Dan Leberfeld: You know what, even though they blew out the Raiders, I think they missed him in that game. When the Raiders did run the football, they ran it fairly well, but they fell so far behind, they really couldn't run much as they game progressed because they were in catch-up mode. There was a long run by Justin Fargas up the middle right at Sione Pouha. You can't replace a guy like Jenkins because he's so rare.
The late George Young (former Dolphins and Giants executive) called a player like Jenkins a "planet player." What he meant by this was that there are very few players on the planet like him, in terms of his size, athleticism and quickness — 360-pound cats with his kind of quickness and athletic ability are unique.
But with all that being said, I think the Jets will be able to survive without Jenkins. Pouha has actually had a pretty good season. He had been platooning with Jenkins prior to the big guy's knee injury. And he was doing well in that role. And his new platoon partner, Howard Green, is a decent player.
In the first Jets-Dolphins game, he had five tackles, which is a lot for a 3-4 nose tackle.
I'm sure though that Jake Grove, Donald Thomas and Justin Smiley would probably tell you privately they are going to sleep a little better the night before the game without Jenkins to worry about. He can be a nightmare for interior players.
Leberfeld: I don't think so. He's a good pass rusher, not a great one, and his explosion had something to do with the Raiders playing a dude at right tackle who hadn't played there before. I doubt that Pace is going to have that kind of output against Vernon Carey.
Don't get me wrong, Pace is a very good player. He's a solid all-around performer, good against the run, in pass coverage and as a pass rusher. But as a pass rusher, he's a seven-, eight-sack kind of guy. He's not DeMarcus Ware. And there is nothing wrong with that. Very few players are.
Leberfeld: He's rebounded OK. He had a pick in the end zone against the Raiders. And as for the play against Ginn, while Revis was implicated in the touchdown, he didn't get the safety help he was expecting.
Revis gives Ginn credit on the play for making a very effective double move. Revis, like all great corners, has a short memory, and he moved on from that play with little problem.
In fact, he's might have had a better aftermath than Ginn.
The Jets will be without their other starting cornerback, Jacksonville native Lito Sheppard in this game. He will be out with a quad injury, so expect the Dolphins to go after his replacement, Dwight Lowery, and stay away from Revis. Lowery is a solid player, but doesn't have great speed.
Q: Is newly signed Justin Miller really going to replace Leon Washington as the kick returner, and how badly is the Jets return game going to suffer?
Leberfeld: The Jets should be fine here. If I were them, I'd be more concerned with the loss of Leon on offfense. Honestly, the Jets kick return game this year has been average. I think the new wedge rule has really hurt them.
Miller is a heck of a replacement. It's somewhat surprising that a Pro Bowl kick returner was on the street in the middle of the season. I know he's not the cornerback people envisioned when he came out of Clemson, but he's definitely lived up to his potential as a kick returner. He's only 25, and he already has five kickoff returns for touchdowns between his time with the Jets and Oakland. That is a heck of a number. Mike Westhoff is a big fan of Miller, and happy he was able to land him as Leon's replacement.
I don't think the Jets kick return game suffers, but their offense will. Washington was the Jets' version of Reggie Bush, a speedy runner and talented receiver out of the backfield. His loss is really going to hurt their offense.
Q: The Jets called two fake punts against Miami and then another against Oakland; should we assume another one is coming Sunday?
Leberfeld: I don't know if it will be a fake punt, but Mike Westhoff will have something up his sleeve. He's really not a big fan of the Dolphins after they bypassed him for their heading coaching job and chose Dave Wannstedt instead. He feels they used his bad leg against him in the interviewing process, and will never forgive them for that.
I doubt the Jets run a fake punt because the Dolphins will be looking for that, but I think Westhoff will have some other things that he pulls out of his bag off tricks.