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Keys to the game: Dolphins vs. Jets

The Dolphins should be the New York Jets on Sunday. They have more at stake. They have more talent -- as easily illustrated by a look at the quarterback position and the fact Miami has four Pro Bowl players and New York has none.

So I'm picking the Dolphins to win. Again.

I did so last week in a big game and the Dolphins did not cooperate. So we shall see.

Anyway, here's the breakdown of the game:

When the Dolphins pass the football: Ryan Tannehill is aiming for his third consecutive home game with 300 passing yards but it’ll be more about the points than the yards for Tannehill, who is coming off his first poor December performance of the season. The Jets were not able to cover Mike Wallace in the first meeting. He was open on short and intermediate routes all day in part because Antonio Cromartie had a hip injury and wasn’t able to get his weight under his hips as quickly as he usually could to react to short routes. The Dolphins took those short completions but were unable to connect on longer routes because, well, Tannehill and Wallace don’t connect on those very often. Brian Hartline schooled rookie Dee Milliner in the first meeting and Milliner was benched, but he’s coming off his best game of the season – one in which he had his first NFL interception and had five passes defensed. ADVANTAGE: Even.

When the Dolphins run the football: The most important person connected to the Dolphins running game doesn’t wear a uniform and hasn’t gained a yard this season. Offensive coordinator Mike Sherman first must decide he wants to run the football before the Dolphins can actually attempt it. Last week against Buffalo, Sherman decided he didn’t want to run the ball. He called only 12 run plays all game. How’d that work out? The Dolphins have run the ball only 327 times this year and only Dallas and Atlanta have run the ball less. This despite the fact the Dolphins average 4.1 yards per rush, which is tied for 18th in the NFL. The only game Sherman has been persistent running the ball this season was the first meeting against the Jets when Miami ran 36 times. If and when the Dolphins run against the Jets this game it’ll be Lamar Miller getting not enough carries followed by Daniel Thomas, hobbled for a couple of weeks with an ankle injury, getting not enough carries.  The Jets rush defense is No. 3 in the NFL. ADVANTAGE: Jets.

When the Jets run the football: If offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg is smart, he looked at what the Bills did last week (51 rushes for 203 yards) uses a Xerox copy of that plan against the Dolphins again because his situation is the same as Buffalo’s: Young inconsistent QB and decent running game. The Jets are the No. 2 run offense in the AFC. Running back Chris Ivory rushed for 100 yards last week. The Dolphins have a problem that has been getting worse, not better, in defending the run. The Dolphins haven’t shut down or even considerably slowed down an opponent’s running game in 10 weeks. Look for safety Reshad Jones to spend a lot of time in the tackle box near the line of scrimmage. ADVANTAGE: Jets.

When the Jets pass the football: When quarterback Geno Smith plays well, the Jets win. That’s why the team is 5-0 in games Smith has an 80-plus quarterback rating. The last game the teams met, Smith was terrible and was benched. Not surprisingly, Miami won the game. The Jets passing game has been inconsistent in part because primary receiver Santonio Holmes has been injured most of the year and gets only limited practice repetitions with his starting quarterback. Tight end Kellen Winslow Jr., dealing with knee issues, is also mostly a name but not much of a threat anymore. The Dolphins can take solace that Olivier Vernon had his best game of the season (three sacks) against the Jets. ADVANTAGE: Miami.

Special teams: The Dolphins tried a fake field goal two weeks ago. This game, with a playoff spot and the season on the line, might be another time for the team to try something special from the special teams. Outside of Brandon Fields, Miami’s special teams haven’t been special this season. The Jets are slightly better than Miami statistically in kickoffs and punt returns. The Dolphins are better at covering kicks and punts. ADVANTAGE: Even.

Coaching: Rex Ryan is coaching for his job. He’s reportedly told his team he’s going to go down fighting and they should do the same. That suggests an emotional coach and team on the opponent sideline. Joe Philbin’s team is coming off a game where they showed no urgency at Buffalo. The coach is not emotional but rather a planner and detail-oriented guy who doesn’t want to get too high or too low. ADVANTAGE: We’ll see.

