Wildcat helps Dolphins edge Jets

MIAMI — As coach Tony Sparano's Miami Dolphins mounted a comeback bid in the final minutes, even his players on the sideline wondered about the play calling.

It had the New York Jets confused, too.

The Dolphins snapped the ball to four players in their game-winning drive Monday night. They ran from the wildcat twice in the final 23 seconds, and Ronnie Brown's 2-yard dash with 6 seconds left beat the Jets 31-27.

Doubt on the Dolphins sideline turned to cheers.

"That's why we are players and not coaches," Miami defensive tackle Jason Ferguson said. "All of us were talking about, 'Why won't you pass it?' Because we got a touchdown, that's why."

Newcomer Braylon Edwards provided a big boost for the Jets, and two fake punts fooled Miami. But the Dolphins had their own bag of tricks and dug into it even on the final drive.

The Dolphins started from their own 30-yard line with 5:05 left, trailing 27-24, and mounted a 13-play drive for the winning score. They snapped to Ricky Williams in the wildcat, and he ran for 15 yards. They brought rookie quarterback Pat White into the game for the first time, and he ran 6 yards for a first down.

Chad Henne made two third-down completions. And with 10 seconds left and third and goal at the 2, the Dolphins decided to try the wildcat again.

"We were in the huddle and said, 'We've got to score a touchdown. No settling for field goals,'" Brown said.

He took the snap, ran up the middle, found a seam and crossed the goal line with 6 seconds to go.

The resilient Dolphins (2-3) came from behind three times in the fourth quarter, and they're back in the AFC East race after losing their first three games.

"It just goes to show you that to panic is not the answer," Sparano said.

The Jets (3-2) have lost two straight and fell into a tie with New England for first place.

"We're going to play a lot better than we did today," coach Rex Ryan said.

The game became a shootout reminiscent of the Dolphins' Dan Marino days, and filling that role just fine was Henne.

In only his second NFL start, Henne completed 20 of 26 for 241 yards and two touchdowns, with no sacks or turnovers. He threw deep to Ted Ginn Jr. for a 53-yard score to give Miami a 24-20 lead with 10:10 left.

"We made him look like Dan Marino," Jets linebacker Calvin Pace said. "A future Hall of Famer."

The Jets kept answering with Edwards, acquired in a trade with Cleveland last Wednesday. He caught one scoring pass and set up New York's other two touchdowns.

But New York couldn't stop the wildcat, which angered Ryan.

"I used to see all those gimmicks when I was coaching back in college," he said. "It was a complete embarrassment by our defense and by me. I've never been involved in a game like that in my life."

While the Dolphins relied on ball control for much of the game, they also showed a newfound ability to strike quickly.

Ginn beat Darrelle Revis and two other Jets deep, catching Henne's long pass just before crossing the goal line. Williams set up a field goal when he gained 59 yards on a reception, with all the yards coming after the catch.

The Dolphins totaled 413 yards. They had 10 first downs rushing and 13 passing to control the ball for 331/2; minutes.

"The biggest thing at this level is keeping it balanced," said Henne, sounding like a veteran. "You want to make sure you keep them off guard the whole time and don't swing one way."

Notes: Dolphins third-string RB Patrick Cobbs came out of the game in the fourth quarter with a knee injury. ... Jets WR David Clowney also hobbled out of the game in the fourth quarter. ... The Jets' Steve Weatherford ran 26 yards with a fake punt. It was only the second carry of his four-year career.

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