On Sunday night the New York Jets (1-1) head down to south Florida to take on the Miami Dolphins (2-0). The Jets enter the game with some injury issues as well as an off the field distraction, while the Dolphins are riding high following an impressive road victory against the Vikings. Lets take a look at some of the keys to the game.
1) Weather the storm- Playing in front of a fired up home crowd the Dolphins defense will look to apply a ton of pressure on the Jets offense early on. Mark Sanchez and company must find a way to weather the storm and offset an aggressive pass rush led by Cameron Wake and Koa Misi. Look for the Jets to incorporate draw plays and check down passes to LaDainian Tomlinson to try and slow down the Dolphin pass rush.
2) Establish the passing game- It is no secret that the Jets want to use their “ground and pound” running attack, but in order for it to be effective they need to be able to efficiently pass the ball. This will be no easy task as the Jets had to bench wide receiver Braylon Edwards due to his DWI arrest this week. I personally believe Edwards will be in the game by the second quarter, but in the meantime Gang Green must find a way to move the chains through the air.
3) Keller is the key- As with the game plan against the Patriots, the Jets must get tight end Dustin Keller involved early on in the passing game. Keller can be a very dangerous threat coming across the middle of the field, which can open some deep plays outside.
Fun fact: LaDainian Tomlinson needs 3 receiving yards to become the 5th player in the NFL to record 12,000 rushing yards and 4,000 receiving yards. The other 4: Walter Payton, Marshall Faulk, Thurman Thomas, Marcus Allen
1) Stop the run- As with the Jets, the Dolphins offense is built around their running game. Miami looks to pound the rock with running backs Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams, to set up play action pass and passing plays down the field. Gang Green must find a way to stifle the running to game in order to put pressure on quarterback Chad Henne to make plays with his arm. In addition the Jets must be prepared for the Dolphins “Wildcat” formation which has given the team fits in the past.
2) Contain Marshall- The Jets will be without All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis, which will leave Antonio Cromartie matched up with Dolphin playmaker Brandon Marshall. Cromartie filled in admirably for Revis last week, taking care of Randy Moss in the second half of the Patriot game, and will need the same type of performance Sunday night.
3) Hit Henne- The Jets must find a way to put pressure on quarterback Chad Henne and force him into poor decisions. If Henne gets comfortable in the pocket, Gang Green could be in for a long night.
Fun fact: The Dolphins are 31-12-1 all-time in home openers, the second-best mark in the NFL. Also this will be Jason Taylor’s first game against his former team. Taylor played 12 seasons for the Dolphins.
It will be interesting to see how the Jets play in this game as they have had a tough week on and off the field. Not only will the Jets be without Revis, but Nick Mangold and Jason Taylor are banged up as well. In addition the Braylon Edwards fiasco this week had to be a distraction to the team.
I believe that Rex Ryan will rally the troops and that this will be a very close game heading into the fourth quarter. Tomlinson makes a big play to seal the deal for Gang Green. Jets 17-14