The Dolphins are coming off of a BYE week that was filled with much drama and controversy over whether head coach Tony Sparano should be fired, or not.
Sparano is still in power in South Beach, and has had an extra week to prepare for the rival New York Jets this week. He has been given new life, another chance to prove himself to owner Stephen Ross. Yet, while it is unlikely that Sparano would get fired after a loss to the Jets, he will likely be on thin ice the rest of the season, and most likely looking for a new job come the off-season.
But that should give him all the more motivation to beat the Jets this week, even though there shouldn’t be a reason to summon up any more motivation than should already be there, seeing the bad blood between these two teams.
Wide receiver Brandon Marshall has said that he is looking to start a fight with Jets linebacker Bart Scott, and that Marshall may be kicked out before the end of the second quarter. While the newly dubbed “Monster” is likely all talk, he does need to play with more emotion and make more big plays as well. Without Marshall, this offense simply is not the same.
Believe it or not, Marshall will not be one of the top three factors in the game on Monday night though. Here is why:
3. Give Daniel Thomas The Ball Early And Often:
The Dolphins do not have a problem moving the ball into the redzone, the problem is just scoring. The answer to that problem may just be rookie running back Daniel Thomas, who has not had a chance on a consistent basis to prove that he can be a red-zone threat for the Miami offense. Enough with the corner fades and pound the ball into the endzone, something this team is looking to do.
2. You Can Bend, But Not Break:
Over the years the Dolphins defense has been famous for this, bending but not breaking when the going got tough. This year has been a much different story, with the Dolphins giving up touchdowns on almost every curcial drive they meet. They do not rush the passer on a consistent enough basis, which then allows the quarterback more time to dissect our secondary. Blown coverages and miscommunications only add to the defense woes. For the Dolphins to compete with the Jets this week, they will need to stop the Jets when it counts, and put the pressure on Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez. Sanchez is one of the more erratic QB’s in the league, and when pressure is applied, he only becomes more rattled and inconsistent.
1. Can Matt Moore Step Up?
With the season ending injury to starting quarterback Chad Henne, 2nd stringer Matt Moore will likely be the starting quarterback for the rest of the season. With this also being his first week as the starter in the Miami offense, it very well could be a shaky game for the new QB1. Moore needs to show why the Dolphins picked him up to compete with Henne. Moore was a gamer in Carolina, and has a history of being a gambler when it came to making plays. With the combination of Moore’s aggressive approach, and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll’s aggressive offense, all Moore needs to do to keep the job is come out and produce for us, but as well all know, that is easier said than done. The game this week will all depend on whether Moore can direct this team to the victory. If Moore doesn’t show up on Monday night, the Jets “Ground and Pound” offense and defense will eventually overcome Miami.
Final Result: The Dolphins are desperate, looking for their first win of the season still, but the Jets may be even more desperate, clinging to their playoff hopes this early in the season. The Dolphins are a mess right now, and while so are the Jets, New York is still executing better than Miami is, and has better coaching. So I give this one to the Jets, in a heartbreaker, 17-13.