EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Adam Gase snatched the Gatorade bottle sitting in front of him and tossed it at the trash can just a few feet away.
And, he missed.
It was that kind of day for the Miami Dolphins. Jay Cutler and the offense were frustrated all game by New York’s defense in a 20-6 loss to the Jets on Sunday.
“They just beat the (heck) out of us,” Gase said. “That’s the best way to put it. We didn’t show up, didn’t play physical.”
The Dolphins’ second-year coach was far from pleased with anything his team did in the defeat, which was saved from being a shutout only because of a 3-yard touchdown pass from Cutler to DeVante Parker as time expired.
But Cody Parkey missed the extra point, capping a miserable day for Miami in 88-degree heat at MetLife Stadium.
“We didn’t help the defense,” Cutler said. “The way we played on offense, we didn’t give them a chance.”
Cutler, making his second start for Miami, struggled to connect with his receivers throughout. The Dolphins (1-1) failed to convert their first eight third-down opportunities, not getting one until early in the fourth quarter, and finished 1 for 12.
Cutler was 26 of 44 for 220 yards with an interception and the TD toss.
“I think that game was a wakeup call for us,” Cutler said. “We can’t just roll it out there and expect it to happen.”
Miami was outgained 336-225 in total yardage, but it wasn’t even that close.
After three quarters, the Dolphins had managed just 81 total yards and five first downs.
“Just not enough positive yards and they’re teeing off on us on third-and-long,” Gase said. “We were third-and-6-plus the whole game. … They just put too much pressure on us where we couldn’t get open fast enough.”
Even Jay Ajayi was ineffective a week after running for 122 yards in the Dolphins’ season-opening win against the Los Angeles Chargers. He managed just 16 yards on 11 carries against the Jets.
“You watched the game,” Gase said. “He couldn’t get through anything. Guys were in the backfield so fast.”
Cutler, playing his second game since joining the Dolphins, was wide on some throws and totally off on others — clearly not yet fully in synch with his receivers.
A week after Jarvis Landry tied a career high with 13 catches, he had just six for 48 yards. Parker finished with eight catches for 76 yards, but seven of the receptions came in the fourth quarter when the Dolphins were in desperation mode.
“We didn’t move the ball like we wanted to today,” Landry said. “There are things that we did well and there are a lot of things we need to work on.”
The game marked the second of three road trips to open the season for the Dolphins, who had their season opener at home vs. Tampa Bay postponed because of Hurricane Irma.
Miami will play New Orleans next weekend in London before making a home debut against Tennessee.
“All I know is you’ve got to line up on Sunday and play,” Gase said. “If someone has an issue with that, they better check their profession.”
Cutler insisted that being road weary wouldn’t be used as an excuse.
“We felt prepared going into this game,” the quarterback said. “We just laid an egg.”
After a sluggish start for both teams, the Jets (1-1) took the lead on Chandler Catanzaro’s 40-yard field goal with 7:17 remaining in the half.
New York went up 10-0 on Josh McCown’s perfectly placed pass to Robby Anderson, who caught the ball in stride and sped into the end zone for a 69-yard touchdown.
Bilal Powell leaped into the end zone from 1 yard to make it 17-0 on the Jets’ first possession of the second half. The drive was kept alive by defensive lineman Lawrence Thomas — lining up as a fullback throughout the game — catching a 15-yard pass on third-and-1.
New York shut down Cutler and the Dolphins on the next drive, and Matt Haack tried a fake punt. But his pass was picked off by Terrence Brooks.
“Tried to get something going,” Gase said of the call. “Figured we could complete a ball on the punt team.”