It's no secret that the New York Jets do not possess a potent offense. The Jets put only 16.1 points per game on the board (30th in the NFL) and average 310.2 yards per game (29th).
Nonetheless, the Miami Dolphins will be faced with a hefty challenge in the trenches in New York on Monday Night Football.
The Jets rely on their run game to get them in position to score points and stay in games. The Jets rush for 136.5 yards per game, ranked 5th in the NFL, and average 4.7 yards per carry (T-3rd in the NFL with the Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs).
The Jets run the ball 29.2 times per game, good enough for 7th in the NFL. New York runs the ball on 44% of their offensive plays, which is remarkable considering how often the Jets are trailing in games.
The Jets have an excellent one-two punch of running backs with the power runner Chris Ivory and the speedster who can score any time he touches the ball, Chris Johnson.
The Dolphins can expect a heavy dose of the run game from the Jets. Not only is that New York's bread and butter, but the Broncos put a great game tape out on how to run on the Dolphins.
The good news is that the Dolphins defensive line has responded well after being beaten down in the previous week's game.
After their second, third and fourth worst performances against the run this season, the Dolphins allowed only 50, 53 and 52 rushing yards respectively.
The Dolphins worst performance against the run was last Sunday against the Denver Broncos when the team allowed over 200 rushing yards (201) for the first time in 2014. Based on patterns of the season the Dolphins will tighten up against the run, but there is one more key factor that should ease the minds of many:
The Dolphins aren't dealing with a Peyton Manning-led offense. They're playing the Geno Smith-led offense of the Jets.
That is a gargantuan difference in quarterback talent.
The difference in having to face a multi-faceted offense from facing a one-dimensional team cannot be overstated. The Dolphins front seven can now focus primarily on attacking the line of scrimmage, clogging running lanes and bringing down the runner for minimal gains.
The Jets lean on their running game. They have only three games of less than 100 yards and two games over 200 yards. If Miami wants to shut down the Jets offense in New York, it will start in the trenches with the running game.
The Jets will likely throw load the line of scrimmage with extra blockers, so defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle needs to be sure he has the correct personnel in at all times to avoid getting pounded with power running.
If the Dolphin defense can make a one-dimensional team lean on the arm of their much-maligned quarterback, who's playing his first game since being benched, then the game will be in Miami's control.
(Part one of this article, discussing the trench battle Miami's offensive line will face, can be read here.)