Jets vs. Dolphins: Game Breakdown

First a few updates:

1. According to Rex Ryan there is a chance that Jerricho Cotchery won’t play on Monday night because of a hamstring injury, which would be a big blow to the Jets passing game. Brad Smith would likely step into the starting line-up, with David Clowney seeing a substantial bump in reps. If the Jets were without Cotchery, the Dolphins would have no problem doubling Braylon Edwards and leaving the inconsistent Smith (3 catches, 22 yards) singled up. Damien Woody didn’t practice today but Ryan sounded optimistic about his chances of playing. Donald Strickland is out. Lito Sheppard will start at corner, with Dwight Lowery sliding into the slot.

2. Make sure you check out Episode V of Turn On The Jets TV tomorrow, in a special Saturday edition. I was going to post it tonight, but I kind of spent 12 hours working on a hellacious mid-term and I am about to collapse after writing this article.

3. How about those Yankees?

4. Apparently Channing Crowder and Rex Ryan squashed the beef at some point this off-season, with Crowder sending Ryan a gift basket. Leon Washington responded to Crowder’s recent trash talk by saying he eats “clam chowder for breakfast”…clever stuff.

Jets vs. Dolphins: Game Breakdown

Jets Offensive Game Plan: Expect to see the Jets get back to the ground and pound approach this Monday Night, especially if Jerricho Cotchery doesn’t suit up. The Jets may have got a little too comfortable with Mark Sanchez and forget the fact that he is a rookie, they have Thomas Jones, Leon Washington, Shonn Greene, and supposedly one of the best offensive lines in the league. Regardless of Miami’s success against the run this season, it is time to give Thomas Jones his 20 carries, Leon his 15 carries, and yes even Shonn Greene his 5 carries.

An element that has been missing from the Jets offense this year is their screen game. We finally saw a successful one last week when they hit Leon Washington for 15 yards, but the Jets need to go back to it more often to all their players. What happened to the old receiver screen to Jerricho Cotchery or Dustin Keller, like we saw week one? Thomas Jones was a big part of the Jets passing game last season, and is yet to get involved so far in 2009. The screen game is a good way to get Mark Sanchez going early and pick up some easy yards against an aggressive Dolphins defense.

When the Jets do decide to go down the field, obviously an active Jerricho Cotchery would be a big plus. If he is in the game, Sanchez will have his pick of single coverage on either him or Braylon Edwards, which is obviously a positive. If Cotchery isn’t in the line-up, David Clowney obviously the speed to make the Dolphins below average secondary pay in single coverage but he is yet to have a single ball thrown his way this season. Brad Smith his a history of dropping passes, which means between him and Edwards, Sanchez might want to pull his hair out by the end of the night.

Jets Defensive Game Plan: I have confidence in Rex Ryan’s ability to stop the wildcat, based on what I saw last season. When the Dolphins are in a traditional set, expect the Jets to have just about everybody in the box. If the Jets can force Miami into third and longs, the Dolphins are in big trouble. I got news for you, Chad Henne isn’t going to have much success with the Jets pass rush, now including Calvin Pace, coming after him and receivers like his matched-up on cornerbacks like ours. I don’t understand people who are saying that Miami matches up well with the Jets, because they don’t have nearly enough talent on offense to move the ball on a defense like the Jets.

The only way the Jets can get in trouble on Monday is if they allow Ronnie Brown to get going. They were only average against the run the past two weeks, and Miami loves to hang around by holding on to the football through their running game. However, I expect the Jets to improve this week because of the return of Calvin Pace and I don’t think they are concerned about being beat through the air by the likes of Chad Henne, Ted Ginn Jr, and Devone Bess. If you can’t already tell from my writing, I am pretty damn confident in our defense against their offense.

Special Teams Breakdown: Hopefully Leon Washington will finally get a chance to return a kick. Is it me or is every kicker the Jets face have a ridiculously strong leg and boot the ball 8 yards into the end-zone? You know he is chomping at the bit. Jim Leonhard has quietly been very good on punt returns this season and Miami has below average special team units, so maybe he can break one. How about Jay Feely turning into one of the most reliable kickers in football? I am sure he will have revenge on his mind this week since the Dolphins cut him….maybe he will have a big hit on kickoff or something, or just do some extra bicep curls this week.

