On Sunday the New York Jets (1-1) head down to Miami to take on the Dolphins (1-1) at Sun Life Stadium ( 1 p.m. EST). The Jets are coming off of a disappointing performance against the Steelers while Miami comes into the game feeling good after blowing out the Raiders. Lets take a look at some of the keys to the game from the New York Jets perspective.
Get Sanchez going- The Dolphins defense is going to stack the box and force the Jets offense to beat them with the passing game. Gang Green should use the short passing game early on to get the Miami defense off balance in addition to letting quarterback Mark Sanchez get in sync with his receivers. Quick slants, bubble screens, and quick hits over the middle should all be used to establish the passing game.
Establish your identity- This is the type of game where the Jets offense, mainly the offensive line, needs to flex their muscles. Gang Green’s line must play very physical and set the tone for the game. Wear down the Miami defense with the ground and pound mentality that Rex Ryan has been talking about the entire preseason.
Catch the damn ball- The Jets receiving group is coming off of a putrid performance last week where footballs were being dropped all over the place. The wide receiver group led by Santonio Holmes must do a better job with route running and holding on to the football.
Keller to play? As of now it appears that tight end Dustin Keller is expected to return from injury on Sunday. Keller is match-up nightmare for defenses and allows the Jets to spread the field in the passing game. If Dustin does indeed play don’t be surprised to see Mark Sanchez hit the playmaker early and often to get the offense off and running.
Return of Revis- All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis is expected to return to the lineup on Sunday (concussion). While Miami does not have a true number one receiver to worry about, having Revis back on his island is huge for the Jets defense.
Bring down Bush- The Miami offense is built around running back Reggie Bush. The star running back is a dynamic threat out of the backfield that must be accounted for at all times. The Jets defense must stifle the Dolphin running game and do an excellent job covering Reggie out of the backfield.
Get off the field on 3rd down- One of the biggest issues the Jets defense had last week was getting off the field on third down. Gang Green must remain consistent in tackling and eliminate stupid penalties that keep drives alive.
Hit Tannehill- Rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill is coming off of a solid performance (18/30 200 yards 1 td) where he did not throw an interception. The Jets defense must get after Tannehill and force the young gunslinger into making some bad decisions. I would expect Rex Ryan and company to try and confuse Tannehill with a variety of blitz schemes and defensive formations.
This is a huge game for both teams for different reasons. Miami head coach Joe Philbin is trying to establish a new culture and what better way to do it than beating the rival Jets? Gang Green is facing a very difficult schedule following the Dolphins and cannot afford a setback to Miami.
I expect this game to be very physical early on with both teams trying to set the tone. I think the Jets will embrace this “backyard brawl” mentality and will play very aggressive on both sides of the ball. At the end of the day Rex Ryan’s defense forces Tannehill into several costly mistakes. Jets 24-13
Jets vs. Dolphins Video Preview