- Fins keep season alive Cam Wake's sack/safety in OT preserves the Fins victory and season
- Fins lose control in 2nd half Dolphins lose a 14 point lead and the game to the Patriots
- Fins trade for OT McKinnie Miami sends a late round conditional pick for OT Bryant McKinnie
- Fins let one get away Caleb Sturgis last second FG goes just left and the Fins lose 26-23
More thoughts on tonight’s game vs the NY Jets
Site Columnist Brian Catanzaro posted a great article on the “Five keys to beating the Jets“. I’d like to add my thoughts on tonight’s game as the day winds down and kickoff approaches. Here are five things to watch for that should impact the outcome of the game.
1. Dustin Keller: any Dolfan can tell you the Dolphins defense is susceptible to tight ends. Keller opened up with three really good games but has been quiet the past two. Despite that Keller leads the Jets with 19 receptions for 268 yards and 2 touchdowns. If Keller has a good game Miami is in trouble because the linebackers and safeties will need to change their coverage, thereby opening up the running game and wide receivers.
2. Third down: I know, it’s cliché. But winning third down should mean winning the game. Extend drives, wear down the opposing defense, win the battle of field position, and get more opportunities to score.Bothoftheseteams are anemic offensively on 3rd down: Miami converts 26% and New York 33%.Defense isadifferentstory: Miami’s defense forces 4th down 57% of the time (25th in the league) while New York forces 4th down 69% of the time (3rd in the league). To win on 3rd down Miami needs to avoid being in 3rd and long, playing into the strength of New York’s 5th ranked pass defense. Pound Daniel Thomas or Lex Hillard up the middle of the early downs to get short yardage situations on 3rd down. Based on the way these teams have played so far this season this game isn’t going to be a big play highlight reel – more likely a drawn out slugfest. Miami’s chances of being victorious go up if both sides of the ball win the battle on 3rd down.
3. Turnovers: Miami is at -5 for the season, New York +1. With Miami’s anemic defense they can’t afford for the offense to help New York out with interceptions or fumbles. Matt Moore needs to watch his aggressiveness and Daniel Thomas must hold onto the ball. Moore unfortunately has a 16 TD to 18 INT career record. Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll just might surprise all of us with an attacking game plan, but odds are better that Miami will play relatively conservatively on offense. That said, Miami needs the defense to step up and take advantage of any poorly thrown balls by Sanchez. Interceptions equals win.
4. Bess/Hartline: Miami needs one of these receivers to step up and have a big game. Marshall will be challenged all night by one of New York’s good corner backs (not to mention his own issues with holding onto the ball). Bess or Hartline should get some open looks (whoever isn’t drawing the other starting CB) and need to capitalize on whatever throws come their way. Third down conversions and touchdowns are sorely needed.
5. Defensive ends: Miami needs a big game out of Starks, Langford, Odrick, and Merling. These guys are supposed to be the strength of the team, particularly when you consider how much Miami has invested in them. This group needs to make sure Greene/Tomlinson don’t have break out games this week (both are averaging 3.3 ypc), and someway, somehow, get some early pressure on Sanchez. If the defensive ends can disrupt the Jets offensive line then that opens up the rest of the defense to make plays. It all starts in the trenches.
I know most Dolfans are on board with the “Lose for Luck” campaign, but I always, always pull for the Dolphins to beat the hated Jets.
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