Tag: New England Patriots

AFC East is up for grabs, Dolphins begin Jets week (take 2)

The Miami Dolphins kicked up their feet and watched the craziness that is the AFC East, unravel a bit on Sunday.  The Dolphins were on their bye week and the new CBA says that the team had to have 4 consecutive days without practice.  That stretch for the Dolphins went from Thursday through Sunday.  So the Dolphins had plenty of time Sunday to sit back and watch the madness of the AFC East from a fans perspective.  Entering Sunday, all 4 teams were tied with 3-3 records. Only the Dolphins would end the weekend with that record.

First, the Bills and Titans played a game that saw very little defense.  Titans and Bills exchanged punches, with the Bills eventually jumping out to a 34-28 lead in the 4th quarter.  Their defense would allow the Titans to score a touchdown on 4th down to take a 35-34 lead in the game’s final minutes.  The Titans would hold on to win, dropping the Bills to 3-4.

Then, we watched a crazy game between the Jets and Patriots.  The Patriots led 23-13 at one point in the 4th quarter, only to blow that lead and allow the Jets to tie the game.  After a fumble on the kickoff directly following the tying field goal, the Jets actually took a 26-23 lead.  Tom Brady, of course, lead the Patriots down the field for the tying field goal to force overtime.  In overtime, the Patriots kicked a field goal on the opening possession and the Mark Sanchez fumbled the game away.  Literally, a game ending fumble.  So this morning the Patriots sit atop the AFC East at 4-3, while the Dolphins are in second at 3-3, with the Bills and Jets tied for last at 3-4.

What Sunday showed was that the AFC is relatively even. The Jets went to Foxboro, without Darrelle Revis and Santonio Holmes and gave the Patriots all they could handle.  The Bills were one defensive stop away from being 4-3.  Immediately after the Jets game ended, Dolphins left guard, Richie Incognito tweeted “It’s officially Jets Week #TurnUp”.  That’s right Richie, it is Jets week.  And this week’s game is big for the Dolphins…..very big.  (cont’d on page 2, click below)

Pitiful Picks: Dolphins may be resting, but not us!

On Sunday, the Miami Dolphins players will be enjoying their last official day before their bye week fun comes to an end.  The Dolphins players have been off since Wednesday afternoon and have been making the most of their much deserved time away from football.  Reggie Bush and Sean Smith headed back home to California. Anthony Fasano was on the sidelines of the Notre Dame game yesterday. Hopefully when all of the Dolphins players return, they’re healthy and focused on winning football games.

For us here at PhinNation, there are no bye weeks,especially for our Pitiful Picks.  Last week we went 2-2, making us 12-9 on the season so far.  this week, we’ll pick 4 games as usgh (Les Brown vocab), but won’t have a Dolphins game to pick.  Instead, we’ll pick the 2 other games featuring AFC East contenders.  Here we go:

Green Bay Packers -5 over St. Louis Rams

I don’t think anyone thought the Packers would be 3-3 right now. Let’s face it, they could be 5-1 if not for a crazy comeback by the Colts and the most controversial replacement refs call of all time against the Seahawks.  The Packers got their groove back last week, crushing the previously unbeaten Texans, in Houston. Aaron Rodgers threw for 5 touchdowns and the Packers looked like the Packers. After watching the Rams up close last week against the Dolphins, I don’t think they are in the same league. Yes, their defense looked good, but their offense is not going to keep pace with the Pack.  Packers 27 Rams 17  (cont’d on page 2, click below)

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Dolphins Division: What will the AFC East look like after this weekend?

The Miami Dolphins are currently tied with 3 other teams for first (and last) place in the AFC East.  It’s amazing(ly mediocre) that all 4 AFC East teams are tied at 3-3.  According to most experts, the Patriots are still the odds on favorites to win the AFC East, but their early struggles in close games have kept the door open for the Dolphins, Jets, and Bills.  In reality, if any of those 3 teams can get their act together, the AFC is wide open so a wild card could come out of the AFC East.  Entering week 7 only 2 teams have a better record than 3-3 (Ravens and Texans are 5-1).  Every team except for the Ravens and Texans is a 3-3 or worse.

