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Preview: Jets Offense vs Dolphins Defense


Miami Dolphins (0-2) at New York Jets (0-2)

The Jets are 0-2 for a reason, and a lot of that has to do with them not getting much production out of their offense. However, they still have a couple weapons that the Dolphins will need to pay close attention to. But first, let's talk a little bit about their weaknesses.

The offensive line for the Jets may actually be struggling more than the Dolphins' one is. They haven't opened up any running lanes for their new tailback Thomas Jones, and that's the explanation for 2.9 yards per carry average. Or it could be that Jones simply isn't that good despite how much the media hyped up his signing by the Jets. More likely, it's probably a combination of the two that is causing his slow start. In this game, the Dolphins have to, have to, have to do a better job at stopping the run. Last week, they again did a poor job against the run, letting Dallas run for 166 yards and 4.6 yards per carry. A lot of that, too, can be contributed to poor tackling. I swear I'm going to absolutely flip out if I see the Dolphins missing tackles on Sunday.

Anyways, the other problem with the Jet O-line is that they have not been able to protect their quarterback, whoeer it is, very well at all. Through 2 games, they've allowed 9 sacks, which is the 2nd worst total in the NFL (Atlanta's 13 leads the way). And when their QB isn't getting sacked, he's still getting hurried and hit. With Chad Pennington returning this week, the Jet offensive line better up their game because you can imagine the Dolphins will be attacking Pennington. Call me crazy, but I think this is the week that Jason Taylor and Joey Porter both get on track despite the probability of Zach Thomas missing the game.

And speaking of Chad Pennington, I can't wait to see how immobile he's going to be on Sunday. His ankle still has to be bothering him at least a little, and I like the idea of having a hobbled QB playing behind a suspect line. Also, we can all relax and not have to worry about too many deep balls, as well all know Pennington, to put it nicely, throws like a girl. Hmmm...maybe I shouldn't say that. Some girls might get offended. Anyways, welcome back, Chad! Happy to see you under center.

Yes, I mock Pennington, but like I said earlier, the Jets do have a couple legitimate weapons. The first name that comes to mind is, of course, Laveranues Coles, the Dolphin killer. In 11 career games against the Dolphins, Coles has 39 catches for 566 yards. That might not seem like much, he also has 9 touchdowns in those 11 games. And many of his big plays seem to come at big moments in the game. In my opinion, there aren't many other receivers I'd hate to see playing against the Dolphins than Coles.

And you can't forget about their other receiver, either. Jerricho Cotchery has started out 2007 hot, proving that 2006 probably wasn't a fluke (though I'm still hoping). He's already got 13 catches for 222 yards, averaging over 17 yards per catch. Make no mistakr about it, he's a big play receiver. In last year's final meeting, Cotchery had 4 catches for 50 yards and their lone touchdown. The Dolphins must somehow find a way to contain these two. With the switch of Travis Daniels to safety, that means Michael Lehan will start opposite of Will Allen while Andre Goodman plays in the nickel package until he gets more comfortable coming bacl from injury. That means Lehan will be forced to cover Coles or Cotchery. Either way, that's a matchup Dolphin fans worry about. Miami will need to get pressure on Pennington and not allow him to feel comfortable in the pocket. That's the best way to cover up a suspect secondary.

Oh, and don't forget about little Leon Washington. He's been very quiet this year, but Dolphin fans know all too well how he can change a game with just one play. Miami's defense will have to make sure they know where he lines up at all times and make sure they do not lose him in coverage. That could be a costly mistake.

And my one weekly wish. Can we please see some return on investment from Joey Porter. I said above that I think this could be the week he finally gets involved more. Please prove me right.