Week 8: Miami Dolphins At New York Jets
- QuarterbackThe Dolphins don’t have a lot of talent to work with on the offensive end, but they are improving. Rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill is exceeding expectations, as he has completed nearly 60 percent of his passes. Tannehill has good mobility, is a fairly accurate passer and does not get overwhelmed in his position as an NFL starter.The Jets were able to hang in with New England and quarterback Mark Sanchez had an up-and-down performance. He threw a fourth-quarter touchdown pass that allowed the Jets to get back in the game and then led a late field goal drive that allowed the Jets to tie the game. However, he lacks arm strength and his second-quarter interception kept the Jets from scoring a sure touchdown.
- OffenseThe Dolphins don’t have a lot of game breaking offensive talent but they do have explosive Reggie Bush, and he has rushed for 434 yards and three touchdowns. Bush has breakaway speed, but he tends to disappear when he gets hit hard early. Wide receivers Brian Hartline and Davone Bess are not big-play threats, but both receivers will catch the ball when they can reach it.The Jets are trying to get back to their ground-and-pound offense and they have had reasonable success the past two weeks against the Colts and the Patriots. Jets receivers are not dependable. They have been hurt by key drops throughout the season. Jeremy Kerley is probably the best of an ordinary bunch, although tight end Dustin Keller has plenty of heart and good hands.
- DefenseThe Dolphins defense is the strength of their team. They are well-positioned, athletic and don’t allow too many big plays. Linebacker Karlos Dansby is a hard hitter and an excellent tackle. Defense end Cameron Wake is an underrated pass rusher with 6.5 sacks.The Jets are going to get after opponents with their aggressive defense. They may have lost All-Pro cornerback Darelle Revis, but this group is very competitive and will not miss a chance to stick opponents with hard tackles. Defensive back LaRon Landry is coming off a 12-tackle effort against the Patriots while linebacker David Harris had eight tackles and a sack.
- Special TeamsThe Dolphins are fairly ordinary on special teams. Dan Carpenter has made 7-of-11 FG attempts this season and is 0-for-2 on attempts of 50 yards or more. Punter Brandon Fields is averaging 51.0 yards per punt and has dropped 9-of-29 punts inside the 20.The Jets gave up a kickoff return for a touchdown against the Patriots in Week Seven that turned the game in New England’s favor. However, they made up for that transgression by forcing a fumble on a fourth quarter kickoff that led to a Jets field goal by Nick Folk. Special teams coach Mike Westhoff usually turns special teams into an advantage for the Jets.
The Jets came up with an excellent effort and nearly won at New England, but the defense could not keep Tom Brady from tying the game with a late drive. The Jets are coming to the soft part of their schedule and should record their second win over the Dolphins this season if they don’t turn the ball over more than twice.