Two AFC East teams that like to talk a lot will do battle Sunday in New Jersey, as the Dolphins and Jets take the field for the second time in 2012.
The Jets won battle number one in Miami, winning in overtime on a field goal after the Dolphins failed to win the game when Dan Carpenter missed a field goal in OT.
In that game, the Jets were dealt a huge blow when All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis went down for the season with a torn ACL. The Dolphins’ Reggie Bush left the game in the first half with a knee injury suffered on a hit by safety LaRon Landry.
Bush said the injury to Revis was a case of “what goes around comes around” after Rex Ryan said the Jets were going to put “hot sauce” on the Miami running back.
“I apologized for my comment,” Ryan said. “I expect him to do the same.”
Bush, who returned the following week but has struggled with just 2.8 yards per carry in his last three games, hasn’t offered an apology and said he’s not worried about being targeted this time.
“Retaliation? They’re the ones who started this,” Bush said. “If there was ever any retaliation, it would come from us. But this team and the caliber of guys and the character we have are guys who play with respect for the game and play hard.
“It’s football. I didn’t go and complain or whine about being a target of the Jets. I expect that every game. I don’t expect for it to be any different this game. I expect it to be a tough game, probably some trash talking going on. It’s going to be a physical, tough game.”
The Dolphins have gotten better since the first game, beating the Bengals on the road, and topping St.Louis at home. Their defense has been solid, and if they play as well the last few weeks against the Jets, they have a solid set to get a win.
For New York, they will look to do what they have done the last few weeks, which is pound Shonn Greene at the Dolphins. He rushed for 432 yards and five scores, including 162 vs the Colts two weeks ago.
Mark Sanchez has struggled in three home meetings with Miami, completing 49.0 percent of his passes for 682 yards with three touchdowns and one interception while getting sacked nine times. The Jets lost two of those.
He’s got to play aggressive, but can’t turn the ball over. The Dolphins have issues scoring a lot, so if the Jets can get to 20 points, they have a great shot to win.
Ryan Tannehill seems headed in the right direction, connecting on 66.7 percent of his passes for 839 yards in his last three games. Before that stretch, the Jets held the rookie to 16-of-36 passing for 196 yards and an interception.
New York is at home, and while they lost to the Pats last week, have been playing better. They will have a tough game here, but should find a way to get it done late.
New York Jets 21 Miami 17