Comments

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Adressing oline could be a little more difficult than we think. Ireland should have pluck Albert when he was there for the taking. Albert was willing to sign a longterm contract right away.

Plus, his team was worst in the nfl.

Now, Albert's a pro bowler, unrestricted fa, and plays for a team that will finish the reg season with no worse than 3rd best AFC record(11-5).

Also, now that he fresh off of a pro bowl season, KC, itself maybe more willing to resign him in 2014's fa. Teams don't let guys fresh off of pro bowls walk.

So, the Branden Albert train may have already caboose. 2nd best fa will be Jordan Gross(Carolina). He's a huge longshot coming here too. Even if he did he's already 33yrs old.

So, basically, in 2014 it's Albert o bust. With the KC surprise season, playing for Reid, and having a pro year. The odds have just gotten extremely astronomical that Branden Albert would come here.

No Evidence

EASY WIN TOMORROW

Don't sweat it phellas.

This game depends on which Geno Smith shows up. If it's th geno Smith that showed up in Week 3 passing for 314yds, beating Buffalo 27-20, forget about it.

Also, do not believe for one second this is a Dolphins home game. Miami, is the Jets home away from home.

We need get this game moved to a neutral site.

From Pow Wow last blog!


Going into the draft, I thought the Dolphins would land at least three starters, especially since the team is currently subpar in so many areas. I'll never understand the Jordon pick. The number three overall pick should be playing, and producing, much more at the DE/LB position.

I do see some solid potential and talent on the team, but given the lack of performance by the rookies and some of the FA signings this past offseason gives me concerns about the direction and ability of the GM and Head Coach to elevate the team to a much higher level.

Posted by: Sigh | December 28, 2013 at 12:52 PM


Good post! My thoughts exactly!! The lack of drafting specific talent for scheme is maddening!! Your assessment on Jordan a prime example although probably a day-1 starter at OLB in 3/4 who were looking to make one dimensional as situational pass rushing DE in 4/3. It truly boggles especially with so many teams in need of a 3/4 NT and one of the Top-5 on roster you could have signed and traded taking Sharrif Floyd (4/3 DT) in draft without trade up need.

Also agree about getting at least 3 Day-1 contributors in draft we went into with 5 Top-100 picks!! I questioned and still do the need of adding Gibson to the WR group with so much already invested in Wallace/Hartline. It especially gets more mind-bending when Rd-1 prospect (discussed on this blog plenty before draft) Keenan Allen sliding to Rd-3. The draft in retrospect seems amateurish were after the Jordan shocker sort of fell along the draft predictions of most publications or draft fantasy if you will instead of shrewd attempt at targeting needs. His only brownie points came in adding FA players to 1 Yr. deals.


2 free tickets on craigslist...

Jets - 18
barbies - 3 Eh?

NO PLAYOFFS again Eh?

Dolphins= PLAYOFFS

Jets= LAYOFFS

Eh?

Bills SWEEP
Jets Split Eh?

Only split from the Jets is when Ryan gets fired, eh?

Fins 27 Jets 10

If Phinz win ,Rex Ryan as Phinz DC then,Deal or no Deal
Eh?

Monte, just read the players are going all out for Rex win or lose Eh,the Bills was suppose to be a walk in the park for the Phins Eh?

fin4life,

Thanks for compliments. I agree with your views of the team as well. I wish we had Allen here. In the last blog, your comments on Keller and 'expert' opinion was spot on. :)

Ape, I'm down with Rex as our D coordinator next year, eh?

OK PC Deal.Then Phins will have top 5 Defence,
maybe even keep Ireland around too Eh?

Appears to me that he drafts well for a 3-4 defense, eh?

Hey, I think our team is terrible. But we win this one at home with ease. The Jets have nothing.

OK Then,
Phins - 10
Jets - 9 Eh?
Oscar,take the under Eh?

PC,even with Sanchez as QB,Rex Defence was 2 plays away from 2 consecutive SB's Eh,
As Phins fans,you would take that Eh?
EEEEEEEEEEEEEEhhhhhhhhhh jaja

oscar doesnt bet.

