Jets vs. Dolphins: Talking to the Enemy


First a few updates:

1. Lito Sheppard is listed as doubtful. Jerricho Cotchery, David Clowney, Brad Smith, Shaun Ellis, and Bart Scott are all listed as questionsable. However, Ryan said he expects everyone to play except Sheppard.

2. Ryan reiterated today how the Monday night loss to Miami was an embarrassmentto his defense and himself. In particular, he said he was upset with how well they let Chad Henne played against them. Also going on in “How The Jets/Dolphins Turn” Joey Porter criticized Ryan for not being sympathetic about Will Allen’s season ending surgery and said he is looking to put Mark Sanchez on the sideline with an ice pack. Ryan also again today referred to Ronnie Brown’s quote about the Dolphins being a tougher team than the Jets.

Jets vs. Dolphins: Talking to the Enemy

Steve Sheiner of and I exchanged five questions each on the upcoming Jets/Dolphins game, as you will be able to read we don’t exactly see eye to eye on Chad Henne, Mark Sanchez, the two team’s running games, the Jets receivers or just about anything pertaining to this week’s game:

JC: Do you get the feeling that the Dolphins have a lack of respect for the Jets? Also, along those same lines do you think that Monday night win was a little extra sweet for them as some Jets are claiming they reacted like they won the Super Bowl?

SS: The feeling in South Florida regarding the Jets has always been one of disdain and disrespect. The Jets could rip off 38 straight wins and 2 consecutive Super Bowl titles and the Dolphins and their fans would still say they suck. The Jets have a 21-14 edge in the series since 1992, but Miami has won the last two. Those wins are always extra sweet. The rivalry gives every game between these two a pseudo-playoff atmosphere. I can’t speak for most Dolphins fans, but I, for one, was surprised at how well the Dolphins played, given that I expected the Jets to come in and steamroll them. As for the Super Bowl: I think it’s going to be a long wait for both of these teams.

JC:I have to be honest, I am not that impressed with Chad Henne. I thought he played a great second half against the Jets but beyond that has looked below average at best…can you convince me otherwise?

SS: No, I don’t think I can. Hennehas played with tremendous poise and has been impressive in the face of steady pressure behind an offensive line that excels in run blocking, but struggles in pass protection. He hasn’t made those game-killing mistakes, throwing an interception in just two of his four starts. But he’s also thrown just three touchdowns during that same span and is averaging a mere 165 passing yards per game since taking over for Chad Pennington. The Jets are a top-10 pass defense and I expect another average day from Henne. He’s being asked to manage the game, to not make any mistakes, and let the running game carry the offense; a role he fills well. But he has great arm strength and the gumption to go downfield regularly. He just needs time to earn the trust of his coaches and learn to utilize his weapons effectively.

JC: How concerned are you about the secondary for the rest of the season?

58621259SS: Very. The loss of CB Will Allen is a significant one. This ensures the Dolphins will be starting two rookie cornerbacks from here on out. Sean Smith has already been seeing starting action, but now Vontae Davis gets the start opposite him. Dolphins fans should feel very good about the future at cornerback, but for now, it’s a concern. Let’s face it: they’re both rookies. They will make mistakes and can be abused by veteran receivers and experienced quarterbacks. Fortunately the Jets down have any of those. FS Gibril Wilson is also a concern. He’s been a major disappointment since his free agent signing, missing more tackles than he makes (or so it seems). SS YeremiahBell is the only stud in this secondary who excels in both run support and coverage over the top. This is a weakness for the Dolphins, without question. I just don’t know if the Jets have the weapons to exploit it this week.

JC: Do you believe this an absolute must win for Miami or do you think they would be able to dig themselves out of a 2-5 hole?

SS: If there ever was a ‘must win’, this is it. Falling to 2-5 is not an easy hole to climb out of. The Dolphins don’t have the passing attack or the defense to fire off a long line of wins. But there is a glimmer of hope should the Dolphins fail to get a win in New York. With games coming up against the Bucs, Panthers, Bills, Jags, and Titans, the Dolphins could still win seven or eight games on the year. It won’t be enough to make the playoffs, but if they finish ahead of the Jets in the final standings, it’ll be a silver lining on a disappointing year to Dolphins fans.

JC: Do you believe this an absolute must win for Miami or do you think they would be able to dig themselves out of a 2-5 hole?

Dolphins_vs_Jets_19a9SS: The Dolphins running game and their Wildcat mastery has proven to be too much for teams to handle. They had their Week 7 game against the Saints in the bag, but they don’t have the defense to contend with a powerful passing attack like New Orleans boasts. Fortunately, they won’t have to worry about that with the Jets and their 29th ranked passing offense. If the Dolphins continue to run the ball as effectively as they have, they win. And as the network’s Dolphins blogger, I will support my team and predict a Dolphins win, 31-21, and a sweep of the season series.

SS:This is one of the most bitter rivalries in the NFL. Mark Sanchez got his first taste a few weeks ago in Miami. Does the golden boy, with just 6 TDs to 10 INTs, have what it takes to lead the Jets to victory in Round 2?

JC:I think he played more than well enough for them to win in Round 1. Sanchez has had two very ugly games this season but in the other five has been a quality quarterback. If you take away the Saints and Bills game, he has 6 TD’s to 2 INT’s. Obviously, you can’t do that and he has to be held accountable for awful outings on those days. However, I think he took a step in the right direction last week and that he will be confident because he played well against Miami last time.

SS: Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams rushed for 142 combined yards in the first meeting. With the loss of NT Kris Jenkins, what do you make of the Jets’ chances of slowing the top running game in the NFL?

JC: Actually, if you go by statistics the Jets have the top running game in the NFL and are coming off back to back 300+ yard performances. It certainly won’t be easy to slow down Miami since they are already struggled in the first meeting with Jenkins. Last week, Sione Pouha, Mike DeVito, and Howard Green all played well so hopefully they can keep it up this week. Yet, I would expect Rex Ryan to look long and hard at that Saints tape from this week and try to employ some of the techniques they used in slowing down the Wildcat.

SS: Speaking of running games: Thomas Jones has been on quite a tear of late. Do you think he can continue his recent success against the Dolphins 4thranked run defense? What does the loss of Leon Washington mean to the offense moving forward? And did Shonn Greene’s impressive outing against the Raiders (*snicker) earn him more playing time?

large_thomas-jones-jets-mvpJC:You will see plenty of Shonn Greene on Sunday. I would expect him to have 13-16 carries to go along with TJ’s usual 20. Jones hasn’t shown any signs of aging, although this week will be a much bigger challenge against a solid Miami front seven. He will get every oppurtunity to keep his recent hot streak going though as the Jets will look to protect Sanchez. Also, don’t be surprised to see some Danny Woodhead on offense, taking some of Washington’s plays on outside runs and screens.

SS: What kind of backlash would you expect if the Jets fall to their most hated rival twice in a three week span? Do you foresee any changes coming if Miami leaves New York with a win, leaving the Jets at 4-4?

JC:I am sure there would be plenty of dissapointment around the fan base and organization for being swept by a hated rival. However, I wouldn’t expect any major changes because of a 4-4 record. The Jets are built to run the football and play defense. They aren’t going to change their identity because they went .500 in the first half of the season.

SS: Prediction for the game?

JC: I like the Jets mindset heading into this game and home field will swing another close game to their advantage this time, 21-17

If you couldn’t tell from my picture selection, I was surprised by Steve’s lack of respect for the Jets passing game after what Braylon Edwards did to his secondary, here is another reminder:

Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the VP of Social Media at Whistle Sports