Dolphins top Jets and former coach Adam Gase, get first victory

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- It's not quite a pop-the-champagne moment, but the Miami Dolphins are winless no more.

The Ryan Fitzpatrick-led Dolphins ended their 10-game losing streak with a 26-18 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday. There was an extra satisfaction in winning Sunday because they beat former head coach Adam Gase and the AFC East-rival Jets.

Dolphins second-year linebacker Jerome Baker sent a tweet three hours before their game calling his shot: "Today is the day," he wrote.

Baker was right. Following weeks of emotional postgame locker room interactions after embarrassing blowout losses and head-shaking close defeats, Dolphins players and coaches finally had joy.

"I woke up and it was on my heart. We had a great week of practice. I just felt like it was going to happen. I had to let the world know. We were tired of losing," Baker said after the game.

Dolphins coach Brian Flores was doused with a postgame Gatorade bath, a dozen players surrounded him with congratulations, and owner Stephen Ross gave him a hug as the two headed into the locker room with wide smiles. Ross was also seen giving a fist pump to a pending Dolphins victory by the CBS broadcast.

Flores got the game ball from Ross after the victory.

"A lot about coaching is building relationships and having fun out there, so those moments mean a lot more. I wasn't expecting any kind of bath," Flores said. "It was a fun moment for them, fun moment for me. It was something I'll never forget."

Flores said he immediately thought of his mother as he was walking off the field. His mom, Maria, died in March due to cancer. Flores dedicated his first NFL victory to her.

"She's been my good-luck charm for a long time," Flores said. "This is the first season of football I've had without her. She's the person that came to mind. This one is for her. It was a lot of fun. It was a great moment."

Players were ecstatic in the locker room. Fitzpatrick gave a group hug to his offensive linemen and then proceeded to his locker where two of his sons were hanging all over him laughing and pumped that their dad got a victory.

"I had a lot of pressure on me today because my two boys were here, and when we win I bring my boys in the locker room. I was tired of the puppy-dog eyes when I was walking off the field with them not being able to come into the locker room. So we were going to get them in the dang locker room today," Fitzpatrick said. "I know we didn't win the Super Bowl, but I know the things that we've gone through already this season and trying to deal with it with a smile on your face and remaining positive. To have my two boys sitting here watching this, those are lessons that are hard to teach in other aspects outside of sports. That's part of the reason you still play and part of the reason it's such a special win for us."

Fitzpatrick has been the leader of a resurgent Dolphins team that has turned its performance around over the past few weeks.

"To do it with these guys, the things that we've had to fight through and all the negativity that is surrounding from the outside looking in, the way that guys have decided to be positive, decided to practice well, decided to come to work every single day and work hard, that's what makes this one so special," Fitzpatrick said. "It's nice when something like that pays off and you can see the fruits of your labor."

For the 1-7 Dolphins, it's just a small taste of victory in an otherwise painful 2019 season. For the 1-7 Jets, it's another embarrassing showing in what has become a rapidly snowballing disastrous season.

"We're 1-7. Everybody... 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. That's what they know," Gase said.

Asked if the loss was embarrassing, Gase said, "It's the NFL. You can't be embarrassed by this s---."

Jets safety Jamal Adams, asked if the Jets still believe in Gase, said: "Right now, Adam is our coach. I'm pretty sure he's going to continue to be the coach, so we have faith in him. That's not going to change. Whoever is in the building, that's who we're riding with, so I got his back. That's just how it is."

Fitzpatrick had a revenge-game-type performance against one of his former teams. He went 24-of-36 for 288 yards, three touchdowns, zero interceptions and a 118.8 passer rating.

Rookie receiver Preston Williams and second-year tight end Mike Gesicki had the best games of their young NFL careers in the Dolphins' first victory. Williams had five catches for 72 yards and two touchdowns. Gesicki had a game-high 95 receiving yards on six catches. The Jets couldn't figure out how to stop either one of them.

Sam Darnold went 27-of-39 for 260 yards, one touchdown and an interception.

The Dolphins have been synonymous with tanking through the 2019 campaign, but there was plenty of expressive joy, not disappointment, as the clock hit zero with a victory.

For a franchise that has the only undefeated team in NFL history (1972 Dolphins), it has to be a relief that the Dolphins won't be historic for having a winless team as well.

The Dolphins hadn't won a game since the "Miami Miracle" against the Patriots in Week 14 of the 2018 season, nearly 11 months ago.

On the other end of the spectrum, some Dolphins fans may worry that the win may hurt their bid to land the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft. The 0-8 Cincinnati Bengals now are in position to land the top overall selection. The Dolphins' chances to obtain the top pick dropped from 66% to 52% with the win, according to ESPN's FPI. The Bengals and Dolphins face each other in Miami in Week 16.

But all that was forgotten for one Sunday. They'll worry about the draft-pick implications another day. On this Sunday, a win made those who work for the Dolphins very happy.

ESPN's Rich Cimini contributed to this report.