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NFL Miami DolphinsNew York Jets

Keys to Miami Dolphins Victory in Week 17 vs. New York Jets

brian hartline

Brad Penner-USA Today Sports

It’s New York Jets week for the second time in five weeks. The Jets’ defense has the blueprint to beat the Miami Dolphins after the Buffalo Bills treated the Dolphins like their little brother and whooped them in the backyard. The Jets will need no extra motivation in this game as they are not only playing their hated rival but their also playing for their slim playoff hopes. Not to mention the opportunity to play spoiler to the team who beat them to a pulp earlier this season, a performance which made the Dolphins’ loss to the Bills look good (not really).

The Dolphins must watch out for frequent blitzes attacking the weak link of the offensive line (all of it, but mainly LG) as blitzing will likely shut down the run game and put pressure on Ryan Tannehill, the two things you have to do if you want to beat the Dolphins. If that is that game plan for opposing defenses, the Dolphins must get their screen game going. Lamar Miller is most dangerous in space, so make it happen.

The running game of the Jets will be looking to run rampant, and the Dolphins must get back to ways of old on defense and shut down the run. That starts with the linebackers. The Dolphins’ new linebacker acquisitions Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler have been a major disappointment having only provided 1.5 sacks after being brought in specifically for their blitzing ability.

But this Sunday, after giving up over 200 yards on the ground to the Bills, the linebackers’ main focus has to be  filling running lanes and making tackles as the Jets will be looking to take advantage of the linebackers’ inability to do this consistently.

The Dolphins must protect their home turf and finish out the season right, giving the home fans a show and (more importantly) a victory to avoid ending the season on a losing streak for the third time in five years.

Danny Williams is a Miami Dolphins writer for rantsports.com, follow him on Twitter @danwilli45