Then why does Oscar always know the +/-,LV line, spread and the odds on if that Cuban hoooka with the Adams apple gave him herpes or not Eh?


Hey, I think our team is terrible. But we win this one at home with ease. The Jets have nothing.

Posted by: Monte | December 28, 2013 at 01:55 PM


AT HOME?

Hate to be the one to break it to you, Monte. Miami is NY/NJ South. Only team at home Sunday will be the Jets. The Greenies are just licking their chops right after watching our last week's performance against the Bills.

Rex Ryan has been watching what gave this oline the most problems in the pass rush too. Bank on Ryan duplicating some of the same pass rush schemes.

If we haven't practiced to correct those errors on offense, expect to see Tannehill hit the dirt at least 6 times Sunday. Yes, Bills have a very good front 7, but at least 4 of their sacks Sunday, came off of schemes our oline was unable to adjust.

I'd rather have Rex as our HC and make Philbin OC.

Yey!! We don't seem to draft with any purpose. And this draft has a shortage of zone blocking guards. So I'm guessing that our GM drafts one of the 340 lbs. variety who isn't fast enough to get to the bathroom on time.

Is there a dynamic in play that we can't see???? I know I can't figure it out!


I'd rather have Rex as our HC and make Philbin OC.

Posted by: Shula | December 28, 2013 at 02:06 PM


Philbin's never had to prove he's a great OC even. With Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers, who needs to be?

Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers would make you or I look like offensive geniuses.

Offense, rolling pockets, read option keeper for tannehill. Receivers hold onto ball. Defense, linebackers play diciplined = Fins victory

Sam I am are you a florida resident? You seem to know a lot about home games at Sun Life?

Posted by: Shula | December 28, 2013 at 02:06 PM

Sure, but why keep Philbin ? In GB he never was the OC, he got the team ready for the game and prepared them for the games. During live play McCarthy called the shots, which seems to have carried over as Philbin rarely changes the plays, defering to Sherman, ~(see 27th rank in O), thats the truth.


Yey!! We don't seem to draft with any purpose.

Posted by: signal | December 28, 2013 at 02:07 PM


Only thing I can add to this statement is: "Unless we're forced to".

Even then, Ireland has a very strong tendency to draft so far out of the box, water needs to be brought in by helicopter. The ego of this man is unrelenting.

Sam I am are you a florida resident? You seem to know a lot about home games at Sun Life?

Do you attend any Dolphins home games? I hate when the NYJ, Bills or Pats come to town because there fans fill half the stadium.


Offense, rolling pockets, read option keeper for tannehill. Receivers hold onto ball. Defense, linebackers play diciplined = Fins victory

Posted by: eddie hughes | December 28, 2013 at 02:13 PM


Our coaching staff would be disaster as chess players. Seems their knowledge of attacking, defending and making counter moves are extremely limited.

I'm now learning to hope for victory, not expect it. Seems the greatest move on the chess board, as a dolfan.

Miami is NY/NJ South.

Posted by: Sam I Am | December 28, 2013 at 02:05 PM

That was true 30 years ago. All the NY/NY folks have long since moved up to North Broward or Palm Beach counties.

Miami is now Havana North. Many neighborhoods are 100% Spanish speaking, and this includes the doctors, pharmacists, waiters and the signs in Spanish for all their shops and restaurants. Most of the few Americans left are the poor blacks who are more into basketball than football. Then you have a significant percentage of Haitians, Puerto Ricans and other islanders. What all these people have in common is that most are generally poor - too poor to even consider spending money to see a game, and then as it is, most of them have no interest in American football anyway.


There is no other NFL city with less of a local audience than Miami. I don't believe they will ever fill the stands more than a couple of games per year, even if they become a perennial playoff team again.


I do bet but won't touch this game. It opened in Vegas at Miami -6 and went to -6 1/2 and has now dropped down to -5 1/2. Some early play favored the Dolphins but since, the play has been all Jets. Don't know where it might end up but won't rule out the possibility that it goes down to 5 or even a bit lower.

