Jets TakeOff! Week 3 Preview: Jets vs. Dolphins
By Alan Schechter
Jan.1, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore (8) throws a pass against the New York Jets at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
Week 3, and the Jets head to Miami to take on Ryan Tannehill, Reggie Bush, and the rest of the Dolphins. Both teams head into the game with a 1-1 record, looking to earn a leg up in the all important divisional race. The Jets are already 1-0 in the division, beating the Bills week one. Let’s take a look at the history between these two teams.
The Jets lead the overall series 48-43-1, but the Dolphins have had the upper hand recently, winning 5 of the last 7. The Jets are 2-4 against the Dolphins during the Rex Ryan era, and the Jets will be looking to change that trend tomorrow afternoon. The Jets have done will against divisional opponents recently, winning 4 out of the last 6 games.
Here are some keys to victory for the Jets:
STOP REGGIE BUSH
We have talked about this all week long. Reggie Bush is the type of running back that has driven the Jets crazy in the past. Like Darren McFadden last year, and CJ Spiller in week 1, Reggie Bush is the on the edge, speed running back that has run all over the Jets. As we talked about yesterday, the Dolphins like to run a lot of mis-direction running plays, sending the line one way, and Bush going the other direction. A major key to the game tomorrow is going to be the Jets defensive front seven setting the edge, and not overcommitting to the direction of the line. If they do, Bush won’t have the backside edge to run on. If they don’t, it could get ugly.
TACKLE, TACKLE, TACKLE
This is becoming a troubling issue for the Jets, and it needs to stop before it’s too late. We saw it at the end of the Bills game, and most of the Steelers game. The Jets are not tackling well. You know the stat “YAC(Yards After Catch)”? Well, they could invent a new stat for the Jets “YAAT(Yards After Attempted Tackle)”, and the stat would not be pretty. Whether it was in the backfield on the quarterback, or down the field, the Jets have not been tackling well. To win tomorrow, and to be the elite defense that coach Ryan talks about, the Jets have to tackle. If they don’t, not only will this game get ugly. The season will too.
September 16, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) passes the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. The Pittsburgh Steelers won 27-10. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE
Mark Sanchez has played well against the Dolphins so far in his career, with 6 TDs vs only 3 INTs, and a 90.1 passer rating. He has also played well in September, with an 8-3 record as starting QB, 20 TDs vs. 7 INTs for a 93.9 passer rating. However, after a strong opening game, Mark did not fair well in Pittsburgh, throwing 10-27 for 138 yards and 1 TD.
The Dolphins don’t have a great secondary, and that has shown in the statistics so far. In 2012 to date, the Dolphins’ defense has been brutal against the pass, allowing 313.5 yards per game through the air.
Mark Sanchez needs to be on point today. This is the type of game that should play out with the passing game opening up the run. Conversely to how they have played the pass, Miami has been terrific against the run so far, allowing only 53 yards per game. The lanes are not likely to be there early. Obviously we don’t want to see Mark drop back 50 times, but they may want to throw it a bit to open things up, and that means Mark has to be on point.
NO MORE SPECIAL TEAMS MISTAKES
I am talking to you, Jeremy Kerley. The punt return against Buffalo in week one was terrific. The muff last week was not. Often times, the smallest little thing can turn these games around. Catch the ball when returning a punt. These types of turnovers can be back breakers.
Last week, on both sides of the ball, the Jets were brutal on third down. On defense, they allowed the Steelers to convert 8-15 third downs. Terrible. You have to close out offensive drives by getting off the field on third down. It starts with tackling. Get the job done, give the ball back to your offense.
Conversely, the Jets were 4-12 on offense on third down. That is not close to good enough. Third down conversions tire, and break the will of a defense. When the defense is one play from getting a break, and you extend the drive, you take the defense out. The Jets need to convert these plays, and take the defense out.
There are your keys to the game. Enjoy.