2. Dolphins dynamic WR duo vs. the NY Jets cornerbacks
I'm sure that the Jets would love nothing more than to not have to face the tandem of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. Both players have been limited in practice leading into this game, with Hill cropping out with a quad injury late in the week.
No matter, New York's defensive staff has spent the entire week prepping for their matchup with the Dolphins dynamic due, who combined have the most pass plays in the league over 40 yards (8).
Many would argue that this is the NFL's main event matchup of the entire weekend, Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle versus D.J. Reed and Sauce Gardner.
Based on the early returns, Miami can boast that they have the best starting receiver duo in the NFL. At the same time, the Jets can argue that their cornerback tandem of Reed and Sauce is tops in the league.
The elite meet the elite on Sunday. Very few cornerbacks have played as well as Reed has through the first four games of the season. Reed has been lights out for the fast planes, allowing only a 41.1 completion rate by opposing passers.
As a result, teams have been forced to test his counterpart on the other side, rookie Sauce Gardner, but have been met with equal resistance on that front.
However, no matter how good the rookie and Reed have played, and they've played some excellent receivers thus far in 2022, nothing quite matches up with Miami's combination at wide receiver and how well their coaching staff schemes them open in space. Staying step-by-step with Tyreek Hill is almost an impossible task, no matter how good you are.
The individual matchups on the outside will be heavily focused on, but the hidden key to Sunday's game will be if Miami can exploit the Jets' entire secondary.
The Dolphins love to use motion and move their receivers all around the field to create confusion and hesitation from defenses. This is not the stationary attack that other teams deploy.
That means that nickel cornerback Michael Carter and the Jets' safety tandem will need to be on high alert against Miami's aerial assault.
Jordan Whitehead and Lamarcus Joyner are coming off their best games of the season. Pittsburgh struggled to make plays down the field against them, but they are facing a much different opponent this week that doesn't play the jump-ball style of offense that the Steelers do with their tall pass targets.
Miami likes to make you run all over the field. One missed tackle in space can lead to 50-yard gains in a heartbeat.
Even with Teddy Bridgewater in the lineup instead of Tua Tagovailoa, Miami's entire scheme is designed to create separation and produce chunk plays. Despite not having elite arm strength, Bridgewater averaged nearly 9.0 yards per pass attempt last week.
To beat Miami, you need to contain their dynamic receivers. If you don't, you will lose. It's that simple.
Tyreek Hill was the one that got away from New York in the offseason. The Jets need to ensure he and Waddle don't break away from their defensive backs frequently on Sunday.