MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. >> Rookie Kenyan Drake scored untouched on a 96-yard kickoff return with 5:15 left Sunday, and the Miami Dolphins won a seesaw battle with the New York Jets, 27-23.
Jay Ajayi rushed for 111 yards and helped to run out the clock after the Dolphins came from behind for the third time.
A botched Dolphins punt led to a touchdown that put New York ahead 23-20. On the ensuing kickoff , New York’s Antonio Allen was called for being offside, so the Jets had to kick again. Drake took the kickoff, found a lane and sped past the final Jet — kicker Nick Folk — into the clear.
The Dolphins (4-4) won their third game in a row, while New York (3-6) fell deeper into last place in the AFC East. The Jets hurt themselves with four personal foul penalties, two interceptions thrown by Ryan Fitzpatrick and numerous missed chances.
Ajayi finished 89 yards short in his bid to become the first NFL rusher to have three consecutive 200-yard games. He still enjoyed a productive day despite being hit behind the line on many of his 24 carries.
Ajayi had 55 yards in the fourth quarter.
Also impressive with his ball-carrying skills was 335-pound Miami defensive tackle Jordan Phillips, who hurdled an opponent during a 17-yard interception return to set up a field goal.
Fitzpatrick was also intercepted in the end zone by Bobby McCain in the fourth quarter, and he missed an open Brandon Marshall in the end zone, forcing New York to settle for a field goal.
Jets linebacker Jordan Jenkins dropped a potential interception with nothing but 85 yards of grass in front of him.
The Jets were amped up at the start to stop Ajayi — perhaps too much so.
Ajayi lost 3, 1 and 5 yards on his first three carries. But two of the losses were negated by an unnecessary roughness penalty on Buster Skrine, and a taunting penalty on Calvin Pryor.
On his fourth carry, Ajayi found a big hole and ran 20 yards for a touchdown to put Miami ahead 7-3.
The Jets’ Sheldon Richardson was flagged for unnecessary roughness twice in the second quarter.
ABSENT AT FIRST
Jets defensive linemen Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson sat out the first quarter and entered the game at the start of the second period. A team official said their absences at the start weren’t injury-related, but declined to say whether they were for disciplinary reasons.
The feud between Marshall and Byron Maxwell produced a lot of trash-talking, but Marshall managed only 45 yards on six catches. The Jets receiver complained during the week that Maxwell held him on every play in their only previous meeting.
The Jets started the game with a field goal at the end of a 13-play drive, and the best was an ad lib. Fitzpatrick scrambled up the middle for 14 yards, and as he was about to be tackled, he lateraled to Bilal Powell for an additional 8 yards.
Miami receiver Jarvis Landry, who said he would remain aggressive after a hefty fine for a block that injured the Bills’ Aaron Williams, kept the pledge. Following a catch he tried to run through tackler Marcus Gilchrist and knocked off the safety’s helmet.