The Miami Dolphins will take on the New York Jets on Monday Night Football. The Jets will look to play spoiler to the Dolphins' playoff hopes for the second straight year, but they will face a much more talented Dolphins team with a less talented two-win roster.
However, the Jets will give their division rival all they have at home in primetime. All the talk has been about the Jets running game, justifiably so, but is the Jets passing game something the Dolphins need to worry about?
The Jets fourth ranked rushing attack is their best offensive weapon, but the Dolphins secondary is thin. Miami has three defensive backs, Sammy Seamster, Michael Thomas and Will Davis, on injured reserve and will likely be without both of the cornerbacks who have started games opposite of Brent Grimes this season, Cortland Finnegan and Jamar Taylor.
Jets' quarterback Geno Smith will be starting his first game since October 26 on Monday night. Smith is an inconsistent, streaky, polarizing quarterback; you never know what you're going to get with him. Smith entered last week's loss to the Buffalo Bills in relief of Michael Vick and completed 10 of his 12 passes for a 97.6 quarterback rating.
If Smith continues that accuracy and gets the ball into the hands of his playmakers on quick, easy throws then the Dolphins could be in for a long day on defense as they combat long, sustained drives by the Jets offense.
The Dolphins aren't even sure who will start at cornerback opposite of Brent Grimes yet. Injuries has greatly affected the cornerback unit and it's depth. The Dolphins will need to choose between journeyman special teamer RJ Stanford, rookie Walt Aikens, who was drafted as a cornerback but soon converted to safety, Don Jones, a 2013 7th round Dolphin draft pick who was picked up off waivers this week, and Jimmy Wilson, the slot cornerback, for the right boundary cornerback.
To combat this lack of high-end personnel at corner, Dolphins defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle will need to call a great game. It's likely the Dolphins defense will prominently feature zone coverage to try to mask the weak links in the secondary.
The Jets could easily dink-and-dunk the Dolphins defense down the field on top of that fierce rushing attack. The Jets may be seen as a menial task for this upward-trending Dolphins team, but the Jets have a formula that can work on this ailing Dolphins defense.
It will be interesting to see how it all plays out. I'm confident in the Dolphins, as this is a game they should win, but you never know how things will play out on the field. So I ask you, is the Dolphins thin secondary something to be concerned with?