Breaking down the game

The Dolphins have rebounded from the atrocious loss at Cleveland to position themselves to have what would be considered a successful first season under Nick Saban. But to get there, the Dolphins need to make sure they don't look past the opponent at hand, and this week that's the New York Jets, because that's partly what got them in trouble at Cleveland in the first place.

Really, now, don't you think the Dolphins are a better team than Cleveland? How else, then, do you explain them playing so poorly against the Browns, even with quarterback Sage Rosenfels having such a hard time in his first start of the season.

Don't think for a second Dolphins players don't remember the painful lesson they learned that day.

Yes, the Jets have had major injury problems this year and it's a team the Dolphins clearly should beat. But the Dolphins aren't going to beat them by just showing up.

The truth is, the Jets actually have been playing decent defense for the most part.

So it's not like Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams are going to cakewalk to 100-yard afternoons or Gus Frerotte is going to throw for 300 yards without breaking a sweat.

The Dolphins, after all, could only muster seven points against the Jets in the first meeting and it's pretty much the same defensive personnel they'll be facing on Sunday.

The biggest problem in the first meeting, and therefore the biggest priority in this one, is keeping defensive end John Abraham away from Frerotte.

Abraham may have had only one sack back on Sept. 18, but he was a disruptive force throughout the game. Damion McIntosh couldn't handle Abraham, and that's why the Dolphins switched to Stockar McDougle at left tackle that day.

What the Dolphins need to do is simple: Give McIntosh help in dealing with Abraham.

The Jets simply don't have the personnel anymore to be able to generate a lot of offense, and the biggest reason they were able to put up 26 points against Oakland last Sunday was two fumbles caused by -- who else? -- Abraham.

So, again, at the risk of repeating ourselves, make sure to get him blocked.

As mentioned, the Jets offense isn't very scary right now because as an NFL quarterback, Brooks Bollinger is a very good college quarterback.

And new starting running back Cedric Houston is no Curtis Martin.

So the Dolphins should be able to handle the Jets and snap yet another losing streak against the guys from New York (this one at three).

But they better make sure they come ready to play instead of basking in the aftermath of a three-game winning streak.

Because it would be a shame to see the streak stop at three when it really should get to four.


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