The hated New York Jets and former Dolphin HC Tony Sparano make the trip down to South Beach to take on the Dolphins in a 1:00 kickoff. Both teams come into the game at 1-1, with the Dolphins beating Oakland 35-13 in Miami while the Jets were getting beat in Pittsburgh 27-10.
This will be an early test for the Dolphins to get a gage on where this team is right now. Most observers are saying the Raiders were ripe to get beat, as they were making the cross country trip for a 1:00 game in the heat and humidity of Miami. I think we can also agree that the Raiders are not a very good football team as well, or at least in the early portion of the season the Raiders look like a poor team.
That said, the Dolphins did what you are suppose to do against a bad team and dominated the Raiders in the 2nd half and won in a rout.
Offensively, the Dolphins come into the game ranked 12th in total offense averaging 363.5 yards a game. The Dolphins rank 2nd in the league in rushing, averaging 171.0 yards a game, and rank 27th in passing averaging 192.5 yards a game. Miami ranks 20th in points per game averaging 22.5 points a game. They face a Jets defense ranked 22nd in total defense, 22nd in rush defense giving up 130.5 yards a game, ranking 16th in pass defense, giving up 230.5 yards a game. They rank 22nd in points allowed at 27.5 points a game.
The key for Miami offensively will be once again to establish the run game with Reggie Bush, Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas. This will allow the Dolphins to run play action passes and take pressure off of QB Ryan Tannehill. Speaking of Tannehill, he was efficent as a passer last week and needs to do the same thing again this Sunday against a Jets defense that will surely look to come after him with pressure. With All-Pro CB Darrelle Revis likely back for this game, it will be a challange for WR Brian Hartline to have a game similar to what he had last week against the Raiders. That means Davone Bess and the rest of the wide receiver core needs to step up along with Anthony Fasano and the tight ends. I think the Dolphins will need to be creative in using Bush and Miller in the passing game as well.
Defensively, the Dolphins will be facing a Jets offense that is ranked 26th in total offense, 18th in rushing offense averaging 104.0 yards a game and ranking 26th in passing offense averaging 197.5 yards per game. They rank 7th in scoring at 29.0 points a game. Miami comes into the game ranked 11th in total defense, 4th in rush defense giving up 53.0 yards per game, 30th in passing giving up 313.5 yards per game. Miami ranks 11th in points allowed giving up 21.5 points a game.
The Dolphins have been stout against the run, but have been vulnerable to the pass and in the game last week against the Raiders, gave up a 64 yard touchdown pass to RB Mike Goodson on a screen pass. The running backs and tight ends have been giving the Dolphins fits, and that has to change. Starting with getting pressure on the quarterback, as the Dolphins only have 2 sacks for the year. As erratic as Mark Sanchez can be, even getting good pressure on him will cause havoc, and the Dolphins have to be able to pressure Sanchez. Put the game in Sanchez hands and he will make mistakes. Also, I expect to see Tim Tebow and the Wildcat in this game, so the Dolphins will need to be ready. A big plus for Miami is TE Dustin Keller will be out for this game.
This is a game the Dolphins can win and I believe they will find a way to win on Sunday.