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First a few updates:
1. Nick Mangold didn’t practice for the second day in a row but is still expected to start Sunday night.
Jets vs. Dolphins Round 1: Game Breakdown
Offense: Let’s go with the assumption that Braylon Edwards is going to play the overwhelming majority of the snaps on Sunday night. The Jets are going to have match-ups to exploit in the Dolphins secondary. Mark Sanchez had two of his better games last season against Miami, including a 265 yard performance. There is no reason to bring the reigns back in on the offense. Let Sanchez attack down the field to Dustin Keller, Jerricho Cotchery, and yes Braylon Edwards. Miami’s defensive backs have played well so far this season but they are far from proven and can be beat down the field.
The Jets have done a good job with the amount of touches they are giving LaDainian Tomlinson. 15 is the perfect number for him. I’d like to see Shonn Greene get 17-18 carries instead of 15, but if Tomlinson keeps playing so well that might not happen. I am not sure how banged up Brad Smith is but if David Clowney gets the same amount of reps he did last year, maybe he will get a shot down the field. Don’t forget in their Monday night match-up last year, The Clown pulled in 4 receptions for 72 yards.
Beyond that, I think you may see the Jets get a little more creative than usual against Miami. Maybe it is time to have Brad Smith throw a pass or let LaDainian Tomlinson throw one.
Defense: The Dolphins have scored two touchdowns through two games. Chad Henne hasn’t really been pushing the ball down the field and Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown have both lost fumbles so far this season. Williams seems to be struggling a little bit, while Brown has racked up impressive yardage totals.
Obviously, the two key players the Jets need to stop are Brown and Brandon Marshall. Antonio Cromartie will draw the assignment of Marshall and have another chance to show the Jets could survive without Darrelle Revis. Cromartie has the size to compete with Marshall, but he has given up some big days to him in the past. After dealing with the receivers he has the past two weeks, Kyle Wilson should be more than ready for Brian Hartline and Davone Bess. Drew Coleman and Dwight Lowery did good with extended playing last week, let’s hope they don’t lapse into old habits on Sunday night.
Jason Taylor will be charged up to face his old team and the Jets need him to lead their pass rush, unless Bryan Thomas is going to play the way he did against Baltimore every week. How about Sione Pouha and Mike DeVito are #2 and #3, respectively in leading the NFL in tackles for defensive lineman? It is very difficult to run the ball on this Jets defense, which means it will be up to Chad Henne to beat the Jets.
Special Teams: Nick Folk and Steve Weatherford have been beasts through the first two weeks and they need to keep it up in week three. This will be a close, low-scoring game where field position is crucial and missed field goals can’t be afforded. Fortunately, the Jets don’t have to worry about kicking to Ted Ginn Jr. this year.
It is that time of the year