Dolphins sack coach Joe Philbin as Wembley loss proves final straw

Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin has been sacked in the aftermath of their Wembley loss to AFC East rivals the New York Jets on Sunday afternoon.

Dolphins sack coach Joe Philbin as Wembley loss proves final straw

The Dolphins later announced that Dan Campbell, their tight ends coach for the past five seasons, would assume the role of interim head coach.

For the second successive year an NFL head coach has paid with his job for a Transatlantic defeat, with the Oakland Raiders removing Dennis Allen last September following their 38-17 loss to the Dolphins in the capital.

Like Allen, Philbin’s position seemed untenable after a lacklustre London performance where Miami were poor across the board against the Jets, who won the 100th meeting between the two by a 27-14 scoreline.

Philbin, who had not presided over a winning record in his three previous seasons in the Sunshine State, had said he was not worried about his job security in his post-game press conference at Wembley but, less than 24 hours after full-time, he was fired with the Dolphins at 1-3 for the campaign.

In a statement, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said: “This was a tough decision for me to make knowing how tirelessly Joe worked in his four years here to make this a winning team.

“He is a man of the highest character and integrity that I developed a close personal relationship with.

“I am extremely disappointed with how we have started the season, but I feel confident that we can improve quickly with the talent we have on our roster. We will soon be announcing an interim coach to lead the team going forward.”

Meanwhile Aaron Rodgers threw for 224 yards and one touchdown as the Green Bay Packers got off to their first 4-0 start in four years with a 17-3 win over San Francisco.

After a modest first half, the Packers picked up steam in the second half of Sunday’s contest by dominating 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and snapping a four-game losing streak to San Francisco.

“It was a grind out there,” said Rodgers. “We had a good first drive and we kind of stalled for a little while. Defense played incredible. I thought we ran the ball pretty well.” The Packers are now one of five teams who have opened the season with 4-0 records, joining Atlanta, Carolina, Cincinatti and Denver.

Running back CJ Spiller caught an 80-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Drew Brees to lift the New Orleans Saints to a 26-20 overtime win over the Dallas Cowboys.

Kaepernick was sacked six times at Levi’s Stadium. Linebacker Nick Perry had two sacks, while linebackers Clay Matthews, Jayrone Elliott, Julius Peppers and Mike Neal each had one.

“They always say defenses win championships,” Perry said. “As long as we’re all playing on all cylinders, we can’t be beat.” The Packers’ recent losses to the 49ers included defeats in the 2012 and 2013 NFL postseasons.

Rodgers completed 22 of 32 passes with no interceptions. Wide receiver James Jones caught five passes for 98 yards, and running back Eddie Lacy rushed 18 times for 90 yards.

Kaepernick completed 13 of 25 passes for 160 yards and one interception. Running back Carlos Hyde gained just 20 yards on eight carries. Wide receiver Torrey Smith caught two passes for 54 yards.

The Packers led 7-3 at half-time and made it 14-3 with just over seven minutes left in the third quarter on fullback John Kuhn’s one-yard touchdown plunge. The drive took nine plays and covered 61 yards.

Elsewhere, it was as if a giant hand reached up and turned back the clock for Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri and quarterback Matt Hasselbeck at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The Colts were without franchise quarterback Andrew Luck, who suffered a shoulder injury in a September 27 game. So it was up to the Colts’ two oldest players to salvage a 16-13 overtime victory against Jacksonville.

Vinatieri’s 27-yard field goal with 4:36 remaining in overtime gave the Colts (2-2) a much-needed victory. The 42-year-old is the Colts’ oldest player.

Backup quarterback Hasselbeck, 40, started in place of Luck and completed 30 of 47 passes for 282 yards and a touchdown.

In Denver, Brandon McManus kicked three field goals, including a 39-yarder with 1:51 remaining, as the Broncos defeated the Minnesota Vikings 23-20 to remain undefeated.

RESULTS:

Arizona Cardinals 22 St Louis Rams 24, Atlanta Falcons 48 Houston Texans 21, Buffalo Bills 10 New York Giants 24, Chicago Bears 22 Oakland Raiders 20, Cincinnati Bengals 36 Kansas City Chiefs 21, Indianapolis Colts 16 Jacksonville Jaguars 13, Miami Dolphins 14 New York Jets 27, San Diego Chargers 30 Cleveland Browns 27, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23 Carolina Panthers 37, Washington Redskins 23 Philadelphia Eagles 20.

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