Ten preliminary thoughts on the New York Jets week 17 match-up against the Miami Dolphins. Can they at least give themselves a shot to make the playoffs?
1. The sad reality of this game is that since these two teams met back in week 6, Matt Moore has been a better quarterback than Mark Sanchez, Reggie Bush has been a better running back than Shonn Greene, Brandon Marshall has been a better wide receiver than Santonio Holmes, and the Dolphins defense has been better than the Jets defense as a whole. The Jets are rightfully underdogs in this game and if they again play below their supposed talent level, they are going to get smacked around.
2. This will be Jason Taylor’s last NFL game. You want an embarrassing stat? He has 7 sacks this year in extremely limited time. There isn’t a single player on the Jets defense with more than 6 sacks.
3. Reggie Bush is exactly the type of back the Jets have struggled with all season, considering his speed and ability on the edges. He averaged 7.1 yards per carry in their previous match-up and you can bet the Dolphins will be going to him early and often.
4. Common sense would dictate that the Jets will rely heavily on their ground game after last week’s disaster. Shonn Greene is 1 yard away from a 1,000 on the season and there is no reason he shouldn’t get 20-25 carries this week. You know what would be nice? To see him break a big run and score a touchdown…something he hasn’t done since the San Diego playoff game in 2009.
5. Mark Sanchez is under the heaviest criticism of his NFL career right now, with many calling for the Jets to look in a different direction next year. Let’s see how he responds and if he can take advantage of a Miami secondary that does give up big plays.
6. I think we are going to know right out of the gate what type of game this is going to be. Are the Jets going to come out with their heads down and get rolled over by a Miami team who’d love nothing more than to end their season, or will they come out with some fight considering what a joke and disappointment they are considered at the moment?
7. This could very well be LaDainian Tomlinson’s last NFL game. He has been productive with the touches he has received all season. You almost feel like the Jets didn’t go to him enough down the stretch. Let’s hope he finishes on a high note.
8. Brian Schottenheimer deserves to be fired but one good play call he had last week was motioning Joe McKnight out of the backfield out wide, where he ran a stop and go on the linebacker who went to cover him. McKnight flew by him and was wide open for a 85 yard touchdown. Unfortunately, Mark Sanchez completely missed the throw. The Jets must continue to take their shots down the field and Sanchez must hit them when they are there.
9. Darrelle Revis is coming off a terrific game, where he completely shut down Hakeem Nicks. It will be interesting to see him battle against Brandon Marshall, as they went at it pretty good in the previous match-up this season. Matt Moore won’t shy away from attacking Revis, which will hopefully lead to a big play for the Jets.
10. End the season with some pride…playoffs or not…