The Miami Dolphins will be facing off against the division rival New York Jets this Sunday @ 1:00 P.M. Eastern Time. Both teams look to get their heads above .500 early on in the season.
New York had a tough outing last week against Pittsburgh after a strong start against Buffalo to begin the season. The Jets offense will look to get back to their strategic scoring ways against a tough Miami front seven.
Miami, on the other hand, had a rough opener against Houston and turned their mistakes around in a blowout win against Oakland last week. The Dolphins young offense will look to learn from their mistakes against a seasoned New York Jets defense.
Both Miami and New York have a tough 3 game stretch during the next few weeks, so this is a must win game for both teams. Here are three key match ups for Miami’s success on Sunday:
1. Isolate Darrelle Revis on “Revis Island” -
It’s no secret that New York’s best defender is their star corner back, Darrelle Revis. So, why attack him? Why work him? Miami should look to isolate Revis on his self-proclaimed “Revis Island”. Revis will likely play left corner in this contest, so Miami’s offensive coaching staff should create plays around isolating Revis to one side. By isolating Revis, Miami’s staff should be attacking opposing corners Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson all game. Yes, Cromartie and Wilson are pretty good corners themselves, but the two also tend to give up big plays on missed assignments quite often. If the staff has quarterback Ryan Tannehill constantly attacking the right side of the defense, Revis may get lazy in coverage – meaning later on in the game the Dolphins can take a few shots deep.
So we’ve figured out what Miami must do in their passing game against Revis, but what about the run game? Attack him. Pound the snot out of him. By using Miami’s running back stable (Bush, Thomas, Miller) the team can run pitches and sweeps to Revis’ side. By doing this the team will be wearing him down early and often. Pulling an offensive lineman or using fullback Javorski Lane to lead block and knock the snot out of Revis every chance they have will help tire the star corner out quickly. Let’s not forget that he is technically injured (although, yes he has been “cleared”).
2. Utilize the running back stable -
Boy, did Lamar Miller have a debut game last week against Oakland or what? Miller only carried the ball 10 times for 65 yards and a touchdown. What was even more impressive was the game Reggie Bush put together (26 carries for 172 yards and 2 touchdowns). Now that was against Oakland – who actually looked great against the run in their opener against San Diego. Am I suggesting that Miami will have another monstrous game running the ball against New York? No. But the team does receive a boost from the return of second year tail back, Daniel Thomas. If Miami wants to have success throughout the entirety of the game against this New York defense, the offense will have to establish a run game early and often. Meaning – most plays during the duration of the first quarter should be ground and pound run plays to wear down the strong front seven of New York’s defense (their heart and soul of that defense). Utilizing Bush’s unique skill set should be used often. Bush can work out of the back field or can be lined up at receiver. The same can be said for rookie Lamar Miller, who is a similar type of back as Bush. Thomas is the wild card in this game. If “DT” can use his strength and power to his advantage, he can wear down this defense and allow the speed of Bush and Miller to take over the game early on.
3. Make Mark Sanchez Beat Us -
Miami’s front seven has done quite a nice job against the run to open the season – facing two potential Pro Bowlers and giving up an average of only 53.0 yards per game rushing to opposing teams (IMPRESSIVE). New York has expressed their interest this offseason of being a run oriented team – not against this Dolphin’s front seven. If Miami’s defense can stuff the run and force New York’s offense to throw, the Jets could be in for a long day. So Sanchez may throw for over 300 yards. That will be okay with me if Miami’s defense can get pressure on him and force Sanchez to make bad decisions (turnovers). Yes, it has happened before. I do not expect anything to change in this one.
Prediction: New York – 14 Miami – 23
As always, Keep your Fins up!!!