Written by: Manny Barrios of Trash Talk Sports
Darrelle Revis will take part in what he has dubbed a, “Must Win,” for the Jets (1-1), down in Miami (1-1) on Sunday afternoon. The Jets All-Pro CB, who missed the week two matchup against the Steelers, has been cleared for physical activity.
Any doubt that he would not travel with the team was erased by stating this afternoon it is certain that he will play. Gang Green is coming off of a very sluggish performance against the Steelers, in which the offense was manhandled and defense was pushed around. The absence of Revis was obvious as Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown each had over 70 yds receiving. There should be none of that this Sunday.
The Miami Dolphins posted their first win of the season with a week two win in their home opener against the Raiders. Reggie Bush rushed for 172 yds and 2 TD’s, while rookie QB Ryan Tannehill (18-30, 200 yds) threw his first NFL career TD pass and rushed for another in what turned out to be a 35-13 romp. It was the first time in seven seasons the Dolphins won their home opener. They look to make it two- in- a- row against their AFC East division rival.
Keys to victory for the Jets? Very simple.
They cannot allow the Dolphins to establish their running game, after allowing a total of 196 yds on the ground in week one to the Bills, the Jets run defense bounced back and held the platoon of Steelers RB’s to just 66 yds rushing. They need an encore performance, minus the poor tackling, to be successful this week.
With the running game being null and void and no passing game to speak of, all that is needed is for the D-line to apply pressure to rookie Tannehill and force him into making some bad decisions with the pig skin, making it be easy pickings for the secondary. Of course, this being the Jets, it is easier said than done.
As usual, keeping Sanchez clean is key. For the first two weeks of the season, the Jets O-line has been sturdy, allowing just two sacks. They need to continue this type of play and allow Sanchez the time he needs to throw the ball effectively. Despite being 10-27 for only 138 yds, the blame cannot be squarely placed on shoulders of Sanchez.
Wide Receivers need to gain some separation and catch the ball. They were awful last week, plain and simple, just outright horrendous. They were outplayed physically, and as a unit dropped 5 passes. The Dolphins CB’s should not pose the same problem as the Steelers CB’s. The Jets may also get back Mark Sanchez’s favorite target, Dustin Keller, who like Revis, did not travel with the team to Pittsburgh due to injury (hamstring).
Running game. It is not yet “Tebow Time,” but the Jets do need to utilize him much more than they have in the first two weeks of this young season. He had five rushes for 11 yards in week one, and just one carry for 22 yds in week two. Jets OC Tony Sparano needs to find some balance and get himself in the game just enough to keep opposing defenses honest, but not disrupt Sanchez’s’ rhythm, if any. Shonne Greene needs to get it going as well, although I do feel he was just getting started last week prior to leaving the game with a head injury. Green did return, but was a non-factor in the second half finishing with just 23 yds on 11 carries.
Keep the chains moving on 3rd down. They were 4 of 12 on 3rd down conversions.
The Jets are clearly a better team than the Dolphins. A loss, especially a division loss, can send the team into an uncontrollable spiral as they host the 49ers and their top-ranked defense in week four and then host the Houston Texans in a nationally televised Monday Night showdown at Met Life Stadium in week 5. A 1-4 start could have the Jets packing it in as early as October 9th, a much anticipated date in Gang Green Nation.
There are a few interesting things to note in this division matchup. The Jets return to the scene of the crime, a place where they imploded and became the laughing stock of the league in what would turn out to be the last game of a disappointing 2011 season. The coach for the Dolphins at the time? None other than the Jets OC Tony Sparano, who is making his return to Sun Life Stadium for the first time since being let go at the end of last season. Should be interesting to see how he is received by the Miami faithful. And finally, Miami’s new Head Coach, Joe Philbin, gets his first dosage of an AFC East rivalry game; a rivalry in which the Jets lead the series 48-44-1.