To Run And Be Run On

With the Jets getting back into the practice groove today in their preparation for the Dolphins, one of the keys of the game for the Jets will be stopping the Dolphins run game and getting one of their own going.

Rich Cimini writes for ESPN five early scouting points about the Dolphins, two that focus on the run.

2. They’re all about RB Reggie Bush, the second-leading rusher (241 yards) in the league. (By the way, the top rusher is the Bills’ C.J. Spiller, who owes a big “thank you” to the Jets for that lofty perch.) Bush lit up the Raiders, rushing for 176 yards and two TDs. In fact, he has topped 100 in eight of his past 11 games. The Dolphins love to run him on outside stretch plays.

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5. The secondary, minus the recently-traded Vontae Davis, is thin. But the Dolphins have a tough, aggressive front seven. They’ve yielded only 106 rushing yards in two games. In fact, they’ve gone a league-best 16 straight games without allowing a 100-yard rusher. The Dolphins held the Raiders to 1-for-12 on third down.

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

The Jets have the players to contain Reggie Bush, but the job will be easier if Bryan Thomas is available to play.  The Jets are stout up the middle with Sione Po’uha, Mike DeVito and Mo Wilkerson, not to mention David Harris cleaning up behind them.  This then should force the Dolphins to try and turn Reggie Bush and his phenomenal speed to the outside of the formation, which then starts to become the domain of the OLBs as well as the secondary.

The Jets will probably do their best to force the Dolphins to try their luck with Reggie Bush up the sidelines, and so I wouldn’t be surprised to see a reprise of the Jets “Big Nickel” package headlined by Eric Smith see a higher number of snaps than we’ve seen in weeks past.  Since the Dolphins top receiver is Brian Hartline, the Jets cornerbacks (with or without Darrelle) should be up to the challenge.

As far as the Jets running game?  That’s a whole other animal.  So far the Jets are averaging a pedestrian 3.6 yards per carry, lowlighted by Shonn Greene’s 3.1 YPC.  Factor in Football Outsiders has both the Bills (11th) and Pittsburgh (19th) run stopping units as only mediocre so far.  As Cimini noted, the Fish are off to a much better start in defending the run, granted it came against Tampa Bay and Oakland.

All that to say, the Jets combination of offensive line and running game hasn’t been dominant through two games and this might not be the week for the Jets to show dominance either …