New York Jets: Six Keys to Beating the Miami Dolphins
The New York Jets and Miami Dolphins are two teams with a lot of history between them.
With both teams featuring several young, on the rise players, combining with the aging demise of the New England Patriots, many people feel that these two teams will be battling it out for AFC East glory in the years to come.
The marquee Sunday night game features these two teams in their first battle with each other this season.
The Dolphins own a three-game winning streak between the two teams and enter this game with a 2-0 record.
The Jets come in with a 1-1 record after a terrible outing against the Ravens, but a great game played against New England.
Whoever wins this game will have a big foot up in the race for the top spot in the AFC East. These two teams always bring it when they play one another, no matter what their record is.
Here are six things the Jets need in order to beat Miami.
Stop The Wildcat
Last season the two teams met in Miami on Monday Night Football. The Dolphins used the wildcat 16 times to help them defeat the Jets.
Ronnie Brown ran for 74 yards, and threw a 21 yard pass out of the formation to tight end Anthony Fassano.
Ricky Williams also added 68 rushing yards for the Dolphins, but the big play came with six seconds left when Ronnie Brown scored on a 2 yard run out of the formation with just six seconds left.
The Jets cannot let the Dolphins run wild on them. The run defense has been very good so far this season and they need to be even better against the Dolphins.
The Dolphins entire offense is based on what they can do on the ground. If they are running well, it opens up the rest of their offense. If they are struggling to run, the rest of the offense struggles as well.
Stick With Your Bread and Butter
For the Jets that means the ground and pound offense. The Jets had the #1 rushing attack in football last year and they need to regain that status.
The same way the Dolphins offense is run through their running game so is the Jets. If the Jets can establish the run, it will open things up for Mark Sanchez.
The Jets need to be able to run the ball so they could put the ball into Mark Sanchez's hands.
During Week 1 against the Ravens, the run game struggled and the coaches were afraid of letting Sanchez play, resulting in a terrible offensive performance. With the run game playing well against New England, Sanchez was able to steal the show with his passing game.
On the other side of the argument comes the fear of a big letdown game coming for Sanchez. He is still young and inconsistent and in order to prevent a terrible game from Sanchez the Jets need to be able to run the ball and control the clock, keeping Sanchez in manageable third-down situations.
Keep Brandon Marshall in Check
Jets fans may look at this as if they are catching a break after watching WR Ted Ginn Jr. torment the Jets the last three time the teams met. Dolphins fans however, are aware that those were the only three games that Ginn showed up for and were happy to see him go.
One of the biggest stories on the defensive side of the ball is that All Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis will be out for this game.
When the Dolphins first acquired the Pro Bowl wide receiver Marshall, many Jets fans were not worried because he would just get lost on "Revis Island." However that is no longer the case as Revis will not be playing on Sunday.
The Jets will look to match up Marshall with cornerback Antonio Cromartie. Cromartie replaced Revis in covering Randy Moss during the second half of last week's game against New England.
The Jets will be looking for Cromartie to replicate the success he had on Moss, which will allow them to match him up with Marshall one on one.
If Cromartie could take Marshall out of the game the Jets will be free to play the defense they like to play, especially since none of the other Dolphin receivers are big threats to the Jets.
Don't Turn The Ball Over
This one falls primarily onto Mark Sanchez, who threw 20 interceptions last season. The Jets were undone in several winnable games last season because of too many turnovers.
While Sanchez has done a great job controlling the ball this season, many critics feel he is due for a big turnover game.
The Dolphins have a strong defense with very good cornerbacks. The Jets are still without suspended wide receiver Santonio Holmes, and no one knows how much Braylon Edwards is going to play.
Many are afraid that Sanchez could suffer a big letdown game after having one of the best games of his career last Sunday.
It is very important that Sanchez makes smart decisions with the ball, and doesn't turn it over, otherwise it could be a very long night for the Jets.
A Big Game Out Of Jason Taylor
It is a homecoming for Jason Taylor after spending most of his career down in South Beach. There can't be any warm feelings however if the Jets want to have success.
The Jets defense is designed around getting pressure on the quarterback and when they have gotten pressure the results have been amazing. However the Jets haven't been getting enough pressure and will need Taylor to overcome his elbow injury and have a strong game.
If Taylor is on his game, the Jets will be able to bring pressure to young Miami quarterback Chad Henne, which will make him uncomfortable and lead the young QB to make mistakes. If the Jets fail to get pressure on Henne, he will sit in the pocket and pick the Jets defense apart.
Ignore All The Distractions and Just Play Football
This past week, and season has been full of distractions for the Jets. This week saw wide receiver Braylon Edwards get arrested for a DWI on Monday night.
The Jets took a gamble on many players with off the field issues this season, and not shockingly, they are having many off the field distractions.
Luckily for the Jets though, the game is played on the field, not off of it, and if the Jets could forget about the distractions and just play football, they will beat the Miami Dolphins.