Jets-Giants Wrap-Up/Jets-Dolphins Preview

Between some kind of plague sent from Hell (a terrible cold I’m convinced I got at a Wal-Mart), Christmas, my other job, having all my wisdom teeth pulled, and then getting a sinus infection as a result of the aforementioned plague, I didn’t write anything about last week’s hideously ugly Giants/Jets game.

I’m…not sorry about this. We all know the Jets didn’t add anything but a feeling of nausea to our respective holidays, and I felt lousy enough without reviewing in detail all the terrible football that took place at the Meadowlands last Saturday.

Between dominating in time of possession but scoring no points and letting quarterback Mark Sanchez throw the ball 60 times when they should have been rushing the football with running back Shonn Greene, the Jets were an offensively challenged mess. The defense wasn’t too bad but they did let up some big plays that led to points.

You probably remember this one, where what should have been a short gain turned into a 99 yard touchdown by Victor Cruz:

All the game really proved was that neither the Jets nor Giants belong anywhere near the playoffs, because except for a couple of plays, the Giants looked terrible too.

For the Jets, the playoffs are a long shot anyway now – they must win in Miami tomorrow (and avoid finishing this season at 8-8), and Tennessee, Cincinnati, and Oakland or Denver have to lose. Without a belated Christmas miracle – and Jets fans already got a miracle before Christmas with the Jets coming out of Philadelphia relatively unscathed in terms of their playoff hopes – it’s not a stretch that tomorrow’s game will be the last of the Jets in 2012 for awhile.

For now, though, let’s preview some of the Jets matchup with Miami.

+ Dolphins wide receiver Brandon Marshall has been running his mouth again, this time saying that Jets star cornerback Darrelle Revis gets the “Jordan” treatment (basically, if there’s a call to make, it’s called for Revis because he’s a big star, the way the NBA used to call for Michael Jordan). You’d think teams and players would learn not to call out Revis – the Giants did the same thing, and Revis shut down everyone he played against. But there’s the Marshall/Jordan Revis matchup to look forward to tomorrow. Marshall is averaging 97 receiving yards per game against the Jets.

+ Miami running back Reggie Bush is out for the game tomorrow, which takes some pressure off the Jets defense – everyone knows how explosive Bush can be.

+ Mark Sanchez has been playing poorly lately – maybe due to a pinched nerve? – but he’s done well for himself against the Dolphins. Although his record is only 2-3, he’s posted an 85.7 passer rating (on the high side for him), seven touchdowns, and one interception in 156 pass attempts against Miami.

+ On the opposite bench, Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore has picked up his game since taking over for injured Chad Henne. The Dolphins have evolved more into a passing team, and Moore’s done well. According to Rich Cimini at ESPN

“In his past three games at home, Moore has five touchdowns, one interception and a 98.2 passer rating. Against the AFC East, Moore has eight touchdowns, three interceptions and a 93.8 passer rating.”

+ While the Jets should have run all over the Giants last Sunday, they’re going to have more of a problem doing that against the Dolphins, who are ranked 3rd in the league in rushing defense and 26th in passing defense.  That said, with Sanchez struggling and the Dolphins defense probably underrated, the Jets should still concentrate on running the football.

+ Rex Ryan pointed out that an interesting matchup this week is going to be Jets center Nick Mangold vs. Dolphins nose tackle Paul Soliai. For fans of the linemen, that’s a great must-see. And Jason Taylor, the retiring linebacker legend, vs. D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Pro-Bowl left tack, is also going to make for some great football.

+ Finally, this could also be running back LaDainian Tomlinson’s last game in a Jets uniform, maybe in any uniform at all, so it’d be nice if we saw him in the end zone one last time.

The Jets should win this game against Miami, but they should have won a number of games this season. They’ve done nothing but underachieve. The playoffs are a long shot, and who knows which Jets team will show up. The best we can hope for tomorrow is a win. Whether or not the rest falls into place is out of the Jets control, but Jets fans can hope for Jets win.

My fearless prediction: the Jets will sneak by the Dolphins 20-17 and end 2011/start 2012 on a high note.


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