By Tyson Rauch

On Monday night the New York Jets return to the prime time stage as the team takes on the Miami Dolphins (6-5) at MetLife Stadium. This AFC East match-up between two bitter rivals is a must win scenario for Miami as the Dolphins remain in the hunt for a playoff spot.

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Tannehill starting to emerge

Slowly but surely Ryan Tannehill is becoming the quarterback that the Miami Dolphins were hoping for when the organization drafted him in 2012. Tannehill’s completion percentage is up to 66% and is supported by improved decision making. The Dolphins signal caller is doing an excellent job of spreading the ball around to his receivers and effectively uses his legs in a rolling pocket.

The New York Jets defense will have to do an excellent job of setting the edge and containing Ryan Tannehill. Gang Green cannot afford to let Tannehill buy time in the pocket and take advantage of mismatches in the secondary with wide receivers Mike Wallace (7 touchdowns) and Jarvis Landry (5 touchdowns).

Stout defense

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The Miami Dolphins defense is much improved as the unit ranks 4th against the pass, 11th against the run, and 4th in total yards. The defensive line led by Cameron Wake (8.5 sacks) and Olivier Vernon (5.5 sacks) generates consistent pressure and gets help from a physical secondary.

Look for the Jets to employ the ground and pound approach as the Dolphins have some holes in their rush defense as evidenced by the Denver Broncos 201 rushing yards in week 12. A diverse rushing attack featuring Chris Ivory, Chris Johnson, and Percy Harvin could open up some plays down the field in the passing game.

Mental advantage

The New York Jets are reeling following a disappointing performance against the Buffalo Bills. If the Dolphins are able to score early and make some big plays on defense there is a decent chance that Gang Green will start to self-destruct. The perfect scenario for Miami would be to make MetLife Stadium a hostile environment for the home team.

For more Jets news and updates, visit Jets Central.

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Tyson Rauch is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on