New England Patriots (3-3 overall, 1-0 division)

The Patriots were in Seattle on Sunday and had a 13 point lead on the Seahawks in the 4th quarter.  The Patriots were well on their way to a 4-2 record and sole possession of 1st place in the AFC East.  Then, the Patriots secondary decided to give up a ton of yards and 14 points to a 5’11” rookie quarterback.  The Patriots lost by 1 point.  They’ve now lost 3 games by a TOTAL of 4 points.  This week, the Patriots will probably take out their anger on the Jets, as they welcome into Foxboro.  I think the Pats will put a hurting on the Jets on Sunday, moving them to 4-3 and most likely all alone in 1st place.

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Dolphins Division: 1 game separates 1st and last place in AFC East

The Miami Dolphins were all alone in the AFC East basement last Sunday with a record of 1-3.  The Dolphins entered Sunday 1 game behind the Jets, Bills, and Patriots (2-2) for first place in the AFC East.  After Sunday and Monday’s games, the Dolphins have some company in the basement….which also happens to be 2nd place.  The Dolphins victory, combined with the Jets and Bills losses, moved them into a 3 way tie for 2nd place in the AFC East, 1 game behind the Patriots.  This week, the Dolphins will hope to even their record at 3-3 and begin to put distance between themselves and the Jets/Bills, while keeping pace with the Patriots.

New England Patriots (3-2 overall, 1-0 division)

The Patriots made it look easy on Sunday against Peyton Manning and the Broncos.  The Patriots ran the ball as well as they threw it, which is scary.  The Patriots offense is hitting on all cylinders and their defense is playing good enough to win.  This week, the Patriots head to Seattle to play the Seahawks (3-2).  The Seahawks have surprised some people and could pull off an upset this weekend.  The Patriots are traveling across the country and will be playing in a stadium where the Seahawks have a very good, loud 12th man (the crowd).  If you think of this matchup as Tom Brady versus Russell Wilson, you’d have to give the Patriots the advantage.  But I wouldn’t completely discount the Seahawks in this game.  If the Seahawks could find a way to win, combined with a Dolphins win over the Rams, the Dolphins would own a share of first place.

New York Jets (2-3 overall, 2-0 division)

The Jets didn’t embarrass themselves on Monday Night Football like many of us had hoped.  They did lose to the Texans, but they weren’t run out of Met Life Stadium.  The Jets now sit at 2-3 and are missing their best wide receiver (Holmes) and best defensive player (Revis).  The Jets offense looks the way you’d think a Tony Sparano/Mark Sanchez offense would look: terribly ineffective.  It’s only a matter of time before Tim Tebow takes over. With every game that Mark Sanchez can’t eclipse 50% completions, the crowd chanting for Tebow will only get louder.  Rex Ryan will be forced to make a change sooner rather than later.

This week, the Jets head to Indianapolis to take on the ‘better than we thought’ Colts (2-2).  The Colts are coming off of their emotional win over the Green Bay Packers.  I’m sure the Colts and their fans will again be charged up for this game.  Last week, the Colts learned that their head coach, Chuck Pagano, was diagnosed with Leukemia.  I think the nation was rooting for them last week, to get a win for their coach.  If they can keep riding that wave of emotion, playing for their coach, they could send the Jets to a 2-4 record.  (cont’d on page 2, click below)

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Dolphins Division: Breaking down the logjam in the AFC East

The Miami Dolphins are only 1 game out of the AFC East lead after 4 weeks of play.  Despite their shabby 1-3 record, the Dolphins trail the Jets, Bills, and Patriots by only 1 game, which is surprising.  Also surprising, is that the Dolphins could be the second best team in the division, even though they have the worst record in the division and have already been beaten by the Jets.  The Bills defense has not lived up to it’s offseason hype and the Jets offense works as well as Dan Carpenter’s right leg.  Anyway, here we go with the Week 4 edition of the Dolphins Division Recap:

New England Patriots (2-2, overall, 1-0 division)

The Patriots fell behind against the Bills and then decided they had seen enough.  They blasted the Bills in the second half, finishing the game with 52 points.  Still think  Mario Williams was worth all that money, Bills fans?  The Patriots defense is still a work in progress, but their offense was clicking on all cylinders against the Bills.  The Patriots would be 3-1 if their kicker had hit the game winner against the Cardinals in week 2.  This week, the Patriots host Peyton Manning and the Broncos (2-2), who put up 37 points last week.  Many think the Patriots will roll in this game, but I’m sure Peyton will try to put his best effort forward against Mr. Brady.

