Outsider’s View: Miami Dolphins 2012 Week 3
Brian Bassett , theJetsBlog.com
I know some of you are fond of Football Outsiders, (as am I) so once the season gets underway and trends start developing, looking at an opponent’s rankings on Football Outsiders helps to give fans some perspective on the Jets opponent for this weekend and what to expect.
(As a heads up, negative percentages are good on defense, bad on offense & specials)
Pass Offense: -32.4% (32nd)
Rush Offense: 8.9% (8th)
O-Line Ranking: Run 3rd / Pass 15th
Analysis: Right now, Ryan Tannhill is about where you’d expect him to be. He’s a rookie quarterback with a completion percentage under 60% and more INTs (3) than touchdowns (1) at this point. To compensate, the Dolphins are getting behind their running backs, most notably Reggie Bush who already has two touchdowns and 243 yards on the ground. The Dolphins have implemented a simple blocking system that seems to be working on the whole, but which might be susceptible as the season wears on.
For the Jets, the plan is simple; stop Reggie Bush and stop the Dolphins offense. The Dolphins have been best at getting Reggie Bush to run behind their tackles (left and right) and he seems to break his biggest plays from there. The Jets might be wise to fall back into more three man fronts if at all possible so that the outside linebackers primarily can shut down the plays with a more read-react style to the former Heisman winner.
While it’s very good news that Darrelle Revis is cleared for practice, with Brian Hartline and Anthony Fasano as the team’s two best receiving threats, the Jets should be able to contain the pass-catchers of Miami – with or without Darrelle Revis. Should Revis be unable to go, the Jets might be best to put Cromartie on Bess and let the more physical Wilson face off against Hartline.
No matter how the game plays out, the Jets might also look to align themselves more in the “Big Nickel” package this week … even if it is without Eric Smith in the lineup. Adding extra personnel to defend the run from the secondary might be a better plan against a gamebreaker like Reggie Bush.
Pass Defense: 28.6% (26th)
Rush Defense: -40.8% (4th)
D-Line Ranking: Run 4th / Pass 30th
Analysis: So far the Dolphins defense has proven their mettle in the trenches, but have been woeful against the pass. The Dolphins have looked great against the run so far and the Jets offensive line might not be able to best their front seven based on how the Jets mediocre run blocking has looked so far. The answer for the Jets should be simple; throw the ball all over the field to set up the run to grind the clock at opportune points during the game and gain the line some more consistency and confidence. The Jets offensive line should get more in sync as the season wears on, but for now with the easy out via the pass, the Jets should take it.
Of course though, that seems like a tall order after what we just witnessed from the receivers in Pittsburgh. Receivers struggled to get open and looked to receive more flags than passes during the course of the game. Luckily, with a suspect cornerback battery, Santonio and Stephen should have big games.
Special Teams: 14.9% (1st)
Analysis: The Jets are going to be up against one of the best units so far this season. Westhoff earlier this week called their long-snapper, kicker and punter the best trio in the league, and he could be right. Special teams success generally comes down two things, not making mistakes in any aspects along with excellence in one aspect. For the Dolphins it’s their punt return team that is it’s best unit. Look for Westhoff to do his best to contain that particular unit, and try and turn that strength into a weakness to get the upper hand.