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The 4-6 Miami Dolphins, coming off a disappointing 24-14 loss to Dallas, travels to New Jersey to take on the 5-5 New York Jets, coming off a 24-17 loss at Houston.  These AFC East Rivals are in MUST WIN mode, as both teams are hoping to keep playoff hopes alive.  The game is a 1:00 kickoff on CBS.

 

Let's take a look at the teams and see how they matchup.

 

Miami comes into the game averaging 336.2 yards per game in total offense, which ranks 25th in the NFL.  They are generating 236.5 yards per game in the passing game and are producing 99.7 yards rushing.  This ranks 20th and 19th respectively in the NFL.  The Dolphins are scoring 20.5 points per game, which ranks 27th in the NFL.  The face a very good Jets defense that comes in giving up 323.0 yards in total defense, which ranks 5th in the NFL.  They give up 231.4 yards via the pass and only 91.6 yards per game via the run.  This ranks 11th and 4th respectively in the NFL.  The Jets are ving up 20.8 points per game, which ranks 11th in the NFL.

 

This offense team has REALLY struggled the last few weeks, and for the most part all of 2015.  The offensive line continues to be a major problem and with Ju'Wuan James out AGAIN at ORT, again the Dolphins will have to count on underwhelming Jason Fox.  He along with Dallas Thomas continue to struggle and undermine the offense.  OC Bill Lazor also HAS to be more committed to the run game.  RB Lamar Miller got off to a strong start against Dallas in the game last week, and then, just like that, Lazor does what he does, ABANDON the run game.  QB Ryan Tannehill cannot win a game alone with the passing game, and this offensive line cannot hold up when teams KNOW the Dolphins will have to throw.  Thus, the need once again for a balanced attack against a very good Jets defense that will be without All-Pro CB Darrelle Revis, which is a blow.

 

Defensively, the Dolphins are allowing 389.8 yards of total offense.  THey are giving up 251.2 yards via the pass while giving up 138.6 yards per game via the run.  This ranks 20th and 31st in the NFL.  The Dolphins are giving up 24.9 points per game, which ranks 20th in the NFL.  They face a Jets offense that is generating 351.2 yards per game, which comes in at 15th in the NFL.  The  Jets are generating 239.2 yards per game via the pass, and are producing 112.0 yards in the run game, which comes in at 15th in the NFL.  They are scoring 23.4 points per game, which ranks 14th in the NFL.

 

The defense for the Dolphins have a MAJOR problem at the linebacker position.  Both Jelani Jenkins and Koa Misi are hurt, and while Misi MAY be back this week, even when this unit is at full capacity, they have struggled.  Without those 2 players, this unit is well below average, and it most certainly shows up in the run game.  In the secondary, Miami has very good players in S Reshad Jones and CB Brent Grimes, but the other spots in the secondary has been below par, starting with CB Jamar Taylor and Brice McCain along with S Walt Aikens.  The last few weeks, we have FINALLY seen DE Olivier Vernon come alive, which is a surprise considering it is a contract year for him.  I thought him and the rest of the defensive front, sans DE Derrick Shelby played very well last week against what is considered by many to be the best offensive line in football in Dallas.  They will have to play well today, as I would expect to see the Jets come after the 31st ranked run defense with RB Chris Ivory.

 

Just when you thought this team was done, they come up with a win in Philadelphia a couple of weeks ago.  The players have talked about winning out, but we have heard bold talk from this team with nothing to show for it.  They NEED a win today to keep fading playoff hopes alive.  One game at a time Miami, one game at a time.

The Good

 

Olivier Vernon played like a man trying to get paid this offseason. Finally... it is about time because Vernon has been mostly invisible this season. The only time he has been visible is when he is getting silly penalties. I would like to see more of this from Vernon to see if he can replace Cam Wake.

 

Brent Grimes had a pick early and played pretty good coverage on Dez Bryant all day. The only time Bryant was able to do anything of note was when he was curiously being covered by a linebacker.

 

Nevil Hewitt was the linebacker covering Dez Bryant, a ridiculous assignment. That being said, since he has come into the line up, he has been productive. He did product an interception that should have led to points.

 

The Bad

 

Bill Lazor's playcalling is astoundingly bad. Lamar Miller was primed for a big day and only got 7 carries. This is an indictment on his playcalling and proof that he is too quick to abandon the run. He abandons it when it is working! It is disappointing because he showed so much promise as a coordinator in year one. But now he has become a ball and chain on this offense and the development of the QB and other young players.

 

The Ugly

 

Pretty much everything else.

 

Ryan Tannehill's pick 6 was a terrible decision, but he did have some nice downfield passes, including a 29 yard TD to Kenny Still, which was a perfect deep throw and a great improvised play to Jordan Cameron for a touchdown. Tannehill did miss some other throws, but a lot of them were due to pressure. It seems like he does not have confidence in the system any longer. Rumors that he wants to audible but isn't being allowed may play a role.

 

Jarvis Landy had some good and bad. He caught a nice deep ball from Tannehill, but had some other drops. It is nice to see Jarvis going downfield a bit more. All the 1 yard screens get a bit old.

 

The defense did pressure Romo pretty well, but they allowed 166 yards rushing. It appears the injuries have taken a toll at linebacker and defensive end.

 

Overall

 

The season is on the brink. This is a game the Dolphins should have won. A rusty Romo throwing picks all over the place and a team that is 2-7. But in typical Dolphins fashion, we won a tougher game last week and lost an easier game this week.

 

One more loss all but guarantees missing the playoffs.

Next Game

Preseason Game 1 - Dolphins at Giants

 

 

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