The New York Jets will host the Miami Dolphins Sunday at the Meadowlands, which not only is another divisional game but also a "must win".
Coming off a heartbreaking loss to the New England Patriots, the Jets need to win this game against the Dolphins and also I think shows what kind of team going forward the Jets are going to be and here's why.
After playing their most complete game on offense and defense and being able to contain Tom Brady for 58 minutes, the Jets lost a hard-fought game in Overtime to the Patriots. They played really well on defense containing the high powered offense to only 17 points in regulation and holding the NEW rushing attack of the Patriots to about 20 yards under their average for the season.
They were able to disguise defensive schemes that confused Brady and brought "Some" pressure on him. On offense Sanchez played his best game of the year, throwing for over 40 times in the game and with more passing yards than Brady.
He handled the depleted secondary of the Patriots and if "Stone-hands" Stephen Hill was able to make that catch on 3rd down, we could be talking about a major upset instead of a heartbreaking loss. Jeremy Kerley continues to emerge as a solid go-to guy for Sanchez and the Offensive Line is slowly but surely improving in the run and pass blocking departments. Dustin Keller looks like he's back to his regular form and the new fullback Hilliard is looking more and more like an asset than a problem, since releasing John Conner.
Heading into the game versus the Dolphins what do you expect to see from a team who nearly took control in the AFC East?
Well, we expect to see a team that is mad and hungry. We expect to see a team come out and impose all their will on the Dolphins and should do what they did to the Bills in Week 1 and the Colts the week before New England.
The Dolphins have a good run defense, but at the same time the Jets should be able to get the running game going. We expect to see the Jets throw to Keller and Kerley, and sprinkle in some Hill, if he hasn't quit on himself yet. The Jets should be able to put pressure on Tannenhill and as they did to Brady be able to confuse the Dolphins offense and make Tannenhill look like the rookie quarterback he is.
Unlike the first game in Miami, Reggie Bush will most likely play the whole game and the Jets defense will have their hands full, but have been playing better with containing the run.
The Dolphins do not have a passing attack that should strike fear in Rex's defense's eyes but at the same time did torch the Jets a little bit in their previous matchup. The Jets have improved every week since the brutal loss to the 49ers, and continue to start to look like the defense we thought we were going to see.
We understand they are without Revis, but at the same time Wilson, Trufant and Cromartie have all stepped up since Revis went down against the Dolphins they are about to face. The fatties up front have been improving each week with pressure and stopping the run, Mo Wilk had his best game against the Colts 2 weeks ago and continues to look like an NFL lineman. Coples is finally figuring out how to play in the NFL and Demario Davis is adding speed to the linebacking corps that looks a little slow.
So why shouldn't the Jets come out and impose all will on the Dolphins this week? Well, because they are the New York Jets.
They are a team that seems to for the most part play up to competition and down to competition as well. They are a team that hasn't yet understood the meaning of Must-Win games and seem to look slow or not show up till halftime in some of these games. You would think after a loss to a team you outplayed the Jets would want to go out and crush the Miami Dolphins a divisional opponent and a must win in the standings.
Not only would they improve to 4-4 with a win but improve to 3-1 in the division which is a better division record than the Patriots. Heading into the bye the team would be right where they should be at the start of the season, meaning winning the games they should have won and losing the games they should of lost according the analyst before the start of the season, and after the bye their schedule eases a bit.
Since the Packers lost to the Colts at Indy they have gone into Houston and St. Louis and have looked like a team on a mission. Aaron Rodgers has been playing lights out in those last two games and even though the defense isn't as elite as it used to be its still playing at a level to help win games.
This is what you should expect from the Jets. I'm not saying score 30 40 points a week but be able to handle a team like the Dolphins who in my opinion aren't as good as the Patriots or Jets or even Bills, but yet not have this game come down to a last minute drive or field goal. This should be a game where the Jets blow out the Dolphins at home, heading into the bye and looking good at 4-4 probably right behind the Patriots for the division.
This game will show what kind of heart the Jets have and also show if they have anything more to play for. They are not facing an opponent with a high powered offense or a shut down defense. I'm not saying the Dolphins are a bad team but I am saying that the Jets might not actually be as bad a team as people might think and it starts against the Dolphins.
This is a game where the Jets should not only show themselves but the league that Revis and Holmes aren't the best players on this team, even though Revis is the best defensive player in the league, but to show themselves that they can win with any player who replaces the next and step-up and make a play. The Packers during their Super Bowl run had about 14 players on their starting roster that ended up on IR and Sanchez is no Rodgers believe me but at the same time the AFC isn't what it used to be.
The New York Jets need to win this game to have a shot at the playoffs and also at the division. They showed against New England and even Houston that they can play right there with the tops of the AFC and only need to continue to play with heart and anger.
This should be a team that even without Revis and Holmes that the next man can step up and play at a high level. The talent and personal might not be there but the Heart and Passion for the game should. Going into the Dolphins game and the bye the week after they should pretty much lay it all on the line for this game and beat down on the Dolphins, because if they don't in my opinion I have no hope for this team this year and going forward and believe that a lot of changes need to be made from the GM, coach and quarterback.