The line means nothing to a football game with the exception that minus the 'herd' the sharps have to be accounted for. Right now their saying that the Jets won't necessarily win the game but will cover the 5 1/2. Some 'sharps' are pretty good at making a living from this (nope, I'm not included) so they feel it's going to be probably low scoring and thus tight. But these are only convictions and once the game begins you find out how smart or dumb you really are.

Posted by: Sam Davis | December 28, 2013 at 02:18 PM

As I said, Miami is NY/NJ south. This tem lost all hope of this being a home game with the 19-0 thrashing to the Bills. It was so terrible 19-0, felt more like 69-0.

South Fla is a busy, busy place. We do not have enough time on our schedules to support teams playing like total crap. This is not the nothing to do frozen tundra.

Don't blink while in South Fla, you're nearly guaranteed to miss something.


There is no other NFL city with less of a local audience than Miami. I don't believe they will ever fill the stands more than a couple of games per year, even if they become a perennial playoff team again.


Posted by: Oswald | December 28, 2013 at 02:23 PM

Maybe instead of spending 100's of millions on refurnishing Sun Life the Phins should think about moving up to Palm Beach County?

Going into the draft, I thought the Dolphins would land at least three starters, especially since the team is currently subpar in so many areas. I'll never understand the Jordon pick. The number three overall pick should be playing, and producing, much more at the DE/LB position.

I do see some solid potential and talent on the team, but given the lack of performance by the rookies and some of the FA signings this past offseason gives me concerns about the direction and ability of the GM and Head Coach to elevate the team to a much higher level.

Posted by: Sigh | December 28, 2013 at 12:52 PM
-------------------------------------------------------
Regarding the Jordan pic: A lot of people forget this but Philbin's main concern last year was to improve D takeaways. And that's good but to what expense? They gambled on O-line and Martin but it was a terrible decision. What were they thinking? We HOPE Martin gets stronger? We HOPE he's better at LT? Fat chance a failure at RT is better at LT. Could have got Albert (2013 Pro Bowl) or even that FB (can't remember his name) but one bad decision after the other


South Fla is a busy, busy place. We do not have enough time on our schedules to support teams playing like total crap. This is not the nothing to do frozen tundra.

Don't blink while in South Fla, you're nearly guaranteed to miss something.

Posted by: Sam I Am | December 28, 2013 at 02:25 PM


With soooo much to do in S. Fla why are you on this blog all day and through the late night? I would venture you are on here about 16-18 hrs a day?

Posted by: Oswald | December 28, 2013 at 02:23 PM

Even West Palm is less than a 45 minute drive to Joe Robbie. So, what does it matter NY/NJ folks are less than 45 minutes away?

There've been times in American History people have walked longer distances.

Philbin's never had to prove he's a great OC even. With Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers, who needs to be?

Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers would make you or I look like offensive geniuses.

Posted by: Sam I Am | December 28, 2013 at 02:11 PM
---------------------------------------------------------
I know you know this but just to clarify...Philbin didn't call plays. I'm not sure what he did. yeah, I know he helped put the game plan together. Ok so he's a helper.

I mean its been 80's all week. I'm sure there are better things to do than sit behind a keyboard and pontificate, condescend and berate all who differ in opinion? IDK just my opinion.

With Dade County being stamped on my birth certificate. If the team moved to Palm Beach County, I wouldn't feel I owe the team any allegiance.

If the team moved to Palm Beach County, many Miamians would no longer recognize them as: "The Miami Dolphins". If the team moved from Miami, I would feel no more loyalty for them as I do for the Bucs or Jaguars. Which is extremely little.

I never, ever want my Phins to lose, especially vs the Jets BUT I despise this coaching staff. Philbin, Sherman and Coyle will NEVER win us a SB. Ireland is a below avg GM and not a respected figure in league circles. He too must go.

Just like medicine that we may not like I think we need to lose, maybe even lose badly vs a team like the Jets for Ross to realize we need a team cleanse in the worst manner. I think talent-wise we are not that far off b/c Ireland managed to bring some pieces like Wallace and even Tannehill. But every one step in the right direction we take three backwards (see our preposterous draft this year) and we will never become elite that way. See the quick turnaround in KC and Philly -ironicallly.

