There is an electric feeling in the air. A sense of anticipation that is nearly overwhelming. It’s Saturday night of week 8; the eve of second match up between the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets. Jets week makes everything a little bit more exciting for Dolphins fans. There is a certain buzz around games against such hated rivals. The Jets will be aiming to sweep the two game season series with a win tomorrow, while the Dolphins will look to continue their new-found winning ways by snagging their third consecutive victory. On paper this match up appears to be dead even, but here are 4 reason why I believe the Dolphins will lock up a W against their division foes.
1. Mark Sanchez v. Dolphin’s pass rush: The Dolphin’s pass rush has long been considered a strength of this team. In the week three overtime loss to the Jets the Dolphins did a good job of consistently applying pressure on Mark Sanchez. Since that loss the Dolphin’s defensive line has been improving steadily. In the three games since recording two sacks against the Jets the Dolphins have sacked opposing QB’s a total of 14 times. With the pass rush starting to click on all cylinders look for big days from Cameron Wake and Randy Starks. Also, look for some rushed throws from Sanchez which could lead to big time mistakes.
2. The Wind Factor: The strong gusts of winds in the old Giants stadium were legendary and the new Metlife Stadium at the Meadowlands takes right after its predecessor. Conventional wisdom tells us the hurricane winds that are barreling up the East Coast will only serve to make those gusts in Metlife worse. Every New York media outlet seams to think this will work against the Dolphins who are used to warm Florida weather, but I tend to think the opposite. The winds will only increase the importance of the run games for each team. The Dolphin’s defense allows only 3.3 rush yards a carry on average (Tied for best in the league), while the Jets allow 4.6 yards a carry on average (26th). If strong winds force a battle of ground and pound offenses the Dolphins D will have the potential to shut the Jets down.
3.The Bye Week: This may be a little bit of fan bias ( I guess most of this post is), but Joe Philbin really strikes me as thinking man’s coach. This is Philbin’s first ever game coming off of a bye week as a head coach. Hard Knocks showed its viewers that Philbin is a meticulous man with a strong attention to detail. If this is the case, than a well timed bye week may have provided him with the opportunity to go over every reel of film the Dolphins had on the Jets, including film of the loss four weeks ago. I expect Philbin to have a more creative and precise game plan for his team to execute this time around, thanks to the long lay off. It will be interesting to see how Joe Philbin preforms week.
4. Added Motivation: Revenge is something every team wants when facing a division rival they have already lost to. The hunt for revenge after the week three heart break was probably enough motivation to get the Dolphins fired up for Sunday, but this week there is something more. Rex Ryan‘s Jets sure can talk, they did a lot of it this week. The Dolphins responded with lively comments of their own. Both teams are going to be fired up. While the Jets will likely be motivated as well, the Dolphins will be a difficult team to beat with players like Richie Incognito and Mike Pouncey vowing to step their game up to protect Reggie Bush. Their will be penalties, there will be fights, this game may just be decided by who is the tougher team. Its hard to predict if these types of things will impact a game, but I don’t expect the Dolphins to be flat come kickoff.
Call me a homer, call me delusional, call me whatever, but I can’t help but feel good about the Dolphins chances tomorrow. I think the Dolphins D can stuff the Jets run game. I think Ryan Tannehill can continue to limit turnovers and do enough to win. I think this match up favors the Dolphins. I expect them to come out and play with a fire we haven’t seen yet this year. I say the Dolphins win with a score of 21-10. Tell me what you expect from these teams tomorrow in the comments! Phins Up!