It's time to look ahead for the first time at this week's game against the hated Jets at the Meadowlands on Sunday. As always, we begin our look at this week's game by examing why each team could win this game.
3 Reasons Why the Dolphins Will Win:
1. Ronnie Brown will run effectively. This Jets defense is full of holes, and stopping the run is one of those holes. Last week, the Jets allowed 118 yards rushing, which isn't terrible. But in week one, the Jets allowed 134 yards on the ground, including 54 yards on just 11 carries by former Dolphin backup Sammy Morris. Last season, Ronnie sliced up this Jet defense, rushing for 237 yards and a touchdown on just 40 carries. That's a 5.92 yards per carry average. This will be the week that Ronnie gets his carries and excels on the ground.
2. Trent Green will have time to throw. In fact, Green's going to have plenty of time to throw. If you think the Dolphins' pass rush has been poor, you haven't seen anything. The Jets are yet to record a sack and it's very rare that they even get any pressure at all on the QB. This bodes very well for Green, who can usually pick apart a defense when given enough time, especially against a secondary that is playing poorly right now. How bad is the Jets' pass defense been? They've only forced 18 incomplete passes all season and are yet to record an interception. They allowed Kyle Boller, of all people, to complete 65% of his passes. This all adds up to a potential big day for Trent Green.
3. The Dolphins are desperate. I know, I know. The Jets are just as desperate. I'm aware that both teams are 0-2 and the Dolphins have to go on the road to a hostile environment. However, when my back is against the wall, I'll take guys like Jason Taylor, Zach Thomas, and Trent Green over Jonathan Vilma, Bryan Thomas, and Chad Pennington any day of the week. This game is likely going to be a spirited, physical battle which could come down to the 4th quarter. And there are few other defenses I'd rather go into battle with than this prideful Dolphin defense which will rise to the occasion.
3 Reasons Why the Jets Will Win:
1. Chad Pennington's playing for his career. Living in New Jersey, I've been hearing all week long that most fans really want to see Kellen Clemens be this team's starter now. And we all know that Chad was cheered in week 1 when he got injured. That's how ugly it's gotten in Jet-land, which is shocking considering most Jet fans were all over Chad's "junk" following his performance last season. But that's how Jet fans are. The really shocking thing is that I've heard many reporters who cover the Jets talk about how, inside the organization, some people may be thinking Kellen's time is coming. Chad, I know, hears all this and will be playing not just to save this season, but to potentially save his Jets' career. That's a scary proposition considering this Dolphin secondary is quite suspect.
2. The Dolphins' ship is sinking. Let's face it. It hasn't been a pretty two weeks. And the worst part is that both games were winnable. However, the Dolphins are falling apart in the fourth quarter. This defense looks old and wears down late in games and this offense has been improving, but is still committing too many mistakes. Playing in a hostile environment, a close game in the 4th quarter could mean doom for the Fins. The defense might be a little too tired and the Jets' might feed off of the energy that the fans will provide.
3. It's the Dolphins/Jets and it's at the Meadowlands. What does this mean? I'm not usually into history, but I am when you talk about the history of the Dolphins/Jets rivalry, especially from the Marino-era on, probably because, living in Jersey, I've grown to hate the Jets more than anything in the world. Anyways, the point is that recent history doesn't bode will for the Dolphins. Dating back to 1998, the Jets are 14-4 against the Dolphins. It gets worse when you consider the game is being played at the Meadowlands, where the Jets are 16-7 against the Dolphins. More recently at the Meadowlands, the Jets have won 8 out of the last 9 games against the Fins. So regardless of records and stats, this game on Sunday is going to be a tough one for the Dolphins to win.