This match-up started back in 1966 and the rivalry has heated up ever since! The New York Jets (2-3) hold the advantage in regular season wins in the series (47-43-1), but the Miami Dolphins (0-4) have won three straight on the road versus the Jets, including a 10-6 victory last December. Both teams are struggling to start the season and are desperate for a victory. Here are some of the keys to victory for Miami to get there first victory of the season.
1) Execution – Obviously this is easier said than done, but the Dolphins have had the advantage of the bye week to take a in-depth look at themselves. This is their chance to evaluate and correct the problems on this football team, as well as get healthy on both sides of the ball. Most of the problems on this team through four games have been self inflicted. When you’re dropping passes, missing tackles or not communicating in the defensive backfield, it’s on you to correct those issues at practice and take it to the field on Monday Night Football! I’m sure that Head Coach Tony Sparano and his staff went through a complete self-evaluation of the entire team. Eliminating the plays and schemes that might have been holding this team back, and implementeing a new direction for the rest of the season.
2) Play A Complete Game – The closest that we the fans have seen this team play to its potential has been a quarter here, or a half there. This Dolphins team needs to start fast and finish at the same level in the fourth quarter! Miami’s offense looked sharp early in games against New England and Cleveland, but then sputtered on third down or stopped themselves on too many occasions. Defensively, make the Jets earn everything and don’t let the running game become a factor in deciding the outcome of the game. Make Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez convert third downs that are medium to long situations, and come up with a strip or a pick six and score on defense!
3) Play To Your Potential – This is my main focus when watching this Monday night! Can the Dolphins play up to the expectations they had of themselves this season? Is it possible for a young quarterback making his first start of the season (Matt Moore) to play a clean game and make positive plays that ultimately determine the outcome? Will the playmakers catch the football and make the routine play that extends drives and keeps the pressure on the Jets defense? Can the Dolphins defense play as a unit and dominate like we expected them to do this year? The Dolphins have definitely put themselves well behind in the AFC East, but one way of crawling out starts with one win against your most hated rival!
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