New York Jets (2-2 overall, 2-0 division)

The Jets have a nice shiny record, which is all that really matters in the NFL.  However, they’ve lost their best defensive player and best offensive weapon in back to back weeks.  The Jets also have one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL who is leading a feeble offensive unit that just got worse.  As you can tell, the Jets had a rough week.  There were crushed by the 49ers at home last week 34-0.  This week, they welcome in the Houston Texans (4-0) on Monday Night Football.  Good luck Rexy and Fist Pumper!  Maybe it’s time to dust ole’ Tebow off and let him give it a shot.  I would be shocked if the Jets don’t fall to 2-3 after this week and fade in the AFC East race, very quickly.  I see them having a 6-10 or 7-9 season at best.  (cont’d on page 2, click below)

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Dolphins Division: Upsets even division race after week 2

The Miami Dolphins didn’t win a game in 2011 until week 8.  The Dolphins quickly fell out of the AFC East race because the Patriots and Jets got off to fast starts and left the Dolphins and Bills in their dust.  This season, the Dolphins picked up their first win in week 2 AND, with a little help from the Patriots field goal kicker (and the underdog Cardinals), they pulled into a first place tie with the rest of the division.

New York Jets (1-1)

As good as the Jets and their Jekyl and Hyde offense looked against the Bills in week 1, they looked equally bad in week 2 against the Steelers.  The Jets offense put up 34 points against the Bills, but managed just 10 against the Steelers on Sunday afternoon.  Mark Sanchez had one of his worst games as a pro.  Sanchez’s passes were wild an inaccurate after the first Jets’ scoring drive.  If this keeps up, fans will be calling for Tebow to start.  In fact, Rex Ryan had to deal with a number of ‘why isn’t Tebow playing that much’ questions this week….and it annoyed him, which is great.

This week, the Jets come down to Miami for a big early season matchup with the Dolphins.  The winner is guaranteed at least a tie for the division lead.  This game is being billed as a must win for the Jets, as their next two opponents are the 49ers and Texans.  A loss to the Dolphins could mean a 1-4 start or at best a 2-3 start to the season for the Jets.

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Week 12 Preview: Miami Dolphins @ Dallas Cowboys – Thanksgiving Feast or Famine?

In a special Thanksgiving day addition of NFL football, the (3-7) Miami Dolphins will head to Dallas to take on the (6-4) Cowboys.  Despite being on opposite ends of the standings in their respective divisions, these two teams have some distinct similarities.  Both have, wins over the Redskins and the Bills, losses to the Jets and Pats, and are riding 3 game win streaks.  The Cowboys are barely clinging to their first place lead in the NFC East, but Tony Romo is lights out in November (18-2), but the last time the Dolphins beat the Cowboys was on Thanksgiving 2003.

What to Watch For:

Cowboy Offense vs. Dolphin Defense:

It is safe to say that the Cowboy offense goes as Tony Romo goes and lately, Romo has been going extremely well.  In his last three games/wins, he has had 8 TDs to 0 INTs.  That is outstanding for Romo who is know for his Brett Favre, high-risk – high-reward type play.  For the Dolphins to be successful, it may be necessary to force Romo to make those mistakes and turnovers that he is prone to.  This may not be too difficult as the Dolphins D has had 4 INTs the past two weeks (2 each week).  With Cowboys WR Miles Austin still out, it will be imperative for the Dolphins to finally cover a TE.  Jason Witten, the Cowboys TE (Romo’s favorite target), has the 3rd most rec. yards (670) and 5th most TDs (5) amongst the leagues’ TEs and both are near the tops of all receivers.  Our D has struggled all year covering TEs; including last week when Bills’ TE Scott Chandler led their receiving with 5rec. for 71 yards.  Witten is a much better TE then Chandler; which may prove to be a big factor in the game tomorrow.

