Sunday, October 28, 2012

Gameday Deciding Factors: Dolphins at Jets


The New York Jets (3-4) and Miami Dolphins (3-3) rivalry has always been a spirited one. And while still early in the season, this matchup will weigh heavily as both teams try to jostle for position in the division race and the AFC playoff picture.

To add to the intrigue, both sides have fired insults back and forth all week and have provided an entire bulletin board of extra motivation for one another.


Ball Security. The weather forecast predicts a rainy and windy affair at MetLife Stadium, so minimizing giveaways will be crucial for both teams. Mark Sanchez and Ryan Tannehill have had their share of turnover problems so far this season, and keeping the opponent from benefiting from short fields should be a point of emphasis for both coaching staffs.

Running game. With rain in the forecast, both teams will rely on the running game to move the ball. Miami started the season as one of the best rushing teams in the league but have cooled off in recent weeks. Jets running back Shonn Greene has improved as of late. The team that is the most efficient on the ground will likely win. (Photo: photo-gator, flickr)

Secondary play. Though the running game will be the headline act, both teams must be wary of the others' sneaky passing attacks. Sanchez has Dustin Keller back and has a newfound reliable target in Jeremy Kerley. Tannehill will rely on sure-handed targets Davone Bess and Anthony Fasano to gain yards in the stormy conditions.

Special teams. The forgotten phase will factor heavily in this game, with good field goals and punts being at a premium in the conditions. As both offenses tend to struggle, field position may very well decide this game. A shanked punt, muffed punt return, or missed field goal opportunity that turns into points for the other team may turn the tide to one team.
A week in Jets and Dolphins posts at AFC East Daily:

Week 8 AFC East game picks: Dolphins at Jets

Sanchez on Keller: 'He's been my guy for 4 years'

Around-the-Web AFC East power rankings - Week 8

Tannehill faces new challenge in first career rematch

Film Review: The Sanchez-to-Kerley connection

Rex on Jets' Kerley: 'This is the guy we expected'

Compact road-happy schedule stretch ahead for Fins

Pats knew Ninkovich would come through vs. Jets

Belichick: Jets will be there at the end of the year

Ninkovich sack seals Pats' OT thriller win over Jets