The Miami Dolphins must refocus from one of the most crushing blows in recent history, a 19-0 beatdown in Buffalo with playoff hopes on the line, to be able to beat the New York Jets on Sunday. The game against the Jets is the new toughest game of the season. This game, which was once a game in which fans could expect the Dolphins to dominant, is suddenly a lot harder to predict coming off of the embarrassing loss.
This game will likely be a lot easier for the Dolphins just for the simple standpoint that it is at home, and the importance of that can’t be overstated after being in freezing rain while getting their butts handed to them. But they will be facing a similar team in the Buffalo Bills, who destroyed them last week. Both teams are built on solid defense, with rookie (or young, when Thad Lewis is starting) quarterbacks at the helm of a heavy running offense.
The Dolphins cannot allow themselves to be pushed around (again) on either side of the ball this week, as that is clearly the formula for beating them. The linebackers must play the run better, and the offensive line must open holes for the backs to run through and protect Ryan Tannehill. That is the simple formula for success for the Dolphins’ two sides of the ball.
The Dolphins dominated the first meeting between these two teams, causing the Jets to bench starting quarterback Geno Smith in favor of Matt Simms, who is best known for his father’s, Phil Simms, success in the NFL. Neither of those quarterbacks were very good against the Dolphins, but Smith has more potential to hurt the them, as he is very inconsistent and could be riding one of the “up’s” on the roller coaster that has been his first NFL season.
The Dolphins were embarrassed last Sunday, but if they want any shot at the playoffs, they need to focus on the task ahead and beat their hated rival the Jets. If they don’t, well, jobs may be lost. Fans have seen too many losing streaks to end a season to be able to swallow one this year, especially for a team who was supposed to have taken the next step. The Dolphins players and coaches must see what’s at stake and what’s their’s for the taking and finish the season right.