A critical division game is on the line in South Beach this weekend as the Jets will visit Sun Life stadium for the 1st time since their 17-19 season-ending loss on New Years day 2012 at the hands of their hated rivals. Who can forget? A game often referred to as the day the Jets offense imploded right before our very eyes.
Bah! Humbug! I don’t even like thinking about it.
Make no mistake, they are both different teams this year, especially Miami. They are starting fresh at the quarterback position, having released veteran quarterback David Garrard in favor of rookie Ryan Tannehill out of Texas A&M. Tannehill has them off to a 1-1 start to go along with the NFL log-jam that has 18 other teams at 1-1 throughout the league.Reggie Bush looks like the Reggie Bush of the USC days, helping the Dolphins come in 2nd in the league in rushing yards per game entering week 3 with an impressive 171 yards a game. The Jets entering week 3 are 17th in the league in rushing (104.0/game). Hardly the ground and pound team promised to the fans under new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano. But, it’s still early and championships aren’t won in weeks 1 and 2.
I’m not panicking and neither should you. Here are the keys to victory in Sunday’s matchup with the Dolphins.
Contain Reggie Bush
Yes, Bush is finally living up to his draft position based on his first couple games of the season. But, last week’s performance was against a indentity-less Raiders team. Bush has to do it consistently in order to make me believe he can be that type of back. He’s got a tough challenge. The Jets rush defense is better than the stats show (ranked 22nd after 2 weeks). This in large part to about 150 yards rushing by CJ Spiller during garbage time of week 1.
Paging a Rex Ryan defense
Yes, Rex Ryan is the hungry shark in this one. Look for him to blitz Tannehill early and often. Ryan will want to get a couple early hits on Tannehill and then mix up coverage schemes to try to confuse the rookie QB to force him into making mistakes. It’s classic Rex Ryan: make the rookie QB beat you.
Will the real Mark Sanchez, please stand up?
Yes, the Mark Sanchez‘s of weeks 1 and 2 were two very different animals but Jets faithful need to act like Journey and don’t stop believing in their starting quarterback. He wasn’t the same after the vicious helmet to helmet hit last week from Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons. The Steelers are a team with the best home record since 1970 but most thought the Jets would matchup better. For this week, just having a TE threat in Dustin Keller should help as he is expected to return to action.
A 100% Darrelle Revis
If there is one thing I know after last, it’s that Antonio Cromartie is no Darrelle Revis. After Cromartie’s horrible coverage on a 3rd and 16 play that resulted in a Mike Wallace touchdown last week in Pittsburgh, I’ll sleep better knowing Revis is on the field. Even though Miami’s receivers are average at best, Cromartie can make the occasional bone-head play that makes us scream to the top of our lungs. This coming from someone who loves Antonio Cromartie’s playmaking ability, but I’m just not crazy about his coverage some times.
The Odd Coples
The Jets young guns on defense, Quinton Coples and Demario Davis, saw a total of 20 snaps last week…COMBINED! By breakdown, Coples played 16 and Demario Davis played 4. Not what you want to see out of two of your top 3 draft picks. The good thing is it’s early in the season, but we should be seeing more of them instead of less. Oh and let’s not forget about Aaron Maybin, although he’s doing a pretty good job of helping us do just that. He has disappeared from the pass-rush scene.
Look for Tony Sparano to break out some tools in this game against the franchise who said he wasn’t good enough to be their head coach anymore. The team played hard for Sparano and they let him go. The Jets may put up a 50-burger this weekend if Sparano has anything to do with it.
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