Dan Leberfeld: Kris Jenkins is playing with a bad hip, and he hasn't been as dominant in recent weeks. He is the straw that stirs the drink of the Jets' 3-4 defense, and since he got hurt in the San Francisco, his play has slipped, and that has had a trickle-down effect on the Jets defense. And not helping matters is a knee injury to ILB Eric Barton, so with the two Maryland products banged up in the middle, it's hurt the run defense.
Q: Just how good is cornerback Darrelle Revis, the guy who ended the first Dolphins-Jets matchup with an end zone interception?
DL: Very, very good. He generally covers the other team's top receiver on a weekly basis, and very few bad things ever occur on that side. He's on the cusp of being called a shutdown corner. He's the whole package — smart, fast, good technique, short memory, great composure — everything you look for in a lockdown corner. The Dolphins would be smart to stay away from him as much as possible.
Q: What kind of season has former Dolphin David Bowens had?
DL: D-Bo has had a solid season. His main roles are on special teams, and as the third outside linebacker, giving Calvin Pace and Bryan Thomas a blow. He was forced into a starting role in the middle of the year at inside linebacker when David Harris got hurt, and did OK, but coverage isn't his strength at this stage of his career, and he had some issues there. He's best when he plays moving forwards, not dropping.
Now he's back to his reserve role, and always seems to make stuff happen when he's on the field.
Q: Just how big of a bust has first-round pick Vernon Gholston been; and do you think he'll ever pan out?
DL: Vernon Gholston is a non-factor right now. That doesn't mean he's a bust because it's still early, but right now he's of little use to the Jets. The transition from college 4-3 end to NFL 3-4 outside linebacker hasn't gone smoothly for him. He needs to develop some counter moves. The things that worked for him at Ohio State aren't working very well on the NFL level. He often sticks to the offensive tackle, and the play is over for him.
I don't think he'll ever be a star, but he could end up being serviceable. The reason I don't think he'll be a standout is that he lacks the fiery disposition you want to see from a 3-4 edge pass rusher like Joey Porter or James Harrison. He's a laid-back cat.
Q: Has OLB Calvin Pace justified the big bucks the Jets gave him in free agency?
DL: Calvin Pace was a very good signing. He's a solid all-around linebacker. Anybody who expected him to be a sack machine was kidding themselves. He does everything well, but nothing exceptionally well. He's a 7-, 8-sack guy best teamed with a great rusher on the other side.
He's very good against the run, a decent pass rusher, and needs some work in coverage. This was a good signing for the Jets, and would have been a good one for the Dolphins. He's a terrific all-around 3-4 OLB.
Q: Jay Feely obviously has done a tremendous job as the Jets' kicker after he was released by the Dolphins; how badly do you feel he'd like to stick it to the Dolphins on Sunday?
DL: Feely has been terrific. He has responded well to the pressure of having to kick well to keep Mike Nugent on the sidelines. Nugent hurt his quad in the Jets-Dolphins opener, but has been healthy for the last month. But Feely hasn't missed a kick since Nugent's return to health, so there is no way the Jets can make a change.
I don't know if Feely is looking to stick it to the Dolphins. I think his main goal is to stake a claim on the Jets' kicking job for next year. He's done a great job for the Jets this year.
While the Jets did the Dolphins a huge favor by cutting Pennington, Miami did the same thing for the Jets by giving Feely his walking papers.