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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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They managed to induce the People to vote for 4 pro-Bowlers from Miami and none from the Jets, you better believe the Dolphins are a mortal cinch to win tomorrow.


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: promichael | December 28, 2013 at 03:17 PM


Exactly what I basically just posted to fin4life. If Joe Robbie were still located at the OB site(Marlins) it would still be nearly empty after 15yrs of one ownership/fo debacle after another, and crappy season after another.

Countyline Rd only makes it a little easier to do what Miamians still would have done anyway

fin4life, know Miamians that live within 3 miles of Joe Robbie who no longer attend games. They went o games all the time when the team was winning, whether OB or JR stadium.

We know Maurice Ferre very well. He was also the one that made it difficult for Walt Disney to build Disneyworld here. But he's from Puerto Rico, not Cuban.

Posted by: Sam I Am | December 28, 2013 at 03:18 PM

Your posting alot of Half-Truths! For starters the only way you don't see JRS as a commute is if you live in Miami Lakes! It's located 25 Miles from Downtown Miami and a solid 35 from South Dade. I understand most of South Dade is in truth the Burbs but if your from Miami you know it's were 80% of us live!

As far as Marino/Shula to JJ filling the Seats well that's true but it was in large part a very different fanbase than the one that attended games at the OB. The majority of those invested in JRS do in fact live in the Broward area. The only thing I agree with is very short enthusiasm since Saban's early campaign in 05.

Shula@2:06

I'd rather have Rex as HC and make Philbin waterboy, or equipmentment manager.

Bad decisions are taken by Bad People.

The offense is ranked 28th because the QB stinks.

I remember Mrs. Canosa used to let us all park on her lawn for $5 bucks at the old Orange Bowl.

$10 bucks got you a reach-around and a sandwich for the tailgate!

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.

Posted by: Sam I Am | December 28, 2013 at 02:29 PM


At 3am it's an hour drive. When there is traffic? Much longer. Believe me it is enough of a deterrent. They should consider moving the team to PB County. Lot's more fans with $ to burn up there.


fin4life, know Miamians that live within 3 miles of Joe Robbie who no longer attend games. They went o games all the time when the team was winning, whether OB or JR stadium.

Posted by: Sam I Am | December 28, 2013 at 03:26 PM

I have by the Grace of God always ha he means to attend games and go withm son to this day but 3 to 4 has turned into the game I let him pick (in 08 he picked the Ravens game because he loves the Canes and knows from word of mouth were Sugar Ray played his ball) and even at that game you had a ton of Ravens jerseys in the stands! Not that I'm advocating violence but the OB got heated plenty when in those days the Jets fans made there visits and MDP had to double security bcause it got ugly more often then not. It was then a team the working man could afford to go see and people rode the bus hopped the rail after completion ect.... That enthusiasm in reality has never been associated with JRS, plain-n-simple going back to the 93 AFC Championship were we played the Bills in Miami but you wouldn't know it from all the Blue-n-red in the stands, sacrilege in the OB!

So all the fanboyz who assured us Bills would be crushed are back again.
They may be right "on paper" but they forget on thing:team has no heart, FO has no brains. Simply pulling the trigger on the Brandon Aotrade would have changed entire season.
FIRELAND & CASPER PHAILBIN TOO!

I remember Mrs. Canosa used to let us all park on her lawn for $5 bucks at the old Orange Bowl.

$10 bucks got you a reach-around and a sandwich for the tailgate!

Posted by: Phillie Chirino | December 28, 2013 at 03:45 PM


Folks this is absolutely true! And for $25 often a pregame bj!

Not saying Mrs Canosa, but all the Cubans around the OB sold their lawns as parking spots and they were all PACKED.


At 3am it's an hour drive. When there is traffic? Much longer. Believe me it is enough of a deterrent. They should consider moving the team to PB County. Lot's more fans with $ to burn up there.

Posted by: Oswald | December 28, 2013 at 03:51 PM

100% DEAD ON!!!!!!! Although I would much rather they had built the team a new Stadium on the old OB sight instead of that eye sore some idiot signed off on which will end up costing the City over 2 Billion before it's said and done ensuring no more public funds for a Stadium,as in ever in Miami!! It was that DAMN Stadium which killed the renavation bill Ross was looking for with everybody left with a bad taste in their mouths waiting for the hang man to eventually lock somebody up for that one!

Don't be so sure this dolphin team is far from a world beater I am a true fan but I just don't see a playoff team here we are weak at the point of attack on both sides of the ball


Not saying Mrs Canosa, but all the Cubans around the OB sold their lawns as parking spots and they were all PACKED.

