Six Points: Jets vs. Dolphins
Both the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins are coming off of Week 3 losses, but their seasons have felt significantly different. As the teams make the trip to London for a Week 4 matchup, the Dolphins sit at 1-2 after consecutive losses to the Jaguars and Bills. On the other hand, the Jets are 2-1 and have to feel good about their defense.
The Dolphins, however, are feeling opposite about their defense. They’ve recorded one sack in three games, putting them last in the league. They’ll look to get back to .500 on Sunday.
Here are three keys to the game for both the Jets and the Dolphins.
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1. Protect the football
The Dolphins have only forced two turnovers, so giving the ball away doesn’t appear to be much of an issue for the Jets. However, with the Dolphins’ season quickly spiraling out of control, the defense will likely force the issue and look to cause as many turnovers as possible. After turning the ball over four times last week, the Jets will need to do a better job of protecting the football.
2. Attack the left side of Miami’s offensive line
The Dolphins will likely be without starting left tackle Branden Albert for the second consecutive week, leaving a hole. The Jets would be smart to attack that weakness with pressure on Ryan Tannehill’s blindside, forcing him to make quick decisions.
3. Spread the ball on offense
Brandon Marshall is on a tear, but he’ll likely be locked up with stud cornerback Brent Grimes. It won’t be an easy matchup for Marshall, but he proved last week that he can beat single coverage. Still, Ryan Fitzpatrick should spread the ball around to different receivers rather than forcing the ball to Marshall. Quincy Enunwa and Devin Smith are capable of making plays in the passing game, as is Jeremy Kerley – and if Eric Decker returns, it’s another reason to spread the ball around.
1. Get pressure on Fitzpatrick
The biggest elephant in the room is the Dolphins’ lack of sacks. That must change, and it has to happen against the Jets. Suh & Co. have to get on track against the Jets’ offensive line that will be missing veteran guard Willie Colon, opening up a hole for Suh to attack on the interior.
2. Shadow Marshall with Grimes
Grimes is far-and-away the best cornerback on the Dolphins’ roster, and it’s not close. With that said, the Dolphins must shadow Marshall with Grimes in order to force Fitzpatrick to go elsewhere. Fitzpatrick has relied heavily on Marshall as he’s caught 23 passes in three games, so the Dolphins need to take away his security blanket.
3. Establish the run early in the game
Along with failing to pressure quarterbacks, the Dolphins have also disappointed greatly in the run game. They rank 27th in the league with 72.7 rushing yards per game, but they’ll need to establish the run early against the Jets. Thus far, the Dolphins haven’t scared anyone on the ground, thus allowing teams to focus on Tannehill and the aerial attack.