When the Jets pass football today I expect the Dolphins to be able to match up well because I don't see a great threat from Mark Sanchez and he's without his security blanket tight end Dustin Keller, who has been ruled out with an injury. When the Jets run the ball I expect the Dolphins to have the advantage because they are outstanding in stopping the run.
But despite all those important matchups, I still see this game resting on the shoulders of Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill and his ability or inability to overcome the blitz and gets some points throuh the air.
As we know, the Dolphins' formula for winning is run the football, stop the run, avoid turnovers. Well, the Jets' assignment on defense will be to stop the run and force Tannehill to pass. And when Tannehill passes, what the Jets do is attack the passer with exotic blitzes. It's their personality. It's what they do to force mistakes.
I shared with you this week that Tannehill was very good last week -- particularly in the second half -- against the blitz. Truth is so far this season, Tannehill has completed 63 percent of his passes against the blitz. That's better than the 53 percent he's completed when he's not blitzed.
Perhaps the kid is simply better when he doesn't have to think. Perhaps he's better when he going to one target and doing it quickly to get the ball out.
The point is Rex Ryan has been impressed with Tannehill's work so far, as I write in my column today. But does that mean the gamesmanship of the New York coach will be lessened on his blitzes?
I don't think so. And I believe that is where the game will be decided.