Dolphins vs. Jets: Drawing Up a Game Plan for Miami
Who would have guessed the Miami Dolphins would be well-positioned for a playoff run seven weeks into the season?
With a 3-3 record and four very winnable games ahead on the schedule, the Dolphins have a legitimate shot to make a push for the postseason.
The Dolphins can't afford to fall to 0-2 in the division with another loss to the Jets if they want to have a shot at playing games in January, though. They must come prepared with a game plan that takes advantage of the Jets' weaknesses.
Here's what the Dolphins should do to notch a win over the Jets.
Attack the Linebackers with Running Backs, Tight Ends
The Jets linebackers have been one of the biggest weaknesses for the team this season.
We have seen them burned repeatedly on runs to the outside.
The Dolphins need to draw some plays into the game plan that will allow them to get these matchups frequently.
The Patriots were able to effectively target this weakness, with tight ends Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski combining for 11 receptions, 132 and two touchdowns. Running backs Shane Vereen and Danny Woodhead combined for another five receptions and 39 yards.
Bush has been a big-play threat in the passing game for years. He has 17 receptions for 140 yards this season. Miller has yet to catch a pass in the NFL. This would be a good game to get both backs involved in the passing game.
Pressure on Mark Sanchez
So how do the Dolphins get pressure?
Obviously, it starts with Cameron Wake, who is putting together one heck of a season for himself. Of any and all 4-3 defensive ends, Wake has the most sacks and hits, the second-most quarterback hurries and has the highest pass-rush grade, according to ProFootballFocus.com.
It shouldn't be terribly difficult against an offensive line that ranks 23rd in pass-blocking efficiency, according to PFF. They have allowed just eight sacks, but 14 hits and 44 pressures have made life difficult for Sanchez.
The Dolphins got pressure on Mark Sanchez on 21 of his 47 drop-backs in the previous meeting, but that was one of the rare occasions when Sanchez played better under pressure than when he wasn't pressured. He may not be so fortunate if the Dolphins are able to get consistent pressure on him again.
Erik Frenz is the AFC East lead blogger for Bleacher Report. Be sure to follow Erik on Twitter and "like" the AFC East blog on Facebook to keep up with all the updates. Unless specified otherwise, all quotes are obtained firsthand.
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