This is it. We know what is at stake here. After two horrible performances the last two weeks, the Jets have lost control of their own destiny. Now, the Jets must be the Dolphins, and hope for the best. The Bengals must lose, the Titans must lose, and the Raiders or Broncos must lose for the Jets to make a third straight trip to the playoffs. First, the Jets must take care of business in Miami. Let’s get to it and look at the history between these two teams:
The Jets lead the overall series between the two teams, with a record of 48-42-1, and have won two out of the last 3. Last time these two met, the Jets won 24-6, as Darrelle Revis ran back an interception 100 yards for a TD, and the Jets scored 17 unanswered points. After a very rough start, the Dolphins have rallied to a 5-10 record, and would like nothing more than to knock the Jets out of playoff contention. Another winable game for the Jets, if they come to play. Here’s how:
STOP THE RUN
An obvious issue as it always is, but it’s an important one. The Jets have had trouble with speed running backs all season long, and the Jets will be facing a good one on Sunday. Reggie Bush has shown his talent as a lead running back in 2011, rushing for 1,086 yards on 216 carries, a 5.0 yard per carry average. The last time these two teams met, Bush averaged a whopping 7.1 yards per carry. This is obviously too high, and the Jets won’t get away with it very often.
Bush leads the NFL since week 13 with 519 yards, and his 1,086 yards marks the first time he has eclipsed 1,000 yards rushing in his career. He is seeking his fifth consecutive game with 100+ yards rushing.
Set the edges against this guy, keep his numbers low and the Jets will have a great chance to win.
MARSHALL VS REVIS:THE REMATCH
This matchup on the outside, as always, will be fun to watch, no matter which side you are on. It also will be a decisive factor on who will come out on top.
Marshall has caught 77 passes for 1,177 yards, 6 TDs, and needs 10 receptions to reach 500 for his career. He would love to have a big game against his buddy Darrelle Revis, who pulled in a 100 yard pick 6 against him last time the teams met. Revis is tied for the team lead in INTs with 4, and also has 4 for his career against the Miami Dolphins, tied for the most for his career against any team.
Marshall, despite the pick 6, led all receivers on that Monday night the last time these teams met with 109 receiving yards.
“Jordan Rules” or not, this will be an exciting matchup, fun to watch, and a decisive matchup in the game.
BALANCE AND PROTECTION ON OFFENSE
Another well documented problem this season has been keeping Mark Sanchez on his feet. Jason Taylor has 16.5 career sacks against the Jets, and I am sure he would like nothing more than creating some havoc in what we now know is his final game. Cameron Wake leads the Dolphins with 8.5 sacks, and is seeking his 3rd consecutive game with a sack. Karlos Dansby has 2 sacks in his past two games against the Jets. Wayne Hunter, and D’Brickashaw Ferguson will have their hands full. This battle must be won on Sunday if the Jets are going to have any chance to win.
The other key goes without saying, but I am going to say it anyway. The Jets must have balance on offense Sunday for the Jets to have any chance at all to win. The stats may lull the Jets into getting pass heavy again, as the Dolphins allow almost 250 yards per game passing, and are near the top of the league in rushing defense, allowing under 94 yards rushing per game. This may lead Brian Schottenheimer to develop a pass heavy game plan, and anyone who watched last week knows how THAT turned out.
Mark Sanchez is only effective when working off of a running game. Commit to establishing the run, and give Mark Sanchez opportunties on play action. The only way the Jets will have a chance to win Sunday.
There you have it, your week 17 game preview for must win Sunday. Enjoy the game, see you on the other side.