By DENNIS WASZAK Jr.
AP Pro Football Writer
New York Jets kicker Sam Ficken (9) kicks the winning field goal during the second half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
New York Jets kicker Sam Ficken (9) reacts with teammates after kicking the winning field goal during an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
New York Jets kicker Sam Ficken (9) reacts as he watches his 44-yard field goal split the uprights against the Miami Dolphins to end an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Jets won 22-21.(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Miami Dolphins kicker Jason Sanders (7) celebrates with punter Matt Haack (2) and defensive tackle Christian Wilkins (94) after kicking a field goal against the New York Jets during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
New York Jets cornerback Nate Hairston (21) reacts with teammates after intercepting a pass intended for Miami Dolphins wide receiver Allen Hurns (17) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) splits the defense between Miami Dolphins defensive back Nik Needham (40) and free safety Adrian Colbert (36) to score a touchdown during the second quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) runs the ball against the New York Jets during the first quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) passes against the Miami Dolphins during the first quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) The New York Jets were looking at fourth-and-really long - and another brutal loss to the Miami Dolphins.
Until a controversial call changed it all.
Sam Ficken kicked a 44-yard field goal as time expired to give the Jets a 22-21 comeback victory Sunday after they benefited when an incomplete pass was reviewed in New York and a rare game-altering pass interference ruling on Miami was added.
''I thought it was pass interference,'' Darnold said. ''And, obviously, they overturned it.''
Darnold got the winning drive going with a short pass to Vyncint Smith, who turned it into a 37-yard gain that included a high-step over a would-be tackler. After a sack by Andrew Van Ginkel two plays later put the ball at the Dolphins 46, Darnold threw an incomplete pass to Smith.
But, the Jets argued Nik Needham interfered with the receiver by wrapping his right arm around Smith's right shoulder.
''I knew it was pass interference from the beginning,'' Smith said. ''I think I had one earlier in the game that they didn't call, so I was upset they weren't calling that one, either.''
But the play went to a video review at the league office and the interference call was added - giving the Jets a first down and new life.
''Honestly, it's just trash,'' Needham said.
A 12-yard catch by Ty Montgomery got the ball to the 26. Two plays later, Ficken won it, helping the Jets (5-8) avoid a season series sweep by the lowly Dolphins (3-10).
''This one feels really good,'' said Ficken, who made three field goals but missed an extra point. ''This is definitely the best moment I've had in my pro career ''
Miami coach Brian Flores appeared incensed as the game ended, with TV cameras catching him shouting his displeasure at one of the officials. He refused to discuss the overturned call with reporters.
''We lost the game,'' Flores said. ''I was upset we lost the game.''
Added Needham: ''How else am I supposed to get to the receiver? He's in front of me. I can't run through him. I have to get around him to get the ball out. Yeah, so it's a P.I. in their house.''
Al Riveron, the NFL's senior vice president of officiating, said the call was made by New York by rule with the game having under two minutes left. All reviews are done in the booth and/or in New York.
''It was clear and obvious that the receiver did get significantly hindered prior to the ball getting there,'' Riveron told a pool reporter.
The Jets - who lost to the previously winless Cincinnati Bengals last week - overcame a Dolphins franchise-record seven field goals by Jason Sanders, including a 37-yarder that gave Miami the lead with 1:33 left.
Sanders kicked a 48-yarder to put the Dolphins up 18-16 with 6:59 remaining, but Ficken's 42-yarder gave New York the lead again with 4:05 left.
Darnold, who injured his right hand at the beginning of the fourth quarter, was off on a few of his late passes but finished 20 of 36 for 270 yards and touchdowns to Demaryius Thomas and Robby Anderson. Darnold also was intercepted once.
Anderson had seven catches for 116 yards and the score. Bilal Powell, starting in place of the ill Le'Veon Bell, had 74 yards on 19 carries before leaving on the final drive with an ankle injury.
Ryan Fitzpatrick was 21 of 37 for 245 yards with an interception for Miami, playing without top receivers DeVante Parker and Albert Wilson who both left with concussions.
The Jets took a 16-6 lead with 1:55 left in the opening half on Thomas' 14-yard touchdown catch, his first for New York. The initial call of an incomplete pass was overturned by a video review as officials ruled Thomas had possession as he was tackled by Needham while falling into the end zone.
New York nearly had another score a few plays later when James Burgess intercepted Fitzpatrick and took it into the end zone, but the Jets linebacker was called for defensive holding - negating the turnover.
Miami ended up getting a 28-yard field goal from Sanders with 19 seconds remaining in the half to cut the deficit to 16-9.
The Jets were without two of their best players with both Bell and safety Jamal Adams sitting out.
Bell was ruled out Saturday because of what Gase said after the game is the flu. He practiced fully Wednesday, but then sat out Thursday and Friday.
Adams was officially ruled inactive 90 minutes before the game after he missed practice all week with a sprained ankle. It was the first game Adams has missed in his three-year NFL career.
Dolphins: Parker went out with a concussion in the second quarter, and Wilson in the third. ... TE/FB Chandler Cox injured a shoulder in the fourth quarter.
