Trace win to Ginn
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Ted Ginn Jr. was angry, his ego bruised by an embarrassing benching.
The Miami wide receiver took out his frustration on the New York Jets, returning two long kickoffs for touchdowns in the third quarter, and the Dolphins’ defense held on for a 30-25 victory yesterday.
“Not being in that starting lineup hurt me deep down inside,’’ Ginn said. “I just wanted to make plays. You don’t always have to be a starter to make plays.’’
Ginn certainly made that point loud and clear.
Benched in favor of rookie Brian Hartline, Ginn made all the difference on special teams by returning kickoffs of 100 and 101 yards for scores. He also became the first player to return two kickoffs for TDs in the same quarter since Green Bay’s Travis Williams in 1967, according to STATS LLC.
“To be who I am and to have played as many games as I have as a starter, I had to do things on the other end to keep me confident,’’ the 2007 first-round draft pick said. “Being a pro, you understand things happen. I got my mind right.’’
He also helped Miami (3-4) sweep the two regular-season games against the Jets (4-4) in the teams’ second meeting in 20 days. Now the Dolphins have six days to prepare for a visit to the AFC East-leading Patriots.
“We’re responsible for the loss,’’ said Jets special teams ace Wallace Wright. “That killed us. If they didn’t run back those two kickoffs, it’s over.’’
Maybe so, especially when the Jets’ defense shut down the Dolphins’ wildcat formation and held Miami to just 104 yards of total offense, compared with New York’s 378.
“Sometimes things just don’t make sense,’’ Jets coach Rex Ryan said. “Statistically, this game isn’t going to look close.’’
Miami’s second-ranked running attack rushed for just 52 yards, and Chad Henne was 12 of 21 for 112 yards and a late TD.
“They’re a great team,’’ Jets linebacker Bart Scott said sarcastically. “They’ll probably contend for the Super Bowl.’’
It was one more shot in a tense rivalry reignited by a big heap of trash talk from both sides. It was ramped up after Jets linebacker Calvin Pace called the Dolphins’ Wildcat attack “nonsense’’ after Miami’s 31-27 win Oct. 12. The bad feelings were evident even before the game, when the Jets’ Kerry Rhodes and a few Dolphins got into a shoving match during warm-ups.
But this time, the Dolphins had the final word on the field.
“When you have two teams that really hate each other, that’s going to be your best football,’’ Miami linebacker Joey Porter said.
“This stings, going into the bye with a loss like this,’’ said Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, who threw for two TDs. “As a competitor and as an offense, we thought we were winning that game, no doubt.’’