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.