I would advocate for bringing a guy like Dungy to czar this dysfunctional franchise and bring a young talent like Louis Riddick as the GM and a coach with previous HC experience, a lot of them do really well in a second stint. Nolan and McDaniels would be atop my wishlist. The only one with no experience I would think of would be Zimmer. Nolan would come back here only as a HC and would immediately make our D relevant again.

If you think we can win with this current coaching staff you are delusional. Gone players are better elsewhere and new additions that were great in other places suck here. That is all you need to say about these lame coaches. BTW no HC reading off cue cards -probably written by Aponte- will NEVER inspire his players. Barely making the playoffs is a down year for the AFC is shortsighted, we need new, real and above all COMPETENT leadership to become relevant.

I am a Dolphins fan. I will watch and attend the game. I will root our team on and hoe they out play the hated NYJ. This is what I do every Sunday during the season. I do not pretend to know more than the experts that manage, coach and play this game on the professional level. I would venture to wager that NONE of you have never played more than pee=wee football much less any organized team football. Why would we listen to your "plan" to fix the Dolphins?


I know you know this but just to clarify...Philbin didn't call plays. I'm not sure what he did. yeah, I know he helped put the game plan together. Ok so he's a helper.

Posted by: cocoajoe | December 28, 2013 at 02:30 PM


Hmm.... Kind of reminds me of the old Wesson Oil commercial where the little girls say:

"Momma's cooking with Wesson, and I heped'."

I'm sure you know that Philbin has never been a central player in an NFL draft. Last year the best contribution from him, you'd expect, would be just sitting there and trying his best to look smart.


If the team moved to Palm Beach County, many Miamians would no longer recognize them as: "The Miami Dolphins". If the team moved from Miami, I would feel no more loyalty for them as I do for the Bucs or Jaguars. Which is extremely little.

Posted by: Sam I Am | December 28, 2013 at 02:34 PM

But we don't support the team already? So what would the Dolphins lose by moving to Palm Bch Cty? Miami has the worst fans in the NFL. Bar none.

Ross only wants "Yes Men" working beneath him. I fear if he replaces Ireland it will be with an Ireland clone.

Mr. Ross, ask Jerry Jones how those "Yes Men" have been working out as of late.


But we don't support the team already? So what would the Dolphins lose by moving to Palm Bch Cty? Miami has the worst fans in the NFL. Bar none.


Posted by: Sam Davis | December 28, 2013 at 02:40 PM

I was going to say the team would lose it's "true identity". But, I think we already know that's already happened over the past 15yrs.

It isn't that Miamians are such terrible fans. They are angry at ownership and front office. Not the team.

Between ownership and fo, there has always been one great bungle after another. There would greater support if Ross moved the team and Miami started from scratch with a brand new NFL expansion team.

Mando,
As far as coaching it is not even close. Rex Ryan had outcoached Belichick in more than a few occassions. It took a myriad of injuries for Philbin to beat the Pats. Ryan is coaching potentially his last game as the Jets HC and auditioning for a new HC gig, while Philbin had shown time and again his stubborness to stand by his friend and former boss Sherman (and his zero-experience son-in-law) even to his own detriment.

Ryan will probably adjust very well to what happenend the first meeting. The fact Buffalo's D-coordinator was a Ryan pupil does not help. I think Philbin will not change a thing from the previous gameplan vs Jets and will be in for a rude wake up call. Since I have ZERO trust in his halftime adjustments I think this game boils down to Geno's performance. Geno will feel comfortable in Miami, the x factor could br the rain. Nutshell this game is totally up for grabs. It really should not be that way with the talent we have and the one they lack. But that is your worthless Phins coaching staff. An ugly loss and Ross must clean house unless he is truly thinking into relo this team.

How could they leave Karlos Dansby out of the pro-Bowl? He has better stats than Luke Kuechly.


If the team moved to Palm Beach County, many Miamians would no longer recognize them as: "The Miami Dolphins". If the team moved from Miami, I would feel no more loyalty for them as I do for the Bucs or Jaguars. Which is extremely little.

