The TOJ Staff discusses what match-up they are most looking forward to in the Jets/Dolphins game. Make sure to give everybody a follow on Twitter to check back later in the day for this week’s Fact or False -
Joe Caporoso - The Jets wide receivers/passing game against Miami’s secondary. The Dolphins have a stout front seven, which is going to make it difficult for the Jets to move the ball on the ground with their mediocre rushing attack. However, they are extremely inexperienced and lacking in overall talent in the secondary. There is no reason Mark Sanchez shouldn’t be able to push the ball down the field to Santonio Holmes, Jeremy Kerley and Stephen Hill similar to how they did in week 1 against Buffalo. Sanchez is already being raked over the coals by the New York media for one loss where he received no support. He could use a nice shut the hell up performance to his critics.
Chris Gross - Reggie Bush vs. Jets Run Defense – This match up could end up being the deciding factor in this game. Bush is averaging 120.5 rushing yards per game, with a fantastic 6.0 YPC average. The Jets rush defense, on the other hand, looked stout last week in Pittsburgh, much improved from the abysmal performance in week 1 when they allowed CJ Spiller to explode for 169 yards and touchdown on just 14 carries. While New York held Pittsburgh to a mere 66 total yards on the ground, the Steelers were without their primary RB and major offensive weapon, Rashard Mendenhall. The stable of backs that Pittsburgh threw at the Jets do not even come close to Spiller or Bush in terms of athleticism. As noted earlier this week by Joe Caporoso, the Jets have had recent struggles with speed backs that posses home run ability. Stemming from last season, this team was gashed by the likes of Darren McFadden, LeSean McCoy,and now most recently Spiller. They need to find a way to neutralize Bush and not allow him to get the ball in space where he is most dangerous. Look for Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine to key Bush throughout the entire game,as he is by far, Miami’s most explosive offensive weapon. If he can be shut down early,Miami will need to lean on rookie Quarterback Ryan Tannehill to carry them to victory, a daunting task for a first year player against a Ryan led defense.
Mike Donnelly - The matchup I’m most looking forward to is seeing if the Jets can get the run game going and get Joe McKnight involved. The offense clearly lacks playmakers, so seeing how McKnight gets worked in is especially intriguing to me. While the Dolphins are arguably the worst team in the league, their defense is not all that bad. I’m hoping the Jets can start the game off with some consistent running with Greene and Powell and then mix in some Tebow and McKnight to break at least ONE big play in what should hopefully turn into a lopsided win.
Chris Celletti - I feel like the only way the Dolphins’ offense can cause the Jets’ defense any issues is if Reggie Bush goes wild. For me, the biggest matchup of the game is the Jets’ usually-stout run defense against Miami’s running game, (specifically Bush). Just like the Jets’ offense, their run defense is coming off totally polar opposite performances in Weeks 1 and 2. Last week they totally stifled the Steelers’ ground game, but against buffalo in Week 1, C.J. Spiller went for over 170 yards and busted off a couple big runs. To me, the Jets are weaker against speedy, shifty backs like Spiller and Bush, so I’ll be interested to see if they can keep him in check. If they do, the Jets should cruise to an easy win. I simply can’t see Ryan Tannehill having much success against through the air against Rex Ryan’s defense.
TJ Rosenthal - Looking forward to Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine taking on rookie Ryan Tannehill. Let’s see if and how the Jets can take advantage of the rookie’s inexperience and in a big picture way, show how they can capitalize on what ought to be an edge on paper and in practice. Tannehill should be confused by the Jets looks, and off balance due to the Jets variety come blitz time. Ryan has done this for a long time. We DO expect the Dolphins QB to look uneasy back there. If not, there is a real problem with a defense that thinks of itself as elite
Rob Celletti- Mark Sanchez vs. the world - Bear with me for a minute. I know we normally discuss on-field matchups in these roundtables, but in light of Manish Mehta’s lame attempt to undermine the Jets’ starting quarterback, along with Rex Ryan’s shortening temper with the ceaseless Tim Tebow questions, it seems as though the flames are being stoked in the media for some sort of quarterback controversy. It’s really amazing, considering it comes on the heels of one loss, to a good team on the road; a game that all 53 players, not just one, lost. Still, being that I tend to focus on the quarterback and am an unabashed supporter of Sanchez, I’m fascinated to see how he responds this week. This is a mental, emotional, and physical challenge for the quarterback. He may only be asked to throw the ball 18 or 20 times, but Sanchez needs a solid game nonetheless. If things are going to be this hectic after one loss, I cannot imagine what it would be like after two. Especially if that loss is to a poor Dolphins team, a division game that the Jets simply must-have before the start of a brutal stretch in their schedule.