TALE OF THE TAPE

Tale Of The Tape: Miami Dolphins At New York Jets

Miami Dolphins
New York Jets
(Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Quarterback
Winner This was supposed to be a season of growth for the Dolphins and quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Instead, both the team and the quarterback have been stagnant. Tannehill is smart, reads defenses well and has a plus arm. However, he rarely makes the big play at the key moment and that’s what being a successful quarterback is all about. So far, Tannehill doesn’t have it.
It looked like Geno Smith was slowly starting to understand what it takes to be successful in the NFL. However, the last two games have been dreadful for Smith and he has been regressing in his rookie year. Smith’s big problem is that he does not read coverages the way he is supposed to and that’s why he has an abominable 8-18 TD-interception ratio.
Offense
Winner The Dolphins are simply ordinary on the offensive end. They don’t get much of a bump from the running game. Brian Hartline is a decent possession receiver who knows how to get open, but deep threat Mike Wallace is much too inconsistent. Charles Clay can be a solid target on third-down plays because of his long arms and tremendous reach.
Winner The Jets’ running game was quite productive earlier in the year and they still have the eight-ranked ground attack in the league. However, opposing defenses are focusing on Bilal Powell and Chris Ivory because they know Smith can’t beat them with the passing attack. The Jets wide receivers don’t seem to get open and that’s not helping Smith’s development.
Defense
The Dolphins have a hard hitting and athletic defense, but that unit doesn’t often play its best when the game is on the line. Miami ranks 25th against the run and the defense gets worn down in the second half. Outside linebacker Philip Wheeler regularly sells out to make big plays and he leads the team with 78 stops. Defensive ends Olivier Vernon and Cameron Wake have combined for 13.0 sacks.
Winner The Jets have very little offense, but the defense has played well all season. They rank eighth overall and first against the run. Those numbers indicate that the defense continues to play hard for head coach Rex Ryan, even though the team is going nowhere. Inside linebacker David Harris has a team-high 85.0 tackles, while defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson leads the Jets with 10.0 sacks.
Special Teams
The Dolphins’ punt and kickoff coverage has been ordinary this season and return specialist Marcus Thigpen is not a big-play threat. Placekicker Caleb Sturgis has been inconsistent this year, making 20-of-26 field goal attempts. Punter Brandon Fields has a big leg and is averaging 49.2 yards per punt.
Winner The Jets have been decent in their punt and kickoff coverage and they know that Josh Cribbs may not be as explosive as he was in his heyday with the Cleveland Browns, but he is capable of a big play. Placekicker Nick Folk has been nearly perfect, making 24-of-25 FG attempts this season.

The Winner Is

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Winner New York Jets
3 out of 4

The Jets were quite competitive throughout the first half of the season, but it’s going to be quite difficult to maintain that level since their quarterback play has been so poor. Unless Tannehill throws three interceptions or more, the Dolphins should find a way to win on the road.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 4: Tight end Dennis Pitta #88 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates with teammate quarterback Joe Flacco #5 after scoring a second quarter touchdown against the Miami Dolphins at M&T Bank Stadium on December 4, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 04:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks to throw a pass during the second half against the Los Angeles Rams at Gillette Stadium on December 4, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
    Week 14 Tale Of The Tape: Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots

    The Ravens and Patriots meet again in Gillette in what should be another great game.

  2. MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 1:  Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys hands the ball off to Ezekiel Elliott #21in the first half of the game agains the Minnesota Vikings on December 1, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 04:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants drops back to pass in the first quarter during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on December 4, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
    Week 14 Tale Of The Tape: Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants

    The NFC East rivals meet again in the Meadowlands as the Cowboys look to avenge their only loss of the year.

  3. SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 04: Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks passes during warmups before a game against the Carolina Panthers at CenturyLink Field on December 4, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images) GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 04:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers is pressured by Christian Covington #95 of the Houston Texans during the first half of a game at Lambeau Field on December 4, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
    Week 14 Tale Of The Tape: Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers

    The Seahawks travel to Lambeau for a match-up with the resurgent Pack.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS New York

BUY TICKETS NOW
Get Our Morning Briefs
Bloomberg WCBS Tri-State Business Index

Listen Live