MIAMI GARDENS, Fla., Nov. 3 (UPI) -- Ryan Fitzpatrick threw three touchdown passes against one of his former teams and helped the Miami Dolphins pick up their first win of the season against the New York Jets on Sunday in Miami.
Fitzpatrick completed 24 of 36 passes for 288 yards and threw all of his touchdown tosses in the first half of the 26-18 triumph. The Dolphins (1-7) were also facing former coach Adam Gase, whom they fired after the 2018 season.
"It feels good," Dolphins coach Brian Flores said of the win. "The first thing I would say is players win games. We coach them but players win games.
"That group, they did a really nice job today. We didn't get off to the best start; but like all year, we've dealt with a lot of adversity and these guys know how to deal with that and they came back and we played well after that slow start."
The Dolphins tied the score at the start of the second quarter, with Fitzpatrick finding Preston Williams with a 12-yard touchdown pass. Miami took a 14-7 lead when Fitzpatrick hooked up with DeVante Parker for a 17-yard touchdown on the Dolphins' second drive of the second quarter.
Fitzpatrick threw his third touchdown pass with 1:54 remaining in the second quarter. The journeyman quarterback found Williams with a 5-yard pass to cap off a 7-play, 56-yard drive, giving Miami a 21-7 edge.
The Jets responded by getting to the Dolphins for a safety with 47 seconds left in the first half, making the score 21-9. Sam Ficken made a 52-yard field goal on the next possession to make the score 21-12 at halftime.
The Dolphins missed a field goal on their first drive of the second half. Ficken converted on a 40-yard kick on the Jets' following drive, making the score 21-15. Miami answered with a 26-yard field goal from Jason Sanders to push the lead back to nine points.
The Dolphins increased their lead to 26-15 with a fourth quarter safety. Ficken made a 29-yard field goal with 19 seconds remaining for the final points of the game.
"It's always fun to win and going so many games without one and the work that we have put in and the adversity we have worked through, this one's pretty sweet," Fitzpatrick said.
Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki had six catches for 95 yards in the win. Williams had 72 yards and two scores on five catches for the Dolphins. Darnold completed 27 of 39 passes for 260 yards, a touchdown and an interception in the loss. Jets running back Le'Veon Bell had 22 touches for 111 yards from scrimmage.
"We're 1-7," Jets coach Adam Gase said. "You feel like crap. You don't put in all this time and effort to come out here and lose. We've got to get things fixed."
The Dolphins face the Indianapolis Colts at 4:05 p.m. EST Sunday, Nov. 10, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The Jets host the New York Giants at 1 p.m. Nov. 10 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.