NFL Week 17 Preview – New York Jets at Miami Dolphins

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Miami Dolphins

  • Record: 8-7
  • Offensive Rank (Total Yards): 28th
  • Defensive Rank (Total Yards): 20th

New York Jets

  • Record: 7-8
  • Offensive Rank (Total Yards): 27th
  • Defensive Rank (Total Yards): 11th

Keys to the Game

Credit to

Credit to

Miami –

  • Have some form of offensive line
  • Get the running game going
  • Put the game on Geno Smith

Last weekend in Buffalo was embarrassing. Did the offensive line even get on the flight to Buffalo? The blame seemed to be placed on the snap count last week, but that is no excuse for giving up seven sacks with no halftime adjustment. If the Dolphins want to have a chance at getting into the playoffs their line needs to figure it out now.

An existent running game is what keeps defenses honest. You don’t need to have a dominant or even great running game, but one needs to exist in order to move the ball effectively. Abandoning the running game in Buffalo allowed the Bills to pin their ears back and go after Tannehill hard on every snap. Give Miller and Thomas a chance to grind the ball a little.

Eliminating the running game from the Jets will force Geno Smith to win the game, and as most have seen this season he hasn’t really been able to do that. Most rookies can’t do that to his credit though, but that is the situation the Dolphins want to get into. Make the Jets rely o Smith to throw the ball.

Credit to

Credit to

New York –

  • Better play from your secondary
  • Get Geno Smith in rhythm
  • Grid the ball

Chromartie played decently against the Dolphins in their first matchup this season, but the rest for the Jets secondary played quite poorly. Dee Milliner was torn up by Brian Hartline’s crip routes and soft hands (Hartline is only 22 yards away from a consecutive 1,000 season). Poor tackling in the secondary also led to a few touchdowns for Miami receivers. If Miami’s line keeps Ryan Tannehill on his feet he will pick this secondary apart.

Geno Smith needs to get into some sort of a passing rhythm this time against the Dolphins. It doesn’t need to be a 300 yard day or anything, but it has to be something. If he fails to do so he will get pulled like he did in the previous meeting of these two teams.

The Jets have always been a smash mouth football team on both sides of the ball. In recent years they have wanted to pass more and it isn’t working. They should grind the ball down the field against the Dolphins.

Prediction: Miami 31 New York 13

All of the Dolphins players seem calm and collected after laying an egg against the Bills last week, but if you happened to see Tannehill’s media availability this week, you could feel the hidden tension in his voice. The Dolphins want to make it to the playoffs this year and will attempt to get out of the gate strong and fast against the Jets.

Playoff Scenarios

The two logical playoff scenarios in which the Dolphins make the playoffs are as follow:

  1.  Dolphins win and Ravens lose or tie.
  2.  The Dolphins win and the Chargers win.

This may make it easier to understand if you are a visual person like myself.

Credit to Kevin Nogle of

Credit to Kevin Nogle of

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