The Jets are finally home, and it couldn’t come at a better time. They are coming off a 3 game skid where the defense has looked pedestrian, and the offense has sputtered most of the time. Monday night they take on the winless Miami Dolphins, on a night where they induct 4 more former Jets into the ring of honor. It won’t be an easy task, as the Dolphins are never an easy out for the Jets. The Jets have not beaten the Dolphins at home in the Rex Ryan era, and have won four of the last five over the Jets. The Jets lead the overall series 47-42-1. The Dolphins have also historically performed well after the bye, with a 13-9 record. The Jets are seeking their 4th consecutive home win, and are 4-0 against the Dolphins at home on Monday night football. Here are some things to watch for:
QUICK START FOR MARK SANCHEZ
It is imperative to get Mark Sanchez out of the gate quickly on Monday night. Schottenheimer’s game plan will be key here. The Dolphins can be thrown on, with a defense ranked second to last in the AFC, giving up 307 yards per game. That doesn’t mean they should throw the ball 50 times, despite what Bob Ryan had to say following the Patriots game. They must establish the run, but with a controlled passing game they need to get Mark Sanchez off the block quickly. As much as the Dolphins defensive backs talk themselves up, they can be beaten, and Santonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress and company should be able to do so. That is of course, if my next key plays well.
BIG NIGHT FOR THE OFFENSIVE LINE
Nick Mangold didn’t practice today, but coach Rex Ryan expects him to play, and that will be key. We have all seen the perils of the offensive line. For whatever reason, they haven’t added much depth on the line, and the injury to Robert Turner was a back breaker. Wayne Hunter has not been good, and they are a different team without Mangold. It’s a big night for the offensive line for many reasons. Phil Simms put it right when he said when a team has trouble on the offensive line, it spills over to the whole team.
First, they do need to establish the run. There were some good signs last week on this regard. Shonn Greene showed some signs of life, finally, with a season high 83 yards and 1 TD. They can’t get away from who they are, which is a run first team. The way to keep Sanchez effective is to run effectively, so he can go down the field off of play action. This will not be an easy task.
The Dolphins, although winless, do have a tough defense. The run defense of the Dolphins ranks second in the AFC in rushing yards allowed with 430, and 7th in the conference in yards per game allowed on the ground with 107.5. They have a tough front seven, and this will be a key matchup against the Jets offensive line.
Secondly, in order to get Mark Sanchez off the blocks quickly, he needs to be upright, which has been a tough task so far in 2011. The Dolphins haven’t been great rushing the passer so far this year, but they have punished the Jets in the past. In the last matchup, the Dolphins sacked Mark Sanchez 6 times. Their top rusher is Cameron Wake, with 3 of the team’s 6 sacks over the first 4 games. Our old rent a lineman Jason Taylor has 16.5 sacks against the Jets in his career. Don’t underestimate the Dolphins here, this will be tough.
BRANDON MARSHALL ON REVIS ISLAND
So far in 2011, Brandon Marshall has recorded 22 catches, 313 yards and 1 TD, on pace for a 1,200 plus yards season. He will be hampered a bit with Matt Moore at quarterback, and we know how wide receivers perform out on Revis Island, but this is still a matchup to watch. Brandon has a good history against the Jets, with 17 receptions for 237 yards and 2 TDs in 3 career games against the Jets. He also comes to play against AFC East opponents, as a member of the Dolphins, recording an average of 89.6 yards per game over 7 AFC East contests. Marshall is still a star, even with a pedestrian QB, and will be a matchup to watch with Darrelle.
There it is fans, your Jets Takeoff for week 6. Enjoy the game, see you on the other side.
Tags: Alan Schechter Brandon Marshall Brian Schottenheimer Cameron Wake Darrelle Revis Jason Taylor Mark Sanchez Matt Moore Miami Dolphins NIck Mangold NY Jets Plaxico Buress Rex Ryan Robert Turner Santonio Holmes Shonn Greene Wayne Hunter