Week 9 puts the New York Jets in a road game against their AFC East rival Miami Dolphins. Here are the top three ways to fry some fish.
With playoff hopes dwindling away like the leaves on a fall tree, the New York Jets have little to look forward to this week other than some revenge against the rival Miami Dolphins. After getting handled on their home turf earlier in the year, the Jets will be venturing into Miami for a division battle.
Without their starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill for the fourth straight week, Miami is desperate for a win to stay in the hunt for a playoff birth. Games like this are what it’s all about in a rebuilding year for the Jets. Although this game will not knock the Dolphins out of the playoffs, it will set them back significantly.
Coming off of a pitiful performance in the second half against the Bears, the Jets will be coming into Miami shorthanded. They will most likely be without their top two receivers, Robby Anderson and Quincy Enunwa, for the second straight week. Also unlikely to suit up is their top free agent cornerback Trumaine Johnson, who has disappointed so far this year.
However, the Jets have a good chance at keeping this one close, and potentially coming away with a victory on the road. Coming up are the Jets three keys to victory against the hated Dolphins in Miami.
3. Exploiting the Dolphins front 7
Featuring dominant edge rushers Cameron Wake and Robert Quinn, you would expect the Dolphins defensive front to be elite. The stats paint a different picture. They are currently ranked 30th in the league in sacks with 11, while also ranking 25th in yards per carry.
The Jets have had success in games where they have gotten it going on the ground. Isaiah Crowell has had a few bad weeks while being slowed down with injuries but is due for another breakout game. It will be important for him to get it going, in order to take pressure off of Sam Darnold.
In the absence of Bilal Powell, it will be interesting to see how the Jets use Trenton Cannon in this one. Last week he looked like he was ready to break a few big plays, however, could not get anything going. The Jets should look to get him in space, to utilize his game-changing speed. Cannon has the ability to break the game open in the blink of an eye.
Next: 2. Stop Kenyan Drake
2. Stop Kenyan Drake
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Much like the Jets, the Dolphins lack a true number one option at wide receiver. They spread the ball around, and Kenyan Drake has gotten his share of the touches in the passing game.
He is second on the team in receptions with 27. He is also second on the team in rushing yards, gaining 340 yards on the year. Drake leads the team with five total touchdowns on the year.
Kenyon must be the Jets point of emphasis on defense this week. Darron Lee needs to be keying in on him every time he steps on the field. Darron leads the team in interceptions and is third on the team with 43 tackles. Lee is also one of the fastest players on the defense and can go sideline to sideline with the best of them.
If the Jets can slow him down, it will put the pressure on the rest of the Dolphins offense. Although efficient this year, Brock Osweiler will not beat the Jets on his own. They must get him into some low percentage situations by taking away the Dolphins feature back.
Next: 1. Feature Christopher Herndon
1. Feature Christopher Herndon
Having scored in the last three games, tight end Christopher Herndon has proved to be a reliable option for fellow rookie Sam Darnold. After getting off to a slow start, Herndon has become the Jets best option in the Red Zone. It would be wise for the Jets to include him between the 20’s in this one.
It was frustrating to watch the Jets lack of adjustments against the Bears. They continually ran the ball on 1st on 2nd down, even when it had proven to be ineffective. The Jets need to become less predictable and give Sam some easy throws on early downs.
At the moment, Herndon is arguably New York’s most reliable option in the passing game outside of Jermaine Kearse. The Jets need to run early down play-action passes to get him one on one with a linebacker.
He has also shown the ability to go up and get it against smaller defensive backs. They should look to get the young tight end in advantageous situations where he can use his size and pass catching ability. Herndon is a potential matchup nightmare, and he can help to make life easier for Darnold.
It is a must for the ailing Jets to hold true to these keys to victory. Division games can spark a team, and in a wide-open AFC, anything is possible. If head coach Todd Bowles wants to increase his odds of staying employed, he will have his team ready to go on the road. Time to head to Miami and fry some fish on the road to salvage their season.