Posted by: Sam I Am | December 28, 2013 at 02:34 PM

But we don't support the team already? So what would the Dolphins lose by moving to Palm Bch Cty? Miami has the worst fans in the NFL. Bar none.

Posted by: Sam Davis | December 28, 2013 at 02:40 PM

I don't believe either one of you live in Miami?? The team already plays in the Boone Docks if your from Miami! It might be refered to as Miami Gardens but the Stadium is located on Countyline Rd. and is much closer a drive for the Broward County faithful than the Miami, Dade County fans. I believe the idea of inticing the then and still higher % of middle to upper middle classes in Broward to the games was the idea behind moving the team so far from the Center of Town between the Beach and South Dade which is were the Orange Bowl was, it is my opinion that Joe Robbie at the time took a dump on the fanbase to get back at the City Commission and Mayor that denied the Orange Bowl it's renovation bill.

The truth is and I can say it with authority given I grew up in the OB as a Season ticket holder that the Stadium was then serious Home field advantage because ticket prices were reasonable and it had public Trans. access (something the HEAT remembered was imporatnt when they left the Overtown arena for the AAA) The Dolphins in 87 had the largest ticket hike from 1 Yr. to the next when Robbie moved the team as well (over 50%) for individual Tix.

As well as disrespecting there loyal Season ticket holders when they had bids for Season tix going to the highest bidder, again I remember it and was a victim of this Robbie practice in 87! The team lost it's gritty Miami Urban fans for the sit in your seat and applauding Broward family fair forever altering the imense home field we once had! It didn't matter if it was the Fins or Canes when a Big game opponent came to Town they knew they were in a hostile Stadium something I'e never really seen at JRS with their cushy Family environment and ever growing opposing fan attendance!!

I second fin4life!

Sam,
Unfortunately I think you are onto something. Why else would Ross adore Philbin so much? Parcells departure was an indicative of that too. Philbin's interview process, at least what we know, was nothing but inspiring. He came in with his little black playbook he copied cat from GB much a la HC of the Louisiana Mud Dogs. His lack of halftime adjustments and little imaginative game planning are painful proof of that.

These people he had appointed with leadership roles would have very little chance to do so elsewhere but here. Damn is so hard to root for this team when you really think of these things. If Ross does not make any changes it would be an indicative that him "opening" up his wallet was more of a PR move than him really caring about winning. We are f'd.

Keep an eye on McKinnie tomorrow. It's his last Game.

Jets might be a little pissed off tomorrow. No pro bowl selections for them.

Miami 8-8
Miss the playoffs
Madden 25 predicted this

cocoajoe,

One bad decision after another has been the problem for years now. Ever since Wayne Huizenga took ownership. One after the other; remember when the Dolphins could have had Drew Brees but instead took Culpepper.

Posted by: fin4life | December 28, 2013 at 03:01 PM


Much of what you say is true and much of it is total bs. For one, I would not exactly consider Miami Gardens as Boone Docks. Unless you want to consider "entering into Miami" as Boone Docks. That would make the entire city of Miami Boone Docks if that's the entry point.

Yes, the OB was true homefield advantage, being located centrally in the heart of the city. No denying this. However, moving to Countyline Rd itself isn't the primary reason fans are not showing up.

Did they not still show up in the heyday of the Marino/Shula era? The beginning of what is now, pretty much began when JJ basically Willed the team to Wannstadt.

Fans ire to attend games actually began to kick off near the end of the Wannstadt era. And has been in "steady decline" ever since.

Our ownership/fo decisions have had FAR MORE to do with steady attendance decline than the relocation to Countyline Rd. Countyline Rd only made the decision a little easier for Miamians not to attend games and watch crap. As a Miamian YOU should know this.


I second fin4life!

Posted by: oscar canosa | December 28, 2013 at 03:04 PM

I had no doubt that you would because you are from here anybody making the argument they were having isn't from here or doesn't remember the war between Robbie and Maurice Ferrer over renovations for the OB which in hindsight was both of them being near sighted not getting that since the inauguration of Metro-Rail in 84 the marraige between the City run rail and the OB should have been a No-Brainer in a Stadium were the real big draw back was the parking and traffic.

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