It’s Jets week, meaning the anticipation for Sunday’s game rises and everyone roots just a little bit harder for the Dolphins to knock off a division rival.
Rookie QB Ryan Tannehill will look to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor Chad Henne who was a solid 3-1 in his career vs the Jets. The Jets will look to send a statement to the Dolphins after they were knocked out of playoff contention last season on the season’s final day by Miami. Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez will try for revenge, this time with an old friend helping them out in new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano.
MDD Staff Writer: Chad Pullen
Sanchez brings a mark of 2-4 into Miami, and with him will be another overhyped QB in Tim Tebow. Tebow does in fact have a winning record against the Dolphins rallying his Broncos to an overtime win over Miami last season. It’s speculated that the Jets may use Tebow a little bit more this week in the form of the wildcat, something extra the Dolphin D will need to prepare for. Sparano may try to run the football against the Dolphins but he will learn just as the Texans and Raiders did that running against Miami’s new 4-3 defense is not for the faint of heart. This may put the game in the hands of Sanchez, something that every Dolphin fan should salivate over.
The rookies hope to make a big impact in their first division rivalry game as RT Jonathan Martin, RB Lamar Miller, and DE Olivier Vernon get their first taste of AFC East football. Hopefully third round TE Michael Egnew could join the party, but he has yet to be activated for a game in the first two weeks. Seventh round WR Rishard Mathews was active last week, but did not get an offensive snap and hopes to change that on Sunday.
With the Jets getting a boost to their secondary with All Pro CB Darrell Revis coming back from injury, the Dolphins may need every receiver then can to attack the Jets usually stingy defense. Brian Hartline, who had a career day last week, figures to see the most of Revis and may play the role of decoy this week to keep Revis out of Tannehill’s way. Last season, Matt Moore attempted to test Revis early and often with Brandon Marshall still in the fold, and Matt learned quickly that it was a bad idea. It should not be expected that Joe Philbin will ask Tannehill to try and test Revis in the same manner this weekend.
With New England on the road facing an angry Baltimore squad, the Dolphins have a chance to knock off a division rival and possibly jump to the top of the standings in the AFC East early on, boosting the confidence of the young players the Dolphins will be relying on for years to come.
After last year’s dismal 0-7 start, starting the year 2-1 and getting some positive results with their rookie QB at the helm could be the spark to get the Dolphins season going in the right direction and light the path for them getting where all Dolphin fans want them to go. And reminding the Jets that they trust the fate of their franchise to Mark Sanchez and the letdown of that reality would simply be an added bonus. Rex, Sparano, Sanchez, Tebow, Jets week, it doesn’t get any sweeter than sending them all home sad.