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Jets vs. Dolphins: Avoiding Winters vs. Suh

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Entering last Sunday's game against the Dolphins, one of the scary matchups on paper for the Jets was Ndamukong Suh against Brian Winters. It seemed like Miami had an opportunity to put up a defensive lineman who has been First Team All Pro in four of his five NFL season (and was Second Team All Pro in the other) against a backup guard who has done nothing but struggle.

The Jets had a successful day, particularly on the ground. When reviewing the game, one thing I noticed was how they handled Suh. What was the best way to deal with the Suh vs. Winters matchup? For Chan Gailey, it was preventing that matchup from occurring. On many of the Jets' key runs, the team either provided Winters double team help or got Winters on the move to get another matchup on Suh.

One thing that stuck out was the job the tight ends did run blocking. The double teams occupied two offensive lineman. For the second lineman on the double team, Suh was generally the first stop on the way to a linebacker. This meant the tight ends had to be left one on one with a defensive lineman. Now these were not necessarily all very difficult assignments, but the maligned tight end group at least did a good enough job for these plays to be successful, Kellen Davis in particular.

On this 12 yard Chris Ivory run in the first quarter, Breno Giacomini helps Winters with Suh off the snap. Davis is left with Suh. Davis actually throws an important block that helps to spring Ivory.

On this 9 yard run, Winters isn't just getting help from Nick Mangold on Suh. D'Brickashaw Ferguson is helping James Carpenter, leaving Davis one on one against Terrence Fede. Again, Davis does the job.

Here is a 6 yard run. Again, Giacomini helps Winters get a handle on Suh initially before heading out to get his man. It is Davis against Wake once again. This one isn't too tough because Wake pushes too far up field, but Davis assists in the process.

This 7 yard run has Wes Saxson throwing a block one on one against a defensive end as Mangold again helps on Suh and Ferguson lends Carpenter a hand. Again, the play is a success with a tight end one on one with a lineman.

It wasn't all about double teaming Suh. On this 24 yard run, the Jets pull Winters. They are running away from Suh so no great block needs to be thrown on him. They use Mangold to nudge Suh right as Chris Ivory goes left. Winters ends up throwing a key block as the pulling guard that helps Ivory get loose.

Finally, we have a 9 yard run where the Jets pull Winters again. Mangold and Giacomini team up on Suh. Winters isn't as effective on his block this time, and Tommy Bohanon helps. Still, the play is a success.

Part of good coaching is dictating the matchups that favor your team and not allowing the other guy to do the same. I give Chan Gailey credit here. The Suh vs. Winters matchup looked ugly on paper for the Jets. It might have proven ugly, but Gailey schemed to avoid it. The players also deserve credit. Scheming to take away one player means a lot of one on ones elsewhere. The Jets held up on blocking to spring some big plays, and Ivory did his thing.