Behind Enemy Lines, Part 2

To find out about this week's Dolphins opponent, the New York Jets, we checked in with Jets Confidential's Dan Leberfeld to ask him some questions about the team and this week's matchup. Part 2 focuses on the Jets' defense and special teams.

Q. How are the two first-round picks from last year, D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold, progressing?

Leberfeld: Ferguson had a rough rookie year, giving up 10 sacks. He had a bad opener against New England, struggling with Patriots defensive end Jarvis Green. But I thought he played better in Baltimore. Aside from getting beat by Ravens defensive end Terrell Suggs on a running play that lost 3 (yards), I thought he did a decent job against Baltimore. Will he ever be Walter Jones or Jonathan Ogden? Probably not, but I think he can turn into a servicable left tackle.

Mangold was good last year, and continues to play well. He's smart, tough, strong and quick. The Jets will be in good shape at the center position for many years to come.

Q. How has first-round pick, CB Darrelle Revis, looked so far and what kind of impact can he make on the Jets defense?

Leberfeld: Revis looks like he is going to be a star. You can see why the Jets traded up for him. Considering he missed most of training camp in a holdout, it's very impressive what he has done in the first two games. Aside from some issues with Randy Moss (who doesn't have them?), he's been terrific in coverage, and superb against the run. One part of his game that has really stood out is his tackling ability. For a cornerback, he's an excellent tackler.

Q. What kind of contributions are former Dolphins defensive end David Bowens and former Dolphins fullback Darian Barnes making?

Leberfeld: Very little. Bowens played just four plays on defense against the Ravens. He seems to be getting frustrated, but being the classy guy that he is, he won't say anything. I would assume he would play more against Miami, since the Jets need to do something about their pass rush. They have no sacks this year. Bowens hasn't had much of an impact on special teams either, and actually missed a tackle on Ellis Hobbs' 108-yard return in the New England game.

Barnes was inactive for the first game, and was quiet in the second. He did impress this summer as a lead blocker, and gives the Jets the type of bruising fullback they haven't had in a while.

Q. How big of a loss is kick returner Justin Miller (ACL), and do the Jets have a viable replacement?

Leberfeld: It's a big loss. He was excellent in his first two years, and made the Pro Bowl following last season. He has a great combination of speed and tackle-breaking ability. But they Jets do have a very good replacement in former FSU running back Leon Washington, who like Miller is a threat to take one all the way anytime he touches the ball. The 5-8 Washington breaks a lot of tackles because of his low center of gravity and great cutting ability.

Q. The Jets have owned the Dolphins of late; do you see any reason why things will be different this Sunday?

Leberfeld: I think it's illegal to Woody Johnson to own two NFL teams at the same time. I don't think that Wayne Huizenga will be happy to hear that Johnson owns the Jets and the Dolphins.

I don't think games from the last few years have anything to do with this one. There has been too much turnover on each roster. I think this game is a toss-up, but I think the Jets will win because they are at home.


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