Jets: TE Ryan Griffin left with an ankle injury on New York's opening drive and didn't return. ... DL Quinnen Williams suffered a burner in the third quarter and didn't return. ... CB Kyron Brown was in crutches in the locker room after hurting his left quadriceps in the fourth quarter.
Dolphins: play at MetLife Stadium again next Sunday to take on the Giants.
Jets: travel to Baltimore to take on Lamar Jackson and the Ravens on Thursday night.
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San Francisco 49ers running back Tevin Coleman (shoulder) is doing some running on a side field at the team's practice on Thursday. Despite sitting out of practice, Coleman appears very much in play to suit up for the Super Bowl against the Chiefs on Feb. 2. He suffered a dislocated right shoulder in the NFC Championship win over the Packers, but Coleman has an extra week to heal up and should be good to go for the big game. He will continue to serve as a change-of-pace back for Raheem Mostert, who ran for over 200 yards and four touchdowns against the Packers.
The Atlanta Falcons plan to tender a contract to impending exclusive-rights free-agent kicker Younghoe Koo. The 25-year-old place kicker solidified the team's kicking position in the final eight games of the season, making 23 of his 26 field-goal tries and 15 of his 16 extra points. Koo went 7-for-9 on kicks from 40-49 yards and hit his only attempt of 50-plus yards. While he should enter the 2020 season as the favorite to kick for Atlanta, the Falcons will also bring in some competition to push him. With an offense that can be explosive and put up points, Koo will have some fantasy appeal if he sticks around.
Houston Texans left tackle Laremy Tunsil, who will be entering the final year of his rookie contract in 2020, said he'd be happy to stay with the team for the long-term. "Whatever coach decides to do, I'm happy. I'd be happy to stay there with Deshaun (Watson) and help win games," Tunsil said. He was traded to the Texans from the Dolphins last season and was a massive upgrade for Houston's offensive line and quarterback Deshaun Watson. It remains to be seen if the team will offer Tunsil a long-term deal, but one thing that is certain is that Tunsil's presence on Watson's blind side is great news heading into next season as the Texans look to get back to the postseason.
The Dallas Cowboys haven't had contract discussions with wide receiver Amari Cooper, but he said that he wants to be in Dallas for a long time. Cooper will become a free agent in March, but he is the team's No. 2 priority this offseason behind quarterback Dak Prescott. Despite dealing with nagging injuries for most of the season, Cooper had 79 receptions for a career-high 1,189 yards and eight touchdowns over a full season in 2019. It's hard to imagine Dallas letting him walk in free agency, and his fantasy value would remain the highest as a high-end WR1 if he stays with the Cowboys moving forward. If he goes elsewhere, Michael Gallup would become the team's No. 1 wideout.
Denver Broncos general manager John Elway said that outside linebacker Bradley Chubb (knee), who tore his ACL on Sept. 30 against the Jaguars, is making "really good (progress)." "He looks great. I (jokingly) asked with about five weeks left in the season if he was ready to go. He should be ready to go for OTAs (in May) or even the offseason program (in April)," Elway said. Losing the pass rusher for most of the 2019 season was a big loss for Denver's defense. The 23-year-old was a force in his rookie season with 60 total tackles (41 solo), 12 sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. He should be able to bounce back across from Von Miller in 2020 and give Denver a formidable pass rush once again.
The Minnesota Vikings are turning to Gary Kubiak, who has been an assistant head coach and offensive advisor, as their next offensive coordinator, according to sources. Minnesota's previous offensive coordinator, Kevin Stefanski, has left to become the Browns head coach. Not much will change in Minnesota with Kubiak at the helm of the offense, but it is mostly good news for running back Dalvin Cook, who will continue to be the focal point of this offense moving forward. Quarterback Kirk Cousins also benefited from plenty of play-action passing plays while Kubiak was an offensive advisor.
Green Bay Packers TE Jimmy Graham is expected to be released during the offseason, in the opinion of The Green Bay Press-Gazette's Pete Dougherty, who called the prospective move a 'given.' Graham has one year remaining on his deal. Releasing him would free up $8 million in cap room.
Fantasy Spin: Graham posted a 38-447-3 line in his age-33 season, and despite playing well in the playoffs he has been a disappointment since signing with the Packers. Wherever he plays (if he does) in 2020, Graham's days as a TE1 seem far in the rear view.
Green Bay Packers S Adrian Amos (pectoral) is unlikely to require surgery on his injured pec, according to head coach Matt LaFleur. Amos suffered the injury during the NFC Championship Game.
Updating a previous report, impending free-agent Austin Hooper (Falcons) is expected to receive overtures from the Arizona Cardinals, Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redskins if he is allowed to reach the open market, according to sources via Pro Football Network's Tony Pauline.
Impending free-agent DE Robert Quinn (Cowboys) would prefer to remain with the Dallas Cowboys, and sources have told Pro Football Network's Tony Pauline that team owner/general manager Jerry Jones has been 'aggressive' in letting Quinn know he wants him to return.