When it comes to the running game, the Dolphins D has played absolutely lights out.  They have climbed up to having the NFL’s 7th rush defense and have given up the 6th, the SIXTH, least amount of points (186).  That absolutely baffles me and makes me think of all the blown opportunities we had this season.  Sigh, well back to tomorrow (back to the future if you will).  It will be interesting to see what the Cowboys’ run game looks like tomorrow.  Demarco Murray had been outstanding, until last week, filling in for the injured Felix Jones, but Jones is expected to play tomorrow.  What roll will each have?  Will it effect their productivity for the better or worse?  It might keep them fresh and it’s another factor the Dolphins had to prepare for on a short week.

Dolphin Offense vs. Cowboy Defense:

The Dolphins’ offense averaged 28.7 ppg, Reggie Bush had 4 TDs, and they won the in the last three games.  If you would have told me that would happen before week 9, I would have absolutely laughed in your face.  But this is what they have done.  In last weeks preview, I thought Brandon Marshall would have a big day…well not so much huh, but they did continue to do something I said they should: that is to use the TEs.  Last week, both Anthony Fasano and Charles Clay had touchdowns; with Clay and Moore being nominated for offensive players of the week.  A few weeks back, I talked about how I liked what I saw so far from Clay and I wanted to see him progress.  That is what he is doing.  By no means is he a Pro-Bowler yet, but I think he can be a big piece of an offense.  Having multiple weapons like Bess, Hartline, Fasano, Clay, Bush, etc., to compliment “BM” really benefits a QB like Matt Moore.  I’ll admit, Moore, has played better than I thought he would.  I do not think he’s a guy that will go out and win a game for you, but he has done a very good job getting the ball to our play makers.  That being said, he will finally play an established defense this week.  The Cowboy defense enters the game ranked 13th in pass defense and 11th in rush defense, but much like their QB, have had ups-and-downs.

I think this may be the week that Reggie Bush’s success will be really be tested.  Will he be able to continue to run between the tackles, especially on short rest?  I would like to say we may be seeing more touches for Daniel Thomas, but his production has really been down and has fallen into the shadow of Bush.  This game may call for a more powerful running style; that Bush may not be able to provide on a short week.  Dallas’ D also has a +6 mark when it comes to turnovers.  It may be very important for the Dolphins to establish their game plan early and be successful.  Whether its to run the ball, use multiple targets, or hit some big plays, they need to get it rolling early.  Partially, to not get behind, but also to keep Matt Moore in his rhythem.  With this Dallas pass rush and defense, its not going to be pretty if we have to go out of our game plan comfort-zone.

Two Minute Drill:

Dolphins’ Key to the Game: A Little Bit of Everything on your Plate:  I really like how things have been going for the Dolphins’ offense.  For too long, they tried to be a run first offense and everyone knew it.  That’s fine, IF your excellent at it, but we weren’t.  Last week, 4 different players scored on offense.  This makes the defense consider all options and not just focus on stopping the run.

Cowboys’ Key to the Game: Get into the Kitchen: You know how your Mother or Grandmother always want you out of the kitchen when they are cooking?  Well, that’s kind of what a QB’s passing pocket is like.  Except the Dolphins’ cook(offensive line) let’s everyone into the kitchen.  Matt Moore will make mistakes if you put pressure on him and I think this Cowboys’ defense can disrupt all of the Dolphins’ “cooking” tomorrow.

Dolphin’ Player to Watch:  Matt Moore. Why not? Let’s see if he can continue his success.

Cowboys’ Player to Watch: DeMarcus Ware.  Ware is a grown man and can can wreak havoc on an offensive line, a QB, and an entire offense.

How it plays out: Thanksgiving Treat. If you eat a early or late Thanksgiving feast then this may be your appetizer or dessert.  Despite being a touchdown underdogs, I think the Dolphins make this one interesting.  As is the case with the majority of Dolphin game (except for the past few weeks) this game will be decided in the 4th quarter.

Prediction: 20-17 Cowboys. I think that Dolphins do play well, but the Dallas defense is able to provide more of a challenge then have have seen lately.  Romo has 2 TDs and 1 INT; which is enough to get the job done…unfortunately.

