Saturday, December 11, 2010

Quick Preview: JETS vs. Dolphins

Monday night’s miserable performance is now buried and forgotten. The Jets are ready to redeem themselves against another division rival, the Miami Dolphins. The Jets won the week 3 matchup in Miami by a score of 31-23.

After being swept by the Dolphins last season, the Jets look to do the same right back this season. The Jets may be coming off their worst game of the season, but the Dolphins may be coming off their worst as well, at least with Chad Henne at quarterback. Miami will have to make due with a number of injuries. Wide receiver Brian Hartline, who had 5 catches for 84 yards in the previous meeting, was placed on IR this weekend with a finger injury and tackle Vernon Carey has also been ruled out with a knee injury. The Dolphins also have a number of questionable starters including receiver Brandon Marshall who has sat out the last two games with a hamstring injury that he suffered in Miami’s 16-0 loss to the Bears. Marshall had 166 receiving yards and a touchdown the last time he faced the Jets, but was lucky that Darrelle Revis was out with his own hamstring injury for that one. The forecast is calling for showers throughout the game, so Marshall will be a risky play for the Dolphins in sloppy conditions.

The Jets were able to run all day on the Dolphins in week 3, including some strong runs by Brad Smith out of the Seminole formation, the Jets’ version of the Wildcat. LaDainian Tomlinson scored his first touchdown of the season against Miami, and will look to be very involved again with the rainy weather imminent. Shonn Greene may get more carries than Tomlinson as he has recently, but LT will also be very involved in the passing game.

Mark Sanchez is coming off his worst performance of the season, but threw for 3 touchdowns against the Dolphins earlier this season. Dustin Keller led the way in that game with 98 yards and 2 touchdowns, but Keller has not seen many targets as of late. Braylon Edwards, fresh off an arrest for a DUI and being benched for the first quarter, had a 67-yard touchdown catch in the 2nd half. Sanchez’s new favorite receiver, Santonio Holmes, will look to take over the workload for the Jets’ receiving core on Sunday. After sitting out the first 4 games of the season due to suspension, Holmes now has 2 more receptions than Edwards (39 to 37) and is less than 100 yards behind him. Holmes also has 5 or more receptions in each of the Jets’ last 5 games.

I do not expect the Jets to have any trouble defending the pass this week, even with some key injuries at the safety position. If Marshall sits, Revis will move around again, covering Davone Bess and probably tight end Anthony Fasano from time to time. Miami’s ground game has been a disappointment all season and should not give the Jets much trouble. As long as the offense can get going again, the Jets SHOULDN’T have trouble beating the Dolphins again, but as we have seen this season, anything can happen. Chad Henne always has his best games against the Jets, but without any receivers, we would hope he would struggle to make a big impact. In the rain, the Jets ground game needs to show up and power the Jets to victory. They will need to show Mark Sanchez that he has plenty of support around him to get his confidence back up. 

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