The Miami Dolphins play host to the New York Jets in Week 17 with their season over and about playing for pride at this point. At 8-7 the Dolphins are looking to finish with a winning record for the first time under Joe Philbin and Ryan Tannehill. With Philbin’s return announced by ownership last week, look for the Dolphins to play some inspired football for their head coach.
Match Up 1: Ja’Wuan James vs. Sheldon Richardson
Richardson thinks he’s as good as J.J. Watt so expect him to play some motivated football in his last game of the year. James has been excellent all season long no matter where he’s lined up. He is a model of a great draft pick, a player picked and plugged in and effectively good at what he was asked to do. The perfect draft pick. This will be an exciting match up to focus on during Sunday’s game.
Match Up 2: Charles Clay vs. Dawan Landry
Charles Clay is playing the last game of his contract year, he exploded last week and if he can do the same this year he could really cement a nice contract in the offseason. Landry is the Jets best defender in the secondary and will draw the task of defending Clay. Clay opens up the passing game for Tannehill by controlling the middle of the field and freeing up 1 on 1’s on the outside.
Match Up 3: Lamar Miller vs. David Harris
Lamar Miller is approaching his first thousand yard season and has the opportunity to do so at home where it all started for him as a football player being a Miami native. Miller has been a much better runner of the football this year, last week the Dolphins fed him the ball a bit and got some real good production on of him, benefitting the play action pass. With a grand worth of yards in grasp, look for Miller to run with some power and motivation. The Fins will have a tough task opening lanes for him against a formidable front seven.
Match Up 4: Cameron Wake vs. Breno Giacomini
Cam Wake is headed for another pro-bowl season, what better way for him to cap off his year by abusing a lesser player on a bitter rival in the last game of the season being played at home? Wake should dominate this match up and while the Jets will be likely to run the ball more often than pass, Wake should get a few opportunities to please the crowd with an “Earth Wake.”
Match Up 5: Dion Jordan vs. Jets Running Backs
Dion Jordan had perhaps his best game as a pro last week and will probably get a lot of playing time at linebacker today as the Dolphins try to figure out how best to use him next year. Getting a jump on the evaluation could be of use by Joe Philbin as he will be likely looking for a new defensive coordinator this offseason. The Fins used him at linebacker some last week and in a week at home against a team that will play a lot of base offense trying to run the ball, playing Jordan at linebacker is a good fit this week against a team that ran for 200 plus in their last meeting.
Match Up 6: Jared Odrick vs. Nick Mangold
For Jared Odrick this marks the last game of his contract season, his last chance to impress the front office enough to deserve a long term contract with real good guaranteed dollars. He will be taking on an aggressive running attack and will have to be stout at the point of attack in order for Miami to shut down the Jets offense. Nick Mangold leads a punishing interior run blocking scheme, Odrick plays the most snaps on the defensive line so figure for this to match up early and often in this game and determine the outcome.