Who: New York Jets @ Miami Dolphins
When: 1:00 p.m. EDT
Where: Sun Life Stadium, Miami, FL
Media: TV – CBS, DirecTV – 710, Radio – ESPN 98.7 FM, Sirius – 92, Sirius XM – XM 234, Internet Audio – NFL Fieldpass.
Their Previous Meeting: The last time these two teams met, though still a playoff contender, pending the outcome of other games, the Jets’ fate was seemingly all but sealed when the division rivals took to the field on the first day of the new year. The Jets had a miniscule lead over the Dolphins by halftime, leading 10-6 however, the offense struggled to establish much of anything in the second half. Miami quickly took the lead on a 1 yard Matt Moore pass that would put them in the driver’s seat for the rest of the contest. Scoring on two subsequent field goals, the Dolphins gave the Jets fits before Mark Sanchez found Patrick Turner on a 10 yard pass to put New York within two points. The Jets attempted the onside kick but failed to recover the ball and fell to the Fish, sealing their season without so much as a playoff appearance. Aside from the turnovers committed on offense, this game left a bitter test in the mouths of fans everywhere for the alleged in game fighting that infamously involved Santonio Holmes and Wayne Hunter. Perhaps then it was a fitting ending for a season that had its highs and lows but ultimately skyrocketed downwards at breakneck speed but also forced the organization to take a hard look at their approach and make changes.
Jets: LB Nick Bellore (Shoulder–Probable), FB John Conner (Knee–Doubtful), DE Quinton Coples (Illness–Probable), CB Antonio Cromartie (Shoulder–Probable), DT Mike DeVito (Calf–Probable), NT Kenrick Ellis (Illness–Probable), TE Dustin Keller (Hamstring–Out), T Dennis Landolt (Knee–Out), S LaRon Landry (Heel–Probable), CB Ellis Lankster (Low back–Questionable), C Nick Mangold (Wrist–Probable), G Brandon Moore (Hip–Probable), LB Calvin Pace (Achilles–Probable), NT Sione Po’uha (Low back–Probable), CB Darrelle Revis (Concussion–Probable), QB Mark Sanchez (Low back–Probable), WR Chaz Schilens (Ankle–Probable), LB Bart Scott (Knee–Probable), S Eric Smith (Hip/Knee–Probable), and CB Isaiah Trufant (Ankle–Probable).
Dolphins: WR Anthony Armstrong (Hamstring–Probable), LB Kevin Burnett (Foot–Probable), LB Jonathan Freeny (Thumb–Probable), CB Richard Marshall (Back–Probable), DT Tony McDaniel (Knee–Out), RB Lamar Miller (Ankle–Probable), LB Koa Misi (Foot–Probable), WR Marlon Moore (Hamstring–Doubtful), RB Daniel Thomas (Concussion–Probable), and S Jimmy Wilson (Back–Probable).
Jets: QB Greg McElroy, FB John Connor, TE Dustin Keller, G Caleb Schlauderaff, T Dennis Landolt, NT Damon Harrison, and CB Donnie Fletcher.
Dolphins: QB Pat Devlin, WR Marlon Moore, T Will Yeatman, T Ray Feinga, DT Tony McDaniel, TE Michael Egnew, and WR Rishard Matthews.
Game Captains: QB Tim Tebow, WR Clyde Gates, TE Dedrick Epps, S Yeremiah Bell, RB Bilal Powell, and LT D’Brickashaw Ferguson.
Post Scriptum: The password to the chatroom is case-sensitive and must be entered as shown: pastaparty
The life of a Jets fan. One week your team is scoring at will and the next? They struggle to get into field goal range. Even missing two of their top performers, the Steelers harassed the Jets incessantly and aside from New York’s touchdown in the first quarter, the team looked as if Brian Schottenheimer had returned to haunt the offense and the Steelers capitalized. Without Darrelle Revis, the Jets’ defense did not look like its characteristic self despite backups such as Garrett McIntyre making a pleasantly surprising impact (minus a few coverage breakdowns) and really forces us to recognize the impact of Revis’ presence just by being on the field never mind intercepting or defending passes and making tackles. Right now, along with C.J. Spiller, Reggie Bush has been running wild in the first two weeks and the Jets will be tasked with silencing the former USC standout. The return of Sione Po’uha quelled any doubts about the run defense as the Jets managed to keep Jonathan Dwyer in check and will be the focal point facing Bush as he should be able to open up opportunities for the other defensive lineman to hopefully get to Ryan Tannenhill early and often. The return of Revis Island will be a significant factor in the Jets’ success not only today but in the long term future as well.
The offense is once again one of the great mysteries left for us to try and figure out. They don’t have to score 48 points a game every week but they cannot leave points on the field like they did against the Steelers. While Mark Sanchez certainly wasn’t blameless for the lack of offense against Pittsburgh, he didn’t make any overbearingly glaring mistakes and if he can keep that up, there is no reason why he cannot throw against a relatively soft pass coverage. For whatever the reason, the receivers couldn’t figure out how to evade the Steelers’ press coverage and even well thrown balls by Sanchez were wasted because no one could get open. Hopefully Sanjay Lal addressed the issue this week and the Jets see to it that Stephen Hill gets the ball a bit more. With his height and speed, it’s almost inexcusable he was only targeted twice and didn’t record a statistic. Part of that is due to the coverage, part of that is due to Sanchez, and part of it is due to what I’m coining Schottenheimer Syndrome (a sudden illness the pocesses the entire offense and causes it to uncontrollably stink at the most inopportune times). The offense is at somewhat of an advantage this week because Dustin Keller, with whom Mark Sanchez has developed a rapport with, is once again sidelined by his hamstring injury with Jeff Cumberland taking his place. The one person who may benefit most from this is Jeremy Kerley who led the team in receiving last week and figures to be Sanchez’s go-to man in Miami.
For the Jets, this trip will a way to redeem themselves after their brutal collapse that quite literally unfolded on the field. It also gives them a chance to get back to their winning ways and get into the good graces of the majority of the media folk who, after a quiet week following the win in Buffalo, unsurprisingly, got the magic “Lets rag on the Jets again” wheel up and running again. It’s foolish to call this a must-win game because, lets be realistic for a moment, practically every game is a “must win” game when you and 31 other teams are all vying to improve their chances of a playoff berth while they still have time to right any wrongs that may occur. However, I do admit there is a sense of urgency to this game for the Jets, if nothing else, to help provide some closure on a sore the media still continues to pick at and improve their division record.