Posted by: Oswald | December 28, 2013 at 03:56 PM

Like I posted erlier the parking and traffic were the killers but Metro-Rail fixed tht with the Civic Center Station, you add the fact that Metro-Rail suited very little of the needy areas of Miami in 84 causing it to be a bombing failure at 1st (and to this day in large part) and the marraige to a renovated OB should have been a No-Brainer to that idiot (boriqua) Mayor. He took Robbie on and Joe got P.'ed Off and moved the Stadium out closer to Broward and more importantly out of the City of Miami's jurisdiction! If you don't know that your under 30 or not from here! Plain and Siple!

huge game lets send the jets home crying for rex

E

Ross is a cheap SOB and the fans know it. He wont pay for top players or coaches or to fix his decrepid stadium. So why should the fans support his team when he isnt even supporting them? The stadium wreaks of urine and the paint is peeling off the walls. The concession stands have been sighted by the Board of Health a zillion times. Dont eat the food there whatever you do.

Excuse the typo's still learning on the fly to converse with you all via phone text!

hes already paid for top players. its whoever ireland tells him to sign

The NFL should make Ross sell the team if he continues to cheap out on player salaries. 30 mill UNDER the cap should not be allowed. Its no wonder the fans have left in droves.

get sense u cant seriously be this dumb, can u?

Jets fans made there visits and MDP had to double security bcause it got ugly more often then not. It was then a team the working man could afford to go see and people rode the bus hopped the rail after completion ect.... That enthusiasm in reality has never been associated with JRS, plain-n-simple going back to the 93 AFC Championship were we played the Bills in Miami but you wouldn't know it from all the Blue-n-red in the stands, sacrilege in the OB!

Posted by: fin4life | December 28, 2013 at 03:51 PM


True, but in today's more information at our finger tips society, this type violence would be more of a detriment. Have to remember back in those days internet was pretty much in it's infancy, cell phones were just climbing out of is it's own brief cases, and pagers/beepers were still being worn on almost every hip.

Florida even now has the "Stand Your Ground Law". Even if Joe Robbie were built on OB property, fan mentality would have to change. Or, risk the legal system being backlogged with George Zimmerman/Travon Martin cases. Not necessarily black vs white.

So much has changed, not only the location of where the Dolphins play.

Regardless of how this game comes out. JI needs to go. Bullygate, The failed FA moves and draft have shown us this team still doesnt have what it takes to get the team to the place we all want them to get to.

Would love to see a Bill Polian/Lovie Smith connection here in Miami. Look at the track record of Polian. Built superbowl teams during all his stops in Buffalo, Carolina and Indianapolis.

Lovie Smith has been in winner in his only stop at chicago. He got the bears to a superbowl and finished up there with a winning record.

Polian will not be a bumbling personnel guy the way Ireland has conducted things in south florida. Get it done Ross

ahhh back in the day with shula roaming the sidelines and marino keeping alive hope in every game till last second

Get Sense we have such great cap flexibility only because we've yet to sign a qb to a max deal. Havent had the pleasure of this since the heyday of Marino.

We're still waiting to see if Tannehill will become that "cap shrinker" for us after 2016.

agreedolfan, would love polian here

Would love to see a Bill Polian/Lovie Smith connection here in Miami. Look at the track record of Polian. Built superbowl teams during all his stops in Buffalo, Carolina and Indianapolis.

Lovie Smith has been in winner in his only stop at chicago. He got the bears to a superbowl and finished up there with a winning record.

Polian will not be a bumbling personnel guy the way Ireland has conducted things in south florida. Get it done Ross

Posted by: dolfan29 | December 28, 2013 at 04:23 PM


Truth be told, I'm not yet so sure ultra conservative Ross is ready to hire a black hc. Of course he could prove me wrong. Just something Im not ready to bank on until I see it.

Get sense

This team just spent 250 mil this past offseason in contracts and bonuses combined. That is hardly on the cheap in the NFL.

Now i would question how that money was spent. I give Ross credit for allowing his dough to be spent, I only question the man in charge with spending it. Jeff Ireland.

Would love to see a Bill Polian/Lovie Smith connection here in Miami. Look at the track record of Polian. Built superbowl teams during all his stops in Buffalo, Carolina and Indianapolis.

Lovie Smith has been in winner in his only stop at chicago. He got the bears to a superbowl and finished up there with a winning record.

Polian will not be a bumbling personnel guy the way Ireland has conducted things in south florida. Get it done Ross

Posted by: dolfan29 | December 28, 2013 at 04:23 PM


Truth be told, I'm not yet so sure ultra conservative Ross is ready to hire a black hc. Of course he could prove me wrong. Just something Im not ready to bank on until I see it.

Read more here: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/dolphins_in_depth/2013/12/keys-to-the-game-dolphins-vs-jets/comments/page/2/#comments#storylink=cpy

Sam i am

I really hope Ross doesnt allow the colour of a man's skin to affect his decisions to bring in the best man for the job. Smith has one thing Philbin doesnt have. A pulse

Moving the stadium to southern PB County seems like an absolute no brainer great idea. Most of the Broward money is west Broward and North Broward. The freeways are in place. Southern PB especially on a weekend is a reasonable trip, and then of course it is far more inviting for those up to West Palm. It would be the most centralized location to attract the most fans, or should I say paying fans.