Regardless of the result, I hope you have a fun, tasty, and safe Thanksgiving!

As  always, PhinsUp!                                                                                                                                                                                 -John

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @PhinNationJohn for additional Dolphin news and commentary.

Thank you for reading my article, I hope you enjoyed it and be sure to leave a comment.

Week 11 Preview: Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins – Nobody Circles the Wagons Like the…Dolphins?

This Sunday at 1pm, our Miami Dolphins look for their 3rd win (yes, WIN) in a row against the reeling Buffalo Bills.  Yes people, this is what other teams call a “winning streak” or the Packers call “normal.” On the other hand, the Bills are riding a 2 game losing streak, or as the “Suck for Luckers” call it, “the good ole days.”  This game is important for both teams if they want to consider…playoffs (*suppresses inner Jim Mora).

What to Watch For:

Bills’ Offense vs. Dolphin Defense:

I must say, I feel that the Dolphin defense has been playing better and better each week. Now, is this because of the lack of quality offenses they went against, they have gotten more help from our own offense, or does winning really cure all?  Whatever the reason may be and despite the fact they are still ranked 25th against the pass, the Dolphin D is looking good.  After all, they are ranked 8th in the one defensive stat that truly matters; points-per-game with 19.8.  They also have only given up 20+ points once this year (week 1 against the Pats).

With the Dolphin defense’s success noted, the Bill’s offense started off the season blazing, scoring 20+ points every week, but the past two weeks, it has struggled.  In their last two games, the Bills had below 300 total yards and 7 total turnovers.  That being said, those performances came against tough Jets and Cowboy defenses.  Despite their lack of success last week, Fred Jackson was still able to surpass the century mark, gaining 114 yards on 13 carries.  The Dolphins D has done a better job at stopping the run recently, but haven’t faced a RB like Jackson in a few weeks.

Dolphin Offense vs. Bills’ Defense:

20+ points two weeks in a row? 2 Reggie Bush TDs? What is going on? By no means is the Miami Dolphin offense high powered, but they are finally finding ways to put the ball in the endzone.  I equate this success to a few things.  First, they are having success when they throw the ball on first down.  They seem to start off throwing on first, then when they have the lead, stop.  Its baffling.  It works to open up the defense, but once we have the lead, they seemingly try to run the clock out in the third quarter.  The second thing I think that has led to offensive success is the use of Brandon Marshall and the TE…that happens to be Anthony Fasano.  Targeting Marshall should be obvious…you would think…but the Dolphins have finally been getting him the ball more and more.  I am also a big support of using your TE; they often can cause mismatches against LBs(right Dansby. don’t be fooled, that INT was luck)  and create short yardage situations.  I hope these success points continue for the Dolphins.  They should have a favorable match-up against a poor Bill defense that has given up 20+ points in all but two games this season. Despite, their poor run/pass stopping and points-per-game, they have been able to rack up impressive 20 takeaways.

Two Minute Drill:

Dolphins’ Key to the Game: Foot on the Gas. As I mentioned before, the Dolphins have a tendency to play what I call “prevent offense” once they have the ball.  If they get a lead, they need to continue to throw the ball on non-passing downs.  Everyone knows we wanna run so your not surprising them when you try to.

Bills’ Key to the Game: Run before you Throw.  The Bills obvious strong suit and the should be possible against our defense.  If they get Jackson going, they may be able to ride him to victory; which may be necessary with Steve Johnson’s health in question.

Dolphin’ Player to WatchBrandon Marshall.  I do not think that the Bills will have anyone that can stop him and with Moore targeting him more-and-more (see what I did there?) he should have a big day.

Bills’ Player to Watch: Fred Jackson.  This guy has a great story and is a great runner.  I still think our defense will have trouble with a strong runner; which Jackson is.

How it plays out: More Competitive…than the past two weeks.  I think the Dolphins short run of easily won games will come to an end here.  As I have stated, I do think the Dolphins will struggle stopping the run; which will open the pass somewhat.  That being said, I see no reason, other than a self-destruction, the offense should be shutdown by the Bills.

Prediction: 24-17 … Dolphins. 24, yes, that means 3 TDs.

