Dolphins vs. Jets: Breaking Down Week 8 AFC East Battle

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistOctober 28, 2012

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 23: Ryan Tannehill #17 of the Miami Dolphins throws the ball against the New York Jets on September 23, 2012 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. The Jets defeated the Dolphins 23-20 in overtime. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

While the Miami Dolphins heading to New Jersey to square off against the New York Jets isn’t the sexiest Week 8 NFL matchup, divisional battles like this often make for amazing games.

Add in the genuine distaste that these two AFC East organizations have for each other, and this friendly rivalry will explode into an all-out war on the field Sunday.

Casual and hardcore NFL fans alike won’t want to miss a second of this action.

With so many underlying storylines playing out through this game, the battle between the Jets and Dolphins could steal the show as the best game of Week 8. Don’t be the one to miss it.


Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.

When: Sunday, Oct. 28, 1:00 p.m. ET

Watch: CBS

Live Stream: Game Rewind; DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket (Subscriptions Required for Both)

Listen: Online at NFL Audio Pass 


Each Team’s Biggest Key to Victory

Jets’ Key: QB Play

At 28th in the NFL, the combined play of starting quarterback Mark Sanchez and the sideshow attraction Tim Tebow has turned the Jets passing game into garbage.

Averaging just 200.4 yards per game through the air, New York must step up its QB play if it wants to have a chance to beat the Dolphins Sunday.

Miami dominates against the run—ranking third in the NFL by allowing just 78.2 yards on the ground per game—so the Jets will have to win through the air. That's not good news for New York.

Mark Sanchez will have the time in the pocket to make his reads because of a mediocre Dolphins pass rush, but whether he will be able to take advantage of those opportunities is a different question altogether. 


Dolphins’ Key: Offensive Consistency

As solid as the Miami Dolphins defense has been so far this season, they will need the same kind of consistency from the offensive unit Sunday if they want a chance to steal a win.

There is no Darrelle Revis on the outside, but the Jets still have one of the toughest defenses in the league and can’t be underestimated. Rex Ryan is still a mad defensive scientist.

With Reggie Bush ready to have another huge game, it will be up to rookie Ryan Tannehill to keep drives alive and open up the air attack to supplement Bush’s ground assault.

If Miami gets its offense going and keeps the New York defense on the field for long stretches, the Dolphins have a chance to tire the Jets out and steal the show at the end with a final drive for the win.


Prediction: New York 27, Miami 17

As solid as Miami has been this season and as stellar as they will play Sunday—and as injured as the Jets have been—New York will pull out the divisional win; Gang Green just has the Dolphins’ number.

Even with a banged up defense, the exotic blitz packages of the Jets will ruin any chance that the rookie Tannehill has at stealing the show. With players coming from every direction, the Dolphins QB will look like a novice in Week 8.

As talented as Bush has been, the Jets' tough defensive front seven will put a temporary stop to the star’s resurgence and stifle the entire Dolphins’ offensive unit.

With Sanchez doing just enough in the pass attack to get New York by Miami, Ryan and the boys will steal another victory.

We’ll just have to wait until next week for the Jets to be exposed.


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