It's Jets week. That means something for Dolphins and Jets fans. And as this is the first time in a couple of years that the Dolphins and Jets meet with both teams still clutching hopes of doing something this season, this is the biggest Dolphins versus Jets game in a while.
That's what this game will boil down to, in my opinion. Darrelle Revis.
The Jets cornerback missed last week's New York loss to Pittsburgh because he had not been cleared to play following a concussion the week before. Although he has reported progress, his status for Sunday against the Dolphins is uncertain at this moment.
I believe if he misses the game, the Jets lose.
I believe if he's 100 percent and plays, the Jets win.
Simple as that.
With Revis, the Jets can do something that can cripple the Miami offense. And it's hard to win a football game without an offense. With Revis, the Jets can basically game plan to erase Brian Hartline from the Miami offense.
Hartline has emerged as Miami's only legitimate threat at wide receiver. He has caught 12 passes for for 161 yards so far this season. He is gaining a reputation not only as a threat, but a downfield threat that merits rolled coverages and, in some cases, double coverage.
And that's how the Jets would probably have to deal with Hartline if Revis sits out. But if Revis plays, he checks Hartline and that's it. He's on Hartline and, with respect the Miami receiver, he's erased. End of story. Revis is that good.
With Hartline out of the picture, the Jets can then pool the rest of their defensive resources to stopping the Miami running game that shredded the Raiders for 243 yards last week. If Revis is checking Hartline man-to-man, the Jets can stack the box on runs and blitz as they often do with relative confidence that some other Dolphins receiver won't take them deep.
Without Revis, the Jets aren't assured of either checking Hartline, cannot blitz with impunity, and their commitment to stopping the run cannot be as sold out as it could be otherwise, thus affecting their run defense.
Revis is a future Hall of Fame candidate. He's simply the best cornerback in the game today.
And his presence or absence Sunday could be the difference between victory or defeat for these two teams.