Week 8: Dolphins-Jets preview

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Miami at N.Y. Jets
Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, at MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J. - TV: CBS; DirecTV: 710
*TV announcers: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts
*Keys to the game: RB Reggie Bush had an opportunity to rest his ailing left knee over the Dolphins' bye week, and he expects to begin seeing fewer defenses committing eight men to the run as QB Ryan Tannehill continues to develop. WR Brian Hartline was shadowed by Rams CB Cortland Finnegan in the last game and held without a catch, and he can expect similar treatment from Antonio Cromartie this week so Tannehill has to quickly develop a similar rapport with other receivers. Miami has excelled making second-half adjustments. The Dolphins have outscored opponents 45-17 in the third quarter, but head coach Joe Philbin wants his team play more "downhill" from the outset to give the defense a chance to attack with a lead. The Jets lack a dynamic threat in their backfield, but RB Shonn Greene and a host of backups have done a solid job the past two weeks in lending support to QB Mark Sanchez. For the Dolphins, the goal is stuffing that ground game and cashing in on the few poor decisions Sanchez is prone to making on a weekly basis.
*Matchup to watch - Dolphins CBs Nolan Carroll/Richard Marshall vs. Jets WR Stephen Hill: Carroll played well enough in Marshall's absence (back) in Week 6 that he may keep the starting job going forward. Both will be targeted by the Jets, whose ability to move the ball through the air hinges largely on Hill's development over the course of the season. He's raw as a route-runner and suffered a key drop last week, but is a difficult one-on-one matchup at 6-4, 215.
*Player spotlight - Dolphins DE Olivier Vernon: The third-round pick is earning increased playing time and is coming off a two-sack performance in the team's last game as he steps up as a complement to Cam Wake.
*Fast facts: Wake has 34.5 career sacks. He already has more sacks than any player in his first four seasons with the Dolphins. ... Jets PK Nick Folk has converted his past 17 fourth-quarter field-goal attempts.
The Jets produced a 23-20 come-from-behind victory at Miami in Week 3, but struggled to contain the Dolphins' ground game. With QB Ryan Tannehill engineering a more balanced attack supported by an underrated defense, Miami earns the series split.
*Our pick: Dolphins 20-19

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