As  always, PhinsUp!                                                                                                                                                                                 -John

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @PhinNationJohn for additional Dolphin news and commentary.

Thank you for reading my article, I hope you enjoyed it and be sure to leave a comment.

Week 8 Preview: Miami Dolphins @ New York Giants – Trick-or-Treat

This Sunday’s 1pm match-up between the New York Giants (4-2) and Miami Dolphins (0-6) will feature two teams at opposite ends of the standings.  The Giants enter into Sunday’s matchup leading the NFC East division; while the Dolphins remain in AFC East’s basement.  The Giants are also coming off their bye week, thus giving them plenty of time to prepare (not that they really need to).  With their second trip to the New Meadowlands this year, will the Dolphins get a nice W treat or more tricks?

What to Watch For:

Giants’ Offense vs. Dolphin Defense:

The Giants offense has been generally off-balanced between their ability to rush and pass.  They enter the game being ranked 6th in passing and 30th in rushing.  Regardless of this imbalance, the Giants have been able to put up points on the scoreboard; they are ranked 9th in pts/game with 25.7.  I find their success through the air to be a bit surprising, based on Eli Manning’s history of varying play.  Eli has had INTs this season, but has found a way to limit them.  Eli currently has more than double the amount of TDs then he does INTs with 11TDs to 5INTs.  This success may have come with his ability to spread the ball around.  The Giants currently have 5 receivers with  15+ receptions; with Hakeem Nicks leading all with 32rec., 508yards, and 3TDs.  The Dolphins’ secondary is no longer at the very bottom of the barrel when it comes to pass defense being ranked 21st (Thanks Tebow!).  I still foresee the Dolphins struggling against Eli and his WRs; as Vontae Davis is listed as doubtful for the game.

As previously mentioned, the Giant running has been struggling as of late.  This may be due to the inquiry of Brandon Jacobs.  This has left the majority of the workload to be carried by Ahmad Bradshaw.  Bradshaw is only averaging 65yards/game, but has racked up 5 rushing TDs and 1 through the air.  The Dolphins’ gave up 104yards on 25 carries to Bronco running backs last week.  That was without having, at least shouldn’t have had to, worry about a passing game.  The Dolphins were finally able to put pressure on a QB last week, but I think that was a product of a poor Bronco O-line.  The defense has played better the past few weeks, but I do not foresee that continuing this week.

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Week 6 Preview: Miami Dolphins at New York Jets – The Perfect Storm?

This Monday night will feature two bitter rivals when our Miami Dolphins (0-4) head to Miami North, I mean the New Meadowlands, to face-off with the New York Jets (2-3).  Both of which, have questions to answer about how the rest of their season will go.  For the Dolphins, we know all about possibly “Suck[ing] for Luck,” but for the Jets, if they want to keep up with the Pats and have a shot at the playoffs, need to start winning.  With the Jets reeling, the Dolphins rested, and Sparano’s track record in New Jersey, could this be a perfect storm brewing for the Dolphins to pickup that first W?

What to Watch For:

Jets’ Offense vs. Dolphin Defense:

The Jets’ have had rough go at things the past three weeks; going 0-3 against the Raiders, Ravens, and Pats.  In those loses, the Jets’ offense has been particularly terrible.  In their game against the Ravens, the Jet offense had 4 turnovers with 2 taken back for TDs.  Against the Pats last week, the Jets eliminated the turnovers, but could only put up 166 passing yards against a defense that Chad Henne put up 416 yardson.  This weeks’ matchup should give the Jets’ passing game a chance to get back on track.  It appears that Vontae Davis will be back for the Dolphins, but does that make any difference?  The Dolphin secondary and defense, as a whole, better have taken their off week to get things figured out or Sanchez may put up big numbers.

The Jets usually pride themselves on their running game, but currently rank 31st in overall rushing.  The Jets’ leading rusher only has 240 yards and 2 TDs (Jets only have 3 total rushing TDs) on 72 carries.  By no means do the Jets go up against a strong run (or any other part) defense, but it’s going to be interesting to see what strategy the Jets use on Monday.  With the Dolphins’ 31st pass defense, passing might the obvious choice, but it may be smart to get the run going to open up their pass game and prevent Sanchez from making mistakes.  I just hope the defense is rested and geared up for this one.  This Jets’ offense should not be the factor that wins a game, but against our D, it might.

