Santonio Holmes has not had a 100-yard game since Nov. 21 of 2010 – 27 consecutive games – but the wide receiver expects the Jets passing attack to have a big game against the ‘Phins, telling ESPN New York, ”With our skills and our speed, we should really take advantage of those guys.”
Lost in the babbling, finger-pointing and attempted psychoanalysis of Holmes’ over-the-top-and-perhaps-unwarranted-confidence, is the fact that Holmes is correct. The Jets should take advantage of the Dolphins young and inexperienced secondary.
According to Football Outsiders, the Dolphins pass defense is ranked 26th out of 32 (the rush D is ranked 4th), giving up an average of 313.5 yards through the air in their two games (30th in the league). It would be wise for the Jets to cater their offensive game plan to take advantage of the area where the ‘Phins are weakest. So much for Ground and Pound….
Here are a few other nuggets on this match-up:
- The Dolphins lead the league in yards-per-carry against with 2.2. What’s more impressive? They have done it against Arian Foster and Darren McFadden, arguably two of the best backs in the league. (The next best YPC against is 2.6).
- To make matters worse, in his past 5 meetings with Miami, Shonn Greene has 61 carries for 200 yards (3.3 yards per carry) and zero touchdowns. Greene has 117 yards of 38 carries in 2012 (3.0 ypc).
- The Dolphins front seven is very good, and Austin Howard will face another difficult test in his match-up with Cameron Wake. Howard found a lot of success against Mario Williams, but his performance against Lamarr Woodley was less successful, surrendering four hurries, one hit, and a sack, per Pro Football Focus.
- Reggie Bush has gained at least 100 yards from scrimmage in six straight games — the longest active streak in the NFL. There is a lot of concern about the Jets ability to contain Bush, and the concern is not unwarranted. The Jets run defense is currently ranked 15th (per Football Outsiders) and while the Jets had a lot of success against north-south runners (like FJax and Redman), they have struggled mightly vs. speedy, shifty backs like Spiller and Bush. (Worth noting that Muhammed Wilkerson has been an important part of the Jets’ success vs. the run — he missed the portion of practice open to today for unknown reasons).
- Now that Darrelle Revis has been cleared for contact and is likely to play on Sunday, the Jets secondary can return to their successful formula. According to Pro Football Focus, “Through two games, New York has only allowed 3-of-9 passes to be completed to Tannehill’s “sweet spot,” so the Tannehill-to-Hartline connection may have some difficulty duplicating last week’s game of pitch and catch.” Middle of the field has always been the area the Jets have struggled most to cover – watch for tight end Anthony Fasano, who has 4 career touchdowns vs. the Jets.
- Don’t take Ryan Tannehill, his inexperience and propensity to throw interceptions for granted. According to Bleacher Reports’ AFC East blogger Erik Frenz, “Rookie quarterbacks have earned a 71.9 passer rating in six games. Since 2009, Rex Ryan’s Jets defense averages a passer rating of 67.8 overall against other quarterbacks. The Jets are also 3-3 overall in those games.”
TheDolphins are 5-2 in their last 7 meetings vs. the Jets, including the meltdown in Miami last season (or whatever you want to call it). The Jets need a win here to not only gain a lead in the AFC East (they would be 2-0 in division), but to give themselves a boost as they approach a difficult stretch of games (vs. Niners, @ Houston).
Prediction: Jets 20- Dolphins 17
*Stay tuned for a more complete preview of Jets-Dolphins from contributor Eric Gonzalez.