Miami Dolphins: What the Fins Must Do to Beat the Jets in Week 3

Connor McKnightSenior Analyst ISeptember 22, 2012

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 01:   Antonio Cromartie #31 of the New York Jets looks on during a game against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on January 1, 2012 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Coming off a 35-13 thrashing of the Oakland Raiders, the Miami Dolphins are preparing for their first AFC division clash against the New York Jets.

The Jets (1-1), who suffered a major setback in a 27-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 2 after their impressive offensive performance against the Buffalo Bills to kick off the season.

The Dolphins will host the New York Jets as the second straight game from the squad from South Beach.

While Ryan Tannehill and his offense hopes to repeat their offensive attack against the Oakland Raiders, they will be facing a much more formidable defensive unit behind Rex Ryan and the Jets D.

The most interesting aspect of this game pertains to the fact that Jets offensive coordinator and ex-head coach of the Dolphins Tony Sparano will be attempting to break down the Dolphins defense he used to coach.

Sparano’s typical offensive approach is more of a “ground and pound” tactic, which is relatively difficult on this Dolphins defense, which significantly limited the production of Darren McFadden last weekend.

If the Dolphins intend to win this football game, they must force Mark Sanchez to make the key throws to continue the Jets’ drive. If Sanchez beats the relatively underperforming secondary of the Dolphins, then it could be a long day for Miami.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Dolphins must hope that their running game of Reggie Bush, the presumably healthy Daniel Thomas and the rookie Lamar Miller can wear down the Jets defense and put the ball in the end zone.

Ryan Tannehill will have to step up on his own, but his favorite target from last week, Brian Hartline, will be lost in Revis Island for the week. He must look for Davone Bess in the slot in the passing game.

The Dolphins must also keep an eye on Tim Tebow, who the Jets will presumably use more frequently in this matchup after a 22-yard rush last week against the Steelers.

But if the Dolphins limit the running game of the Jets and have a productive offensive showing, they could head into Week 4 with a comfortable 2-1 record.