Atlanta Falcons TE Austin Hooper is not close to a contract extension with the team, according to general manager Thomas Dimitroff Tuesday, Jan. 21. 'The reality right now is that we are trudging along,' Dimitroff said. 'Once we get back from the Super Bowl, after the Super Bowl week we'll continue to look and see how we are moving forward. But at this point there are no updates on Austin.'
Fantasy Spin: Hooper is coming off a career year in which he caught 75 passes for 787 yards and six touchdowns. He's an excellent third option behind WRs Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley in Atlanta, but his play this year may have priced him out of the Falcons' budget for 2020 and beyond. His potential free-agent destination would have a big impact on his 2020 draft stock.
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Josh McCown spoke with head coach Doug Pederson about a potential role on the coaching staff, but McCown isn't ready to retire just yet. The veteran QB came out of retirement last August to sign a one-year deal with the Eagles. He's currently recovering from a torn hamstring that he suffered in the wild-card loss to the Seahawks. McCown threw only five passes during the regular season and served as a de facto player/coach as Carson Wentz's backup. He has some potential as a future offensive coordinator, but it's unlikely he would immediately be considered as Mike Groh's successor in Philly. Wherever McCown is playing in 2020, he'll strictly be a backup and won't have any fantasy value.
Free-agent WR Antonio Brown (Patriots) had an arrest warrant on a felony charge of burglary and battery issued against him Wednesday, Jan. 22, by Hollywood, Fla. police. A moving truck driver claimed he was assaulted by Brown and his trainer. Brown also was charged with one count of burglary of an occupied conveyance and one count of criminal mischief.
Fantasy Spin: Dynasty owners should be preparing to move on from Brown before finalizing their rosters ahead of 2020 drafts.
Cleveland Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr. will sit down with new head coach Kevin Stefanski Thursday, Jan. 23, to discuss Stefanski's plan for personal conduct. 'I'm looking forward to sitting down with Odell face to face,' Stefanski said. 'I haven't had the chance to do that yet and I get the chance to do that (Thursday). And at that point, that's when I can start laying out my expectations for Odell and all of our players.' Beckham was caught on video at the College Football Playoff Championship Game earlier this month appearing to hand out cash to LSU Tigers players, as well as appearing to slap a security officer on the butt in the locker room. Charges had been filed against Beckham for the latter incident, but they were later dropped.
Fantasy Spin: Beckham totaled 1,035 receiving yards and four touchdowns in his first season in Cleveland. Bigger things were expected, and the hiring of Stefanski should help lead to improvements for 2020. He remains a top-end WR1.
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (knee) was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday. Kelce will be just fine to suit up on Feb. 2 against the 49ers in the Super Bowl. He was the top fantasy tight end in 2019 and hasn't slowed down in the postseason, catching 13 of 16 targets for 164 yards and three touchdowns against the Texans and Titans. Most of that production came in the Divisional Round when he had 10 grabs for 134 yards and three scores, but Kelce can go off at any time and could be the X-factor in the Super Bowl in two weeks.
San Francisco 49ers running back Tevin Coleman (shoulder) was unable to practice on Wednesday, but the team remains hopeful that he will be available for the Super Bowl against the Chiefs. The team didn't practice on Wednesday, but they were required to submit an estimated practice report. Coleman dislocated his right shoulder in the first half of the NFC Championship against the Packers and played just eight snaps. If he's active for the Super Bowl, Coleman will split snaps with Raheem Mostert, who ran for over 200 yards and four touchdowns against the Packers. Matt Breida will be the No. 3 back.
Minnesota Vikings RB Dalvin Cook (shoulder) indicated that he will be ready for the start of offseason workouts. Cook is entering the final year of his contract and is a candidate for an extension this offseason.
Fantasy Spin: Cook was one of the top running backs in the NFL this season with 1,135 yards and 13 touchdowns during the regular season. He will continue to be a focal point on offense for the Vikings next season and will be an early round pick in fantasy leagues.
San Francisco 49ers LB Kwon Alexander (pectoral), DE Dee Ford (hamstring, quadriceps) and S Jaquiski Tartt (ribs) were limited during practice Wednesday, Jan. 22. LB Dre Greenlaw (ankle) fully participated in practice. The 49ers did not hold a practice Wednesday, so the injury report is an estimation.
San Francisco 49ers RB Tevin Coleman (shoulder) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Jan. 22. The 49ers did not hold a practice Wednesday, so this is an estimation.
Fantasy Spin: The 49ers are optimistic about Coleman's status for Super Bowl LIV, but he may be a game-time decision. He will share snaps with Raheem Mostert and Matt Breida if he plays and could be a flex option in fantasy leagues.
New Orleans Saints impending free-agent QB Drew Brees is a player that the Saints want to keep as long as he wants to keep playing, according to general manager Mickey Loomis.
Fantasy Spin: Brees will be a free agent this offseason, but the Saints will try to re-sign him. He finished with 2,979 yards and 27 touchdowns in the regular season and can be considered a No. 1 quarterback in most fantasy leagues in 2020.