By Ryan Alfieri, Editor
Believe it or not, the Dolphins are tied with the rest of the AFC East for first place. Much is made out of their depleted receiver corps and rookie quaterback, but their front-seven is among the better groups in the league and always give the Jets a handful, no matter what the spread is.
Here is a breakdown of how the Jets should attack the Miami defense.
Spread ‘Em Out: The dropoff from Vontae Davis to Richard Marshall may not be overwhelming, but the trading of Davis does hurt Miami’s depth. Richard Marshall was intended to be the team’s nickel corner, and now he makes the move to the outside.
Therefore, the Jets would be wise to spread out the Dolphins and pick apart guys like Nolan Carrol. Assuming Dustin Keller (hamstring) can play, using him as a receiver detached from the formation would get him positive matchups.
Involve Stephen Hill: After a great start to his young career, Hill was virtually invisible against the Steelers, catching no balls after being targeted just twice.
While Hill certainly needs to get seperation on his own, if he finds himself in a one-on-one situation, Sanchez needs to give him a few jump balls. Not only will they result in big plays, but it will further stretch the Dolphins defense.
Block Cameron Wake: Arguably the Dolphins’ best defender, Wake has always given Mark Sanchez and the Jets fits. The Jets should use virtually the same gameplan they used to slow down the Bills’ pass-rush: quick drops and extra blockers to give Austin Howard extra help.
Maintain Balance: The Dolphins’ run defense may be the best aspect of their team, and it will be tough sledding against the likes of Paul Soliai and Karlos Dansby.
Still, as tempting as it will be to abandon the run and go after the Dolphins’ secondary, the Jets must maintain balance on offense. Running the ball will slow down the Dolphins’ pass-rush and take pressure off Sanchez.
Where is Joe McKnight? One of the more interesting stats from Sunday’s game comes from Joe McKnight’s playing time. Despite the brief absence of Shonn Greene, McKnight was only involved in one offensive snap.
As the biggest “Home Run” threat in the Jets backfield, McKnight simply must be more involved in the game plan.
Not only can McKnight create mismatches as a runner, but he can also line up as a receiver to further spread out the Dolphins. The Jets need another element in their base offense for defenses to key on, and McKnight can be that guy.