SFL reeks of Money, but it is a small percentage that have it, but they HAVE IT. You could build a state of the art HIGH CLASS stadium in PB, and even the rich non-fans will start going! They will. It will be an event and a place to be seen.

Vote for me for Mayor!

They should move the team to London or California and stop embarrassing S Fla.

Ross/Ireland dont want a black HC or QB.

To Mr. Steven Ross....Please, as a post x-mas gift, allow me to witness the firings' of Ireland and Coyle. I don't ask for much. After all it's not going to cost a great deal to get it done. And will have no effect on the salary cap.

If we find our way into the playoffs I can wait a week or two. But if we don't please make my New Year a happy one.

Best Regards Knowing You'll Do The Right Thing!

Just One of the Few Fans You Have Left

Yes, move the Dolphins to Palm Beach. Then what shall we call them, Palm Beach Dolphins or Greater Miami Area Palm Beach Dolphins?

South Florida fans, these are your "Greater Miami Area/Palm Beach Dolphins!"

We can also call them: "Down South Dolphins". Or, how about the "Left Miami Dolphins"?

Well, move them to Palm Beach, that neither left or right. So," North of Miami Dolphins" win!

The San Francisco 49'rs never played a game in San Francisco.

The current Miami Dolphins don't play in Miami.

So they can still be the Miami Dolphins, or the Palm Beach Dolphins, what's the big deal?

Times change. Sometimes tradition no longer makes sense. An NFL team in Miami does not make sense for the owner or for the fans.

A crappy NFL team in Miami does not make sense for the fans. Miami is a basketball city.

The current Miami Dolphins don't play in Miami.


Posted by: Oswald | December 28, 2013 at 05:23 PM

Sure they do.

Miami Gardens is not the city of Miami, it's a suburb of Dade County.

Many teams don't actually play in their city. Nobody says the Arlington Cowboys.

******* setting the bar *********
well DOLFANS we are about to see the true potential of each player and their true abilities to preform under pressure. if for no other reason then the sure excitement, competitiveness, or desire to reach the playoffs, sunday's game vs. the jets SHOULD set the bar, this game in addition to the past fifteen games will give philbin the true assessment of each player that will allow him to make the best decisions this offseason. for players such as LAMAR MILLER it is more of a catch 22.... you see, to date, lamar miller has been UNABLE to consistantly move the chains(if at all) he can NOT get the tough yards(3rd and 1) nor was he able accomplish his intended purpose(a homerun threat), now maybe i'm wrong here, i'm only speculating given his skill set as he does NOT possess adrian peterson like size, but...one would have to think after lamar's preformance this season that personel will be heading in a different direction so here's the catch, if lamar plays to his abilities tomorrow and runs HARD every play, if he gets the tough yards, if he breaks a big run or two PHILBIN will undoubtedly know that lamar has NOT been giving his full effort this season(setting the bar), oppositely, if sunday's game proves to be the same old lamar miller(falling to the ground with ease) then i see the staff expending the same MINIMAL effort to keep him on this roster, i was really pulling for this guy, i guess some have IT and some DON'T.

budtki still writing like a retarded 2nd grader.

Bud nobody is going to read your miles of run on sentences. Try learning how to make a paragraph and express a single thought at a time.

If you are over 10 you should be embarrassed to write so poorly.

Budtke, seriously, your post seems to sound like a disclaimer at the end of a car commercial when the guy talks fast and who knows what he said.

Miami 20 NY Jets 17

Ravens win!

Miami 20 NY Jets 17

Ravens win!!

Miami 20 NY Jets 17

Ravens win!!!

Hurricanes about to get blown out. How the hell does d'nofrio still have a job? D is absolutely pathetic!

Hurricants

Canes D is bending but not breaking so far. Offense not doing a thing. Duke Johnson is sorely missed.

Golden is awful. They will never be relevant ever again.

Morris is a joke. He will never be an NFL qb ala jacory Harris.

- It is good they make the same spelling and grammatical errors, Paul. - Why, Oscar? - Because then we know it's the same guy that writes under many nicks and we begin to know him.

If you eliminated all the bloggers that frequently engage in juvenile trash talk, and those that are obviously illiterate, and those that lack the necessary reading and comprehension skills to have a cohesive debate, I'm not sure you'd be left with more than 5 bloggers here.

No great Coach has ever been a rah-rah Coach. They praise the Team duly when they deserve it and they get severely on their Asss when they fukkk-up. Somewhat like raising a Child.

Ha!, there have ALWAYS been less than 5 bloggers here.

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