The suddenly first-place Miami Dolphins (sure, it’s a tie, plus it’s only week 3, but it has a nice ring to it) open the AFC East portion of their 2012 NFL schedule on Sunday vs the New York Jets. This article is a look at the preview for the Dolphins offense vs the Jets defense. (The Dolphins defense vs Jets offense preview is HERE)
The Jets defense had big aspirations for 2012. So far, the results have not been good. Game 1 was a W vs the Buffalo Bills, but they did yield big plays. Game 2 vs the Pittsburgh Steelers was their road opener and they were beat by a lot of different players.
Miami’s offense got rolling in their home-opening W vs the Oakland Raiders and it was the running game led by Reggie Bush that really did damage. (Read a Reggie Bush Player Profile HERE.) When you look at the running backs the Jets have faced, we see that C.J. Spiller for the Bills is the most similar to Bush. Spiller was able to gash the Jets rush-D for massive chunks of yards, including a 56 yard TD scamper.We will look for Mike Sherman to dial up a good amount of carries for Bush this week. Bush has 40 carries on the season, average of 20 per game, and I fully anticipate Bush with 20 carries this game too.
We do not know the status currently of Daniel Thomas, so we may see Lamar Miller play again. I liked what I saw from Miller–I usually do, because I like Miller–but surely his blitz pick-up needs to be on point. He was poor in that area vs the Raiders, that is one thing, but to be poor vs the blitz against a Rex Ryan team is a sure recipe for turnovers/sacks/punts/injury/disaster.
The return to health of Brian Hartline has buoyed the Dolphins passing game. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill is, for some reason, struggling with the passing game to his left, but with Hartline and Davone Bess on the right side things are really looking up. (Read Player Profiles: Brian Hartline and Davone Bess). The Jets are not sure if Darrelle Revis will play. Clearly that is big as he is really really good. That leaves Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson to get the job done. We will see Ellis Lankster too.
Craig’s key will be Anthony Fasano. Honorable mention to Charles Clay and any other tight end who suites up on Sunday (could we see Michael Egnew? Jeron Mastrud?). The Jets safeties can be beat by TEs. Yeremiah Bell has been a tackling machine in 2012, and LaRon Landry has his moments, but the Jets have yielded TDs to TEs in each week. Passes over the middle are available vs the Jets.
The Jets have Sione Pouha back from injury. He is very good and a major cog to this defense as the nose tackle. Without him in week 1, the Jets recorded zero sacks. Week 2 he returns and the Jets bag three sacks, plus he had one of them. Craig’s key will be Pouha vs Dolphins center Mike Pouncey. Luckily for ‘Phins phans, there is reason for optimism in this match-up as Pouncey is really good–of course so is his brother Maurkice Pouncey, who was beat by Pouha last week.
The right side of the offensive line will be tested by second year players Muhammad Wilkerson (defensive lineman) and Garrett McIntyre (linebacker) as well as rookie Quinton Coples (#16 overall pick in this years draft), plus the many blitzes that will come from all angles.
The Jets are giving up 27.5 points per game so far in 2012. They are expecting much better play, but so far they are a defense that is not looking great. The ‘Phins hope that their suddenly-moving offense keeps it going vs the Jets. We can expect a fired up Gang Green as a loss would put them at 1-2, not the start an expectant playoff teams wants.
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