The Jets Will Win If…They establish the running game and slow down the Dolphins running game. Mark Sanchez doesn’t have any turnovers. Chad Henne is overwhelmed by the Jets pass rush and has a few turnovers. Calvin Pace plays like a mad man who is desperate to make up for 4 weeks in one night. The Jets play with some extra motivation coming off their first loss and jump out to an early lead, forcing Miami to throw more frequently than they like to.

The Jets Will Lose If…Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams keep the chains moving, allowing Chad Henne to simply manage the game. The Jets can’t get their running game going and Mark Sanchez tries to do too much again, leading to some easy points for Miami. Braylon Edwards is quiet in his debut and struggles because Jerricho Cotchery isn’t active.

Funny Video About Cleveland…originally posted over www.thejetsblog.com

Jets vs. Dolphins: Key Match-Ups

First a few updates:

1. Lito Sheppard has been on the practice field the past two days and is expected to start this Monday night. Damien Woody remains questionable with an ankle injury and didn’t practice today. Wayne Hunter would start in his place. Donald Stickland hasn’t been practicing and isn’t expected to play, which means Dwight Lowery would slide into the nickel role.

2. Braylon Edwards was out on the practice field and has been making good progress with the offense according to Rex Ryan. He will be in the starting line-up this Monday night.

Jets vs. Dolphins: Key Match-Ups

Tomorrow check back for an excessively comprehensive breakdown of the Jets/Dolphins game and then again on Friday for my prediction, today I am going to focus on the key individual match-ups for this Sunday’s game.

Bart Scott/David Harris/Calvin Pace/Bryan Thomas vs. Ronnie Brown/Ricky Williams: The Jets linebackers need to swarm the Dolphins two talented running backs, especially Brown who is playing as well as anybody back in the league right now. He has been particularly dangerous in the wildcat formation and has allowed the Dolphins to control the clock, and protect the inexperienced Chad Henne last week. The Jets need to stop the run early and on first/second down force Henne into third and long situations. Miami simply doesn’t have the personnel to convert third and longs or consistently move the ball through their passing attack. The Jets linebackers must get to Brown and prevent him from having another 100 yard effort. As a whole, the unit needs to tackle better than they did against New Orleans. The return of Calvin Pace should be a big boost in the both pass and run defense.

Rex Ryan vs. The Wildcat: In two games against the Dolphins last year, Ryan’s defense allowed only 22 points, held Ronnie Brown to 46 rushing yards, and forced 6 turnovers. If Ryan can continue to outscheme the wildcat, the Dolphins will have no way to move the football. Let’s be real here, you think Chad Henne can drop back and pick apart the Jets defense with targets like Ted Ginn Jr, Devone Bess, and Greg Camarillo in a conventional offense? Absolutely not. The only way the Dolphins will be able to move the ball is on the ground, where a good amount of their production comes from the Wildcat. I think Ryan has been all over his defense about stopping run the this week, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see 8 guys in the box frequently this Monday night.

Mark Sanchez vs. Last Week’s Performance: All eyes will be on how Mark Sanchez responds to his first ugly NFL performance. Expect the Jets to focus on running ball and have a relatively conservative game plan this week. Regardless, there will be times when Sanchez has to make plays down the field and he needs to step up as he did during the first three weeks of the season. The most important thing is that he must protect the football. He needs to get through a game without having a fumble or interception.

Thomas Jones vs. Dolphins Run Defense: There has been alot talk about Braylon Edwards opening up space for Thomas Jones, who has struggled so far this season. Miami has one of the league’s best run defenses, so it would show something if Jones can get back on track. All of the Jets running backs and offensive line need to step up so the Jets can return to the “ground and pound” approach Ryan desires. It will be interesting to see how many reps Shonn Greene gets this week, and also if Leon Washington will get more than the four carries he got last week.

Nice to finally have a Jets player with a fantasy files commercial