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Jets at Dolphins: 5 key players for Miami

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NFL: Miami Dolphins at Houston Texans Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins are hosting the New York Jets this weekend, the second meeting between the two clubs this year. The Dolphins beat the Jets back in Week 2 as part of the team’s three-game win streak to start the season. Since that 3-0 start, however, the Dolphins have lost four of their last five games and are struggling to find any rhythm. They need to use the Jets game this weekend as a springboard to a better second half of the season.

If Miami is going to have success against the 3-5 Jets, remaining ahead of them in the AFC East standings, they are going to need to play this game as a team - something they have not done lately. The Dolphins will need big games from some key members of the team.

Brock Osweiler, quarterback - The Dolphins will turn to Osweiler for the fourth-straight game as Ryan Tannehill’s shoulder continues to be an issue. In his first start, Osweiler recorded a 64 percent completion rate and a 94.9 passer rating, then a 71 percent completion rate and a 114.9 passer rating in his second game. The third game everything crashed down to a 57 percent completion rate and a 65.3 passer rating. Miami needs to see the Osweiler that performed in those first two starts, and not the one that was in the third game.

Cameron Wake, defensive end - The Miami pass rush has been anemic this year. Wake, who missed two games due to injury, has one sack on the season. For a player who has recorded at least 10.5 sacks in each of the last three seasons in which he played more than 7 games, one sack six games into this season is disappointing, for Wake, for the team, and for the fans. The Dolphins need Wake to have an impact in this game and force Sam Darnold to make bad decisions and make rookie mistakes.

Kenyan Drake, running back - The Dolphins have to get the running game established early in this game, getting Drake and Frank Gore going will open up the play-action passing attack, which will lead to Osweiler having a good day. Drake should be able to find success against the Jets’ defense, and Miami will need that this weekend.

Minkah Fitzpatrick, safety - This may not be on Fitzpatrick as much as it is on the coaching staff to leave the rookie cornerback/safety in the game. He barely played more than half of last week’s game against the Houston Texans. Fitzpatrick should be one of the top playmakers on Miami’s defense, and he needs to be on the field to make those plays. If he is given the chance to shine, Fitzpatrick needs to take advantage of those extra snaps and make plays.

DeVante Parker, wide receiver - Parker had a career day against the Texans, but now needs to back it up. Miami’s receivers are still banged up, even if they somehow get Kenny Stills back this week, and Parker will need to remain a big part of the offense. One great day does not prove Parker is a true number one receiver. He needs to keep performing like he did against the Texans - both for himself and for the team.