Game Preview: Jets (3-12) at Dolphins (8-7)

This season has required endurance and perseverance from the Jets and their staff. All year it seems like the players and coaches were bonded over steady improvements and subtle gains week by week. With the season winding down there’s much to look forward to next summer and this Sunday.

Since their bye week, the Jets have only lost by a touchdown or more one time. This week should be much of the same as the Jets travel to Miami to take on the Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium.

When : Sunday December 28, 2014 1p.m EST. (TV-CBS, Radio-ESPN)

Where : Sun Life Stadium Miami Gardens, Florida

Injury Report (as of 12/25/14):

Jets : WR Percy Harvin(ankle) DNP, DB Antonio Allen (hand) Full, OL Willie Colon (knee) Limited, K Nick Folk (rt. hip) Full, RB Chris Ivory (hamstring) Limited, DB Jaiquawn Jarrett (shoulder) Limited, RB Chris Johnson (knee) Full, OL Nick Mangold (finger/ankle) DNP, DB Rontez Miles (shin) DNP, DB Darrin Walls (shoulder) Limited, DL Muhammad Wilkerson (toe/illness) Limited,

Patriots : DE Derrick Shelby (ankle) Limited, TE Charles Clay (hamstring/knee) Limited, LB Jelani Jenkins (foot) Limited, S Don Jones (shoulder) Full, DT Earl Mitchell (back) Limited, DE Jared Odrick (ankle) Limited, T Dallas Thomas (foot) Limited, RB Daniel Thomas (Knee) Limited, WR Mike Wallace (back) Limited, CB Cortland Finnegan (ankle) Full, LB Jonathan Freeney (hamstring) full, Koa Misi (hamstring/knee) Full

Keys To The Game

Jets Porous Passing Game- Averaging 170.4 yards a game through the air makes the Jets the worst passing offense in the NFL. Geno Smith and Michael Vick have both had their fair share of struggles this season, that’s for sure. The Dolphins are actually very good when opponents pass, they give up 211 yards a game (4th in the NFL) and they have a top two-corner duo in Cortland Finnegan and Brent Grimes.

Dolphins Vulnerabilities - The Dolphins are right around the middle of the pack in comparison to other teams in Points, Rushing Yards, and Passing Yards. However, the Dolphins as a team do fumble quite a lot and they also have their fair share of defensive deficiencies. The worst problem for Miami's defense is when they defend against the run, that’s a problem considering that the Jets run for 145 yards a game on average this season. The Dolphins (on average) give up 122.2 yards a game (24th in the league).

X-Factors

Jarvis Landry - The rookie receiver out of LSU has been a fantasy stud this year as he flew under the radar in most drafts (703 yards, 5 TD’s). A lot of talent was on his offense while he was in college as he and fellow rookies Alfred Blue, Zack Mattenberger, and Odelle Beckham Jr. have all received a ton of playing time in their rookie seasons.

The only knock on Landry coming out of LSU was his size and ball security; both of which have followed him from college into the NFL. Landry has fumbled seven times on the year and has lost four. Even though Landry is a scary good wide receiver and rare talent, he does have a fumbling problem—something the Jets can definitely exploit come Sunday.

Charles Clay - This Tight End is crucial for Miami’s success on offense, but he is Questionable for this Sunday’s game. Clay is coming off of a six-reception 114-yard performance against Minnesota last week. Expect him to have another solid outing.

Jelani Jenkins- The Dolphin’s Linebacker is Probable this week and they’ll definitely need him if they want to win. He has 105 tackles and two fumbles forced this season, as he’s one of the anchors for this Miami defense.

Daniel Thomas - He’s Lamar Millers back up, so expect him to get some carries and at least three or four targets in the passing game this week. Miller might get some rest especially if the score isn’t close early on, so if Miller goes out, Thomas will be the one who takes his place.

Darrin Walls- Walls has been shaky at times, but for the Jets he’s one of the only bright spots hidden in a rather murky secondary. The 4th year starter out of Notre Dame has 37 combined tackles, 11 pass break-ups, and two interceptions on the year. He’ll most likely go up one-on-one against Mike Wallace who’s one of the fastest players in the league, he’s the 6th highest paid player in the National Football League as well.

Chris Ivory - The Jets’ running back has had another solid year as he has just less than 800 yards and six touchdowns on the season. Ivory should have plenty of holes to run through, Miami’s defense is pretty bad against teams that run the ball effectively this season. Ivory’s play and Geno Smiths performance will have a heavy hand on the outcome this upcoming Sunday.

Projected Outcome

Looking back on the season in its entirety, the turning point seems to have been that loss in Arrowhead against Kansas City week 9. After that, things seemed to start getting better for Vick, Geno Smith, Rex Ryan, and company. I expect the Jets to fight hard this week but I doubt they’ll get the win. I’m expecting the Dolphins to win by a final score of 28-17.


Jets Insider Top Stories