Jeremy Kerley: Starting Jets WR Is Essential in Week 8

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Jeremy Kerley: Starting Jets WR Is Essential in Week 8
Marc Serota/Getty Images

Now that the New York Jets at least appear to have righted their ship offensively, there are few better teams for them to be facing than the Miami Dolphins.

Granted, the Jets had their awakening against one of the worst pass defenses in the nation in the New England Patriots. However, the one they're going to face on Sunday is pretty comparable. If the Jets figured out how to burn the Patriots in the air, they should have no trouble with the Dolphins.

Jeremy Kerley figures to be a big part of that.

The Jets wide receiver showed up to play against New England in Week 7, totaling seven receptions on 11 targets for 120 yards.

It wasn't exactly a breakout performance. After all, we got a glimpse of what he can do when he finished with 94 yards in a slim loss to the Houston Texans a couple of weeks ago. However, Sunday's game did provide some reassurance that Kerley is developing into a very viable option for Mark Sanchez.

Sanchez, in fact, is going to be more of a wild card against the Dolphins than Kerley will be. You never really know what you're going to get with the Jets QB.

When New York took on Miami in Week 3, Sanchez put on a decent performance. He moved the ball to the tune of 306 yards, but he also threw two picks and only one touchdown.

Taking care of the ball is obviously going to be a factor on Sunday, but so is the play-calling, which was strange—to say the least—against the Patriots on Sunday.

The Jets coaching staff is taking a lot of heat for running the ball so much against a team that is very tough against the run. The team they'll face this week is very similar to New England in that regard. Miami is weak against the pass, but very solid against the run.

Therefore, the Jets know what they have to do. Hopefully, it will involve Kerley. It most likely won't involve as much of Stephen Hill, in light of his drop that pretty much cost the Jets the game last week.

Last week, Kerley led all Jets receivers with 11 targets. He's established that Sanchez can trust him. He's established that he can accumulate some yardage. Maybe he could be one of the keys to turning around a pass offense that ranks 28th in the league.

In a perfect world, both Sanchez and Kerley will be on fire against the Dolphins. Given that this is the Dolphins, who allow an average of 284.8 passing yards per game, that is a very real possibility.

Just like they did last week, New York is going to have to find a way to use its passing game to victimize the Dolphins. They'd be best served to go to the guy who almost helped them get the job done the last time out.

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