Expect the Dolphins to pound the football tonight. They rank first in the league with 183.5 rushing yards per game. They gain 5.0 per carry on the ground. They don't want this game in the hands of a quarterback making his second start against an attacking defense. Ronnie Brown has 72 carries for 369 yards. Ricky Williams has 248 yards on 50 carries. That puts both parts of the two headed monster at or over 5 per rush.
Part of the success has been the exotic Wildcat formation the team imported from the University of Arkansas, where quarterbacks coach David Lee used to serve as offensive coordinator. Rex Ryan totally stuffed the Wildcat last year as defensive coordinator of the Ravens. He made a few tactical moves like moving up his safeties. Sure, that leaves the defense vulnerable to the pass, but the Dolphins don't want Ronnie Brown throwing the football often. The biggest thing is disciple, though. The Wildcat takes advantage of defenders overpursuing the ball and getting themselves out of position. The reason the Ravens so successfully stopped it was everybody stayed in their lanes. It's the sign of a well coached football team. Brown has to make a read. If defenders go hard at him, he hands it off to an outside runner. If they bite on a fake, he keeps it and runs inside.
The Jets on defense should be too disciplined to get out of position, and their front seven should hold its own against Miami's solid offensive line. I can guarantee you we will see a lot of Kerry Rhodes and Jim Leonhard in the box. The Dolphins aren't going to put it up. The Jets know it. The Dolphins don't care. It's going to come down to execution. Miami's center, Jake Grove, is good. He handled Kris Jenkins about as well as anybody did a year in the first three-quarters of the season a ago when he was with Oakland. Look for Rex Ryan to put Jenkins all over the line to create mismatches. If Jenkins goes against a weak link, Miami's going to have a tough time running it. If they can't run it, their offense isn't going to do anything.