Chad Henne and the Dolphins have had a striking amount of success against the New York Jets over the past two seasons. The game last year in the Meadowlands was a clunker for Henne, but he completed over three quarters of his passes in Miami against what ended up the best pass defense in the league. He threw for 363 yards this year in the first meeting.
Many of you have picked up on it, but the Dolphins by scheme do things to try and ensure their quarterback stays on his feet. Sometimes that means rolling the quarterback out. Sometimes they move the pocket with him. They also leave extra blockers in an awful lot.
The most frequently used blockers are the halfback, the fullback, and the tight end. This season Miami has left Anthony Fasano, Lousaka Polite, Ronnie Brown, and Ricky Williams in to block on a combined 39% of passing plays they are in. Contrast that to similar players on the Jets. Dustin Keller, Tony Richardson, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Shonn Greene have been left in as blockers on 14% of plays. I could go on a Brian Schottenheimer rant here, but my point stands. The Dolphins put a premium on protection.
This is probably why Miami quarterbacks are completing 69.9% of their passes, averaging 9.2 yards per attempt, and posting a 99.7 rating against the blitz.
Does this mean the Jets should scale back their blitzes? I don't think so. Pressure on the quarterback is still the name of the game. Miami quarterbacks have also completed just 41.8% under pressure with an average of 4.7 per attempt and a 48.1 rating. How do the Jets generate pressure? They blitz. We have seen that they cannot generate pressure without blitzing. Attacking is just a chance they will have to take.
I also think the Jets stack up better in the back against Miami's receivers than they did in the first game. Darrelle Revis will be there this time. He had his hamstring problem then. Now Brandon Marshall has a hamstring injury and is limited. It remains to be seen whether he will be able to go at 100% if at all. Even if he does, Jets fans should have faith in Revis. Brian Hartline just had surgery and also could be out, a hit to Miami's receiving corps. Picking up a blitz usually means receivers can run with less traffic in favorable matchups. There seems like a good chance New York's coverage can hold this time, which makes attacking less risky.
Yes, the Dolphins exploited the blitz last time. Yes, they moved it at will on the last drive and only stalled at the goal line when Gang Green played coverage. The Jets are a blitzing team, though. I think they need to stay true to their style and force the Dolphins to make them adjust.