Joe Philbin’s job as the head coach of the Miami Dolphins very well may depend on Sunday’s 9:30 AM ET game against the New York Jets in London. The Dolphins simply can’t afford to go 1-3 this early on having not even faced the Patriots once and the Jets will look to continue their hot streak as of late. Here are my three keys to the Miami Dolphins beating the New York Jets.
1. Forcing turnovers on defense
Let’s face it, the Miami Dolphins’ defense has been ghastly thus far in the year. But that can turn around with one big game, especially against a division rival like the New York Jets. I want to see Brent Grimes get a pick or two off the inconsistent Ryan Fitzpatrick. I want a strip-sack fumble recovery from Cameron Wake or Olivier Vernon. I want to see a linebacker plug a hole and take the ball away from Chris Ivory. Please, somebody get a turnover on defense!
2. Ryan Tannehill isn’t sacked more than once
Ryan Tannehill threw two terrible picks last week solely because he was under intense pressure (the other one was his fault entirely). The simple fact is that no quarterback in this league can perform well when his offensive line is getting dominated. The Jets have the second best defensive line in the division behind the Bills. We saw what the Bills can do. The Dolphins can’t give up more than one sack in this game. If Tannehill can’t get in a rhythm, this game is over. Period.
3. Some kind of spectacular special teams play
Flashback to the time Ted Ginn Jr. beat the New York Jets singlehandedly in MetLife Stadium by returning back to back kickoffs for touchdowns. That spark lit a fire under the rest of the team, and the Dolphins dominated the Jets in that game. That is exactly what they need on Sunday in London. Some kind of play like Jarvis Landry’s week one punt return touchdown. Something to open up the game and give the other two teams (offense and defense) a spark. Whether it is an onside kick or another punt return touchdown, something’s got to give on special teams.
This is an absolutely must win game for a team who’s schedule won’t allow them to come back from a 1-3 start. The Patriots have already all but won the division (and are playing some incredible football), and the Dolphins have to keep pace to have a shot at salvaging this season and Joe Philbin’s career. Lose or go home for good for the Miami Dolphins.
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