Once upon a time, the league's best rushing attack was struggling. Then came a Week 5 game at Miami. A talented offensive line kicked it into gear. The Jets ran the ball for 138 yards and 4.6 per carry. Two 300 yard rushing performances followed. In this time, the Jets have vastly scaled back their offense for their rookie quarterback. Teams have known what is coming and have stacked the box. It hasn't mattered. The offensive line has its sea legs after a slow start run blocking.
This is going to be a lot tougher than the games against Buffalo and Oakland. Despite the way the Jets ran the ball at Miami three weeks ago, the Dolphins still have a top five rush defense. Whenever the opponent plays a 3-4, a key matchup occurs between the nose tackle and center. The job of the nose tackle is to hold the point of attack and occupy two linebackers. Miami has a good nose tackle in Jason Ferguson and a developing young backup, Paul Solai. Nick Mangold's ability to contain the pair will go a long way to deciding how well the Jets run the ball.
Miami is probably going to be without inside linebacker Channing Crowder, their second leading tackler a year ago. The only thing Crowder does more than tackle is talk. Reggie Torbor will take a lot of the snaps in his place. He'll pair with Akin Ayodele, who has 25 tackles.
The Dolphins have been vulnerable on the left side of their defensive line, where Kendall Langford lines up. That's the side of the field the Jets love to pound the ball. Randy Starks is the other end in the 3-4.
We know the Jets are going to run, run, and run some more. Miami's leading tackler Yeremiah Bell will probably line up in the box. As we discussed earlier this week, Braylon Edwards and David Clowney can play a big role in the passing game. If they can stretch this defense and keep the safeties back, it will be that much easier to run. With that said, the Jets seem to match up well with Miami.