Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets -- Monday, Oct. 17th, 8:30 p.m. EST
Location: Metlife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ.
Coverage: ESPN. Sirius XM 93.
Who is favored? Jets by 7 points.
Record: Jets lead the all-time series 47-43
What happened last time? Dolphins won it, 10-6.
Dolphins have won four out of their last five games with the Jets.
This is Miami's worst start since 2007, hopefully they come out of 2011 with a similar record.
Jets Out: Logan Payne (WR) Wrist, Isaiah Trufant (CB) Hamstring, Donald Strickland (CB) Concussion, Ropati Pitoitua (DE) Knee.
Questionable: Nick Mangold (C) Ankle.
Dolphins Questionable: Chris Clemons (S) Hamstring, Nolan Carroll (CB) Hamstring, Daniel Thomas (RB) Hamstring, Will Yeatman (TE) Shoulder.
Offense: The Jets are 28th in yards, 13th in points, 21st in passing and 31st in rushing. Miami is 16th in yards, 29th in points, and 15th in both passing and rushing.
Defense: The Jets are 11th overall, 5th against the pass, and 26th against the rush. Miami is 28th overall, 31st against the pass, and 14th against the run.
Honestly, both teams and their fan bases are so lethargic that it's really hard to get a bead on this one. Normally, Jets fans would be ecstatic to face a winless Miami team with a bottom ranked passing defense. But the fact that we just lost to the only team in the NFL with a worse passing defense doesn't help.
I really don't want to underrate Miami, I just don't feel they are as bad as their record. But one thing to keep in mind: Miami does not have Tom Brady or Bill Belichick, or really any miracle workers on the team for that matter. The truth of the matter is that their points scored, allowed, as well as their passing and overall defenses all rank in the bottom 5. Miami has a career backup under center for the first time this week, and the Phinsider has way more talk about "suck for Luck" than they do about facing the Jets this week. The bottom line is if the Jets don't pull this one off at home, we are in way more trouble than we thought. The Ravens, Patriots, even the Raiders all look like legit teams, but a loss here would be inexcusable.
A full breakdown after the jump. Feel free to post your thoughts, predictions, preemptive aggression, and what you expect to see Monday below if you like.
Miami player to watch: WR Brandon Marshall
Not so much because I think he's formidable, but whether joking or not, you know there is going to be heavy focus on Marshall this week both on the field and in the booth. Personally speaking, I don't think Brandon has anywhere near the skill set to back up his very bold statements about his performance this week. Factor in the Jets secondary and Marshall could be eating as much turf as his own words this Monday.
Don't take Marshall for granted, believe it or not he can stretch the field, but that will be quite a tall order for him this week. I'm confident that any of our top three CB's will match up with him favorably.
Jets X-Factor(s): The entire offensive line.
This is obvious, and admittedly a bit of a cop out. Jets are coming off their worst opening rushing effort in...well I can't think of a worse season start on the ground. But that's not really what I'm worried about.
Nick Mangold's return gave the line some much needed cohesion, and the simple (yet massive) upgrade with his return to center was noticeable on the field. I expect the line to improve instead of regress barring major injuries. This is a very winnable game, but it all depends on the push up front. There is no reason why every other matchup should not favor the Jets considerably. Wayne Hunter will have to play like a starter versus Cameron Wake and the rest of the Miami front 7. If he cannot, Schotty and Rex MUST give him help.
Last week I said Sanchez was the X factor, but simply put he needs help on passing downs. No QB can reasonably succeed in the NFL if he has a second or less to react on the vast majority of passing downs. Or when he does finally get off a pass and on target, your receivers drop the easy catch. I'm not talking about Conner, he's a fullback, I'll forgive him. I'm talking about Burress and Mulligan and everyone else. The entire offensive unit needs to start picking up the slack. With all of that said:
Potential Jets MVP: Jeremy Kerley.
I think Mason's departure, much like the loss of Bryan Thomas to IR, could be addition by subtraction. Kerley is young, speedy, and driven. You can tell how badly he wants to succeed in the NFL every time he has the ball or is playing a down. I think Kerley is ideal for the slot, and Miami and every other team for that matter is unfamiliar with him. Santonio Holmes will no doubt draw extra attention, and Burress stretching the field (or trying to at least) coupled with Dustin Keller as a threat could keep safeties busy. Kerley will be a more attractive receiving option for Sanchez than Mason, or an existing Jets player like Patrick Turner or Matthew Mulligan.
Miami's 31st ranked passing defense will be an ideal matchup for Jeremy Kerley in his first game as the full time slot guy. I have high expectations.
Prediction: Jets 27 Dolphins 17
I just don't see how we lose this one. Miami's middle of the pack offense cannot score, and the Jets defense eats reserve QB's alive. The offense doesn't even need to have a good game, just avoid crucial mistakes and keep the defense off the field a little while. The sky isn't falling yet, but it will start if the Jets don't win Monday.