Two AFC East division rivals square off on Monday night when the Jets travel to south Florida to take on the Miami Dolphins. The Jets have played extremely well under new head coach Rex Ryan getting off to a3-1 start and are also 3-1 against the spread. Miami on the other hand got their first win last week, blasting Buffalo 38-10. The two headed rushing attack of Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams ran for 251 yards on 44 carries. Last week was also the only game in which Miami has succeeded in covering the spread as well.
The NY Jets have not been winning pretty or by putting up huge numbers offensively, but somehow they find a way to win. Mark Sanchez has done a nice job of managing the offense as he has thrown for 744 yards. However, Sanchez has only tossed 4 touchdowns versus 5 interceptions. Thomas Jones and Leon Washington lead the rushing attack where the Jets are averaging 130 yards per game on the ground. This week they will be facing a very good run defense in the Miami Dolphins that is allowing just 61 yards per game rushing. With this in mind, Mark Sanchez might have to be counted on for more offensive production than in recent weeks.
The Jets revitalized defense has been a big reason for their solid 3-1 start to the 2009 season. They are allowing just 14.2 points and 278 yards of total offense per game. The addition of Bart Scott has proved to be an excellent move as he is consistently hounding opposing quarterbacks. Miami may have a chance to run the ball, as the Jets have are giving up an average of 4.2 yards per carry. The key for Miami on offense will be whether or not their dominant rushing attack can control the game and keep Mark Sanchez off the field.
The Dolphins rushing attack is averaging 183.8 yards rushing per game. They will need to be as effective if not more, in order to take pressure off of the inexperienced Chad Henne who is replacing Chad Pennington. Expect Rex Ryan to blitz and blitz often in this one in order to force Henne into making bad decisions. Henne is completely unproven and could struggle against an attacking defense like the Jets. They’ll do everything they can to confuse him and also dial up run blitzes to keep Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown from beating them.
These two teams split the two games they played last year with the road team coming away victorious in each contest. The Jets however have dominated the series going 20-5-2 ATS the last 27 times these teams have played each other. Some other key trends to look at is the fact that the Jets are just 1-8 ATSin their last 9 games in October and 4-11-1 ATS in their last 16 games against a team with a losing record.