Miami’s lead was 10-6 with 58 seconds left in the opening half.
DJ Reed intercepted Tagovailoa on the Dolphins’ next possession, giving the Jets the ball at their 49 with two seconds left.
Instead of taking a knee and going into halftime down by four, New York tried a Hail Mary – and it went embarrassingly wrong.
Boyle’s throw to the end zone was picked off by Holland, who took off down the field, weaved his way past some would-be Jets tacklers – including Boyle – and took it in untouched for a 99-yard interception return.
The Dolphins went wild on their sideline. The Jets stood stunned on theirs.
And many fans headed for the concourses to find some relief after another brutal half of football for their team.
Mostert’s 13-yard touchdown run on the first play of the fourth quarter gave the Dolphins a 27-6 lead – and tempers flared after that.
There was some pushing and shoving between several players and the Jets’ CJ Mosley and Micheal Clemons were flagged for personal fouls – including Clemons appearing to inadvertently make contact with an official. Clemons wasejected. Dolphins right tackle Austin Jackson was also kicked out of the game.
Mostert added a 34-yard TD run with 3:35 left.