On Sunday the New York Jets (7-8) wrap up their season on the road against the Miami Dolphins (8-7). The Jets are coming off of an inspiring victory over the Cleveland Browns while the Dolphins are questioning themselves following a shutout loss to the Buffalo Bills. Miami must secure a victory against New York in order to remain in the hunt for a playoff spot.
Pound the rock- The offensive formula for success on Sunday is fairly obvious: attack a Miami run defense that is ranked 25th in the NFL. Running back Chris Ivory should be able to wear down the Dolphins defense which will then open up the passing game.
Protect Geno- The Dolphins pass rush features Olivier Vernon (11.5 sacks) and Cameron Wake (8.5 sacks). Gang Green’s offensive line must remain consistent in pass protection in order to buy time for Geno Smith. The Jets rookie quarterback must be quick to identify pressure and use his legs when the opportunity presents itself.
Spread the ball around- Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg must come up with a game plan that will keep the Dolphin defense off-balance. Mornhinweg should refrain from using the wildcat formation and try the short passing game. It appears that three and five step drops could help Geno Smith establish some type of rhythm within the offense. There is no reason to not feature playmakers like Jeremy Kerley, Santonio Holmes, David Nelson, and Kellen Winslow.
Get after Tannehill- The Miami offensive line continues to struggle as they have given up a league high 58 sacks. The Jets defense has to dominate the line of scrimmage and completely disrupt the deep passing game. Look for big games from Calvin Pace (10 sacks), Muhammad Wilkerson (10.5 sacks), and Quinton Coples.
Contain Clay- Tight end Charles Clay has had an excellent season for Miami with 65 catches and 6 touchdowns. The Jets linebackers and safeties must do a solid job of covering Clay and preventing yards after the catch.
Watch out for Wallace- The Jets secondary must remain aware of wide receiver Mike Wallace (905 receiving yards). Wallace has rare speed who can take it to the house at any given moment. New York must play physical with Wallace and eliminate big plays after contact.
I expect this to be a hotly contested match-up between two fierce division rivals. The Jets would love to ruin the Dolphins playoff dreams, while Miami is desperate to make the post season. The team with the better rushing attack and defense is going to win the game. Jets 27-17
Note: With Rex Ryan’s job reportedly on the line I honestly think that the Jets will put on one of their best performances of the season.