By Ryan Alfieri, Editor
The last time these two teams met in late September, the Jets were able to squeak out a win in overtime thanks to a missed field goal by Dan Carpenter. Both teams suffered injuries to their two best players in Darrelle Revis and Reggie Bush.
Since then, the Dolphins have managed to get themselves to the .500 mark and the Jets have shown that they are not going to roll over and concede the season just because their two most dynamic players are out for the season.
No Revis, No Holmes
With Darrelle Revis and Santionio both out for the season with respective ACL and lisfranc injuries, this matchup becomes more even from a pure talent standpoint.
So far, the Jets have been able to remain stout against the pass after Revis went down, improving in just about every defensive category since the debacle against the 49ers. The Dolphins are still weak at wide receiver and the Jets should have no problem dealing with them even without the All-Pro corner.
The loss of Santonio Holmes has much more intrigue. There is no doubt that Holmes is a terrific talent that can make game-changing plays at any time, but the argument could also be made that Sanchez is playing more efficiently because he is not longer burdened with the task of giving him a certain amount of looks.
Dustin Keller Returns
So far this season, there has been a clear trend of of offensive production when Keller is and is not in the lineup. Sanchez and Keller have a symbiotic relationship and have developed a special timing between themselves that can be difficult to defend on third downs.
Even without Holmes in the lineup, I would expect Sanchez to have a much more efficient game than last month’s meeting in Miami simply because of Keller’s presence.
Demario Davis replaces Bart Scott
Because he has been dealing with a rather brutal toe injury, Demario Davis will see the majority, if not all, of the snaps at inside linebacker next to David Harris.
Davis saw about 90 percent of the snaps against the Patriots, and turned in a nice performance. He made some veteran-like plays against the run and is already the Jets best coverage linebacker on the team. Davis’ presence on third downs should go a long way in dealing with Anthony Fasano.
Development of Ryan Tannehill
With each passing week, Ryan Tannehill is starting to look more and more like a seasoned veteran. Tannehill has had the benefit of knowing Mike Sherman’s offense from his days at Texas A&M, and his comfort level and confidence is evident in the NFL.
The Dolphins are heavily reliant on play action to give Tannehill easy reads. According to ProFootballFocus, Tannehill is the best quarterback under play action—but he is also the worst quarterback without it.
The Jets must be careful about biting on the Dolphins play-action, as much as they want to lay some “hot sauce” on Reggie Bush.