Dolphin Offense vs. Jets’ Defense:

A Strong, hard-hitting defense is also what the Jets rely on to have success.  Granted they have faced off against 3 good teams the past few weeks, but their D has struggled somewhat.  What is more surprising is, they are struggling against the run rather than the pass; then again they do have Revis and Cromartie.  Last week, they held Tom Brady to 321 yards, 1 TD, and forced an INT.  [Side Note: How scary is it that 321 yards and 1 TD is holding Brady].  Their 5th ranked pass defense spells bad news for the Matt Moore led offense that figures to lose Brandon Marshall by the 2nd quarter; at least according to him.  I understand that getting tossed might inspire your teammates, but wouldn’t catching 20 balls and 3 TDs have a better effect?  Maybe he’s just onboard with “Suck for Luck.”  Regardless, Marshall needs to show up with his new “Monster” persona for the Dolphins passing game to survive.  If he does get tossed, who gets to visit Revis island?

The biggest blessing of the bye week might be that Daniel Thomas had an opportunity to get healthy.  If you have read my previous posts, you would know that I’m high on this kid. It’s only been two games, but I just like the way he looks when he has the ball.  Going against the 26th ranked rush defense, this week could be a good opportunity for Thomas to add another solid performance to his young career.  Though, I foresee the Jets trying to get back to the basics and, with little to worry about in Matt Moore, this means stopping the run.  I still think Thomas has a solid 80+ yard game, if he is healthy.

Two Minute Drill:

Dolphins’ Key to the Game: Get them off the Mark.  Sanchez is very turnover prone.  Already, Mark has 5 INTs and 3 fumbles (only one lost).  If the Dolphins can get Sanchez to make mistakes, then the game may be within the Dolphins’ grasp.  But that would require the defense to play good, so yeah, good luck.

Jets’ Key to the Game: Back to the Basics.  The Jets’ are reeling on the field and in the locker room.  They aren’t playing as a team or acting like one.  Super Bowl, Rex? Beat a team with a winning record first.  With that said, the Dolphins provide the Jets a great opportunity to get back to doing the small things right.  Stop the run, run the ball, take care of the ball, and get the win.

Dolphins’ Player to Watch: Brandon Marshall.  Not for how well he will do during the game, but whatever shenanigans he’s going to pull.  I honestly tried to think of a player that I thought would have a good game, but came up with nothing.  So, let’s just watch Marshall and see if he backs up his comments.

Jets’ Player to Watch: Dustin Keller.  The Jets’ TE leads the team in receiving with 19 catches on 33 targets for 268 yards and 2 TDs, but all you really needed to know is that he is a TE.

How it plays out:  Under Tony Sparano, the Dolphins have owned the Jets in New Jersey.  He is 3-0 when traveling to the Meadowlands; which might be his only redeeming quality.  Despite how bad the Dolphins are, this game is Jets-Dolphins, in the Meadowlands, in Primetime.  With the Jets struggling, having the Chargers lurking, the Dolphins coming of a bye, and yeah it’s the Jets-Dolphin, I expect this game to be another good game.  Both teams struggle early, exchanging field goals.  The Dolphins’ D remembers it’s the Dolphin D and gives up a big play and the offense can’t fight back.

Prediction: 24-13 Jets.  It’s hard to know how a Jet-Dolphin game will go, let alone how many points will be scored.  Based on these two teams’ offenses, it’s hard to foresee this game being a high scoring shootout.  The Dolphins offense continues to sputter with Moore at QB and the defense is not much better after the bye.

Despite my prediction, I hope I am wrong.  You can read see my feelings about “Suck for Luck” here.  Also, I will be in attendance of the game and will be posting live updates and possibly some images I will take during the game, so make sure you follow me on twitter @PhinNationJohn

As  always, PhinsUp!                                                                                                                                                                                 -John

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @PhinNationJohn for additional Dolphin news and commentary.

Thank you for reading my article, I hope you enjoyed it and be sure to leave a comment.