That all you need to say this week as the 3-3 Miami Dolphins, riding the momentum of a 2 game winning streak coming off of their bye week travel to New Jersey to take on the 3-4 New York Jets, coming off of an overtime loss in Foxboro to the New England Patriots last Sunday.
This is a huge game for the Dolphins, as they are right now in the thick of the playoff race in the AFC and are a half game behind the New England Patriots in the AFC East. They also can exact some revenge on a team that escaped from Miami a couple of weeks ago with an overtime 23-20 win, a game the Dolphins SHOULD have won if Dan Carpenter could have made one of the (2) 40 plus hard field goals he missed in that game. One of those kicks was a 47 yard kick at the end of regulation that would have won the game.
These games against the Jets are always intense, and this game will be even more ramped up as the trash talk and venom between the teams have been taken up a notch this week.
With that said, let's take a look at how these team match up.
Offensively, the Dolphins bring in the 21st ranked offense, averaging 343.2 yards per game. They rank 11th in rushing offense and 119.0 yards per game, 21st in passing at 224.2 yards per game. The Dolphins are 24th in scoring offense, generating 20.0 points a game. They face a Jets defense that is ranked 19th in total defense, giving up 362.9 yards a game. They rank 30th in rush defense giving up 147.7 yards a game, and they come in at 9th in passing defense, giving up 215.1 yards per game. They rank 24th in points allowed at 24.3 yards per game and 27th in sacks with 10.0 sacks for the season.
The Dolphins had over 180 yards rushing against the Jets in their first game, and a lot of that yardage was gained after Reggie Bush got hurt right before halftime. Bush had 60 plus yards before he got hurt, and the Dolphins will get RB Daniel Thomas back, as he has missed multiple games coming off of a concussion. The Dolphins will try to revive their run game against the 30th ranked rush defense this week. The Dolphins have struggled the last 3 weeks in regards to the run game and have not gotten over 80 yard rushing the last 3 games. While the Dolphins try to revive the run game, rookie QB Ryan Tannehill and the passing game have improved steadily over the last 3 games and Ryan had his best passer rating 2 weeks ago in the game against the Rams as he had a passer rating over 100. Miami will hope to be adding WR Jabbar Gaffney to the mix this week, and he would be a welcomed and added plus to a Dolphins wide receiver corps that could use another weapon. With the weather being a major factor in regards to Hurricane Sandy this week with heavy wind and ran, look for the Dolphins to pound the run game and play action pass. The Jets will load up on the run and the Dolphins will need to be able to take advantage of one on one coverage when they can. The Dolphins have talked about getting TE Charles Clay more involved in the game plan. This could be a week he takes off.
Defensively, the Dolphins come into the game ranked 20th in total defense at 363.0 yards per game. They rank 3rd in rush defense giving up 78.2 yards per game, while ranking 28th in pass defense, giving up 284.8 yards per game. The Dolphins rank 5th in scoring defense giving up 19.5 yards per game and are tied for 7th in the league with 18.0 sacks. They face a Jets offense that ranks 29th in total offense generating 310.9 yards per game. They rank 14th in rush offense generating 114.0 yards per game, while coming in at 28th in passing offense generating 200.4 yards per game. They are 16th in scoring at 22.4 yards per game.
There is no secret that the Jets are a much better offensive team when they can run the ball, and they have gotten better in the run game the last few weeks. That will most certainly be their plan this week with the weather, and the Dolphins are coming off their worst game defensively 2 weeks ago against the Rams when they gave up their first game of over 100 yards rushing to a team. The Dolphins will need to revert back to the dominant team against the run that they have been for the majority of the season, and I believe they will. Put the game in Mark Sanchez hands, and in a game that will feature strong winds, it could cause havoc for Sanchez. The Jets have given up 15 sacks as a team and DE/OLB Cameron Wake has terrorized the Jets. Pressure, and constant pressure will be the key in this game, not only from Wake, but from Jared Odrick, Randy Starks and rookie Olivier Vernon, coming off a 2 sack game against the Rams.
This is a HUGE game for this young team, the 4th youngest team in the NFL. A lot of positive had been stated about this team during the bye week, and it has been a welcome change for Dolphins fans that have seen nothing but negatives written and stated about this team for most of 2012. They can take a big step in showing that they are indeed a young and improving football team on the rise. They can also do a lot of damage to their hated division rival in the New York Jets.
All the talk from the Jets this week I believe will motivate a young team that was already going to be very motivated going into the game. In an emotional, tough, physical game, I believe the Dolphins will come out with a win.
Just Do it Miami.........
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