The Miami Dolphins are on a roll. They’ve won the past 2 games and Jay Ajayi has found his niche in Miami as he rushed for 2 back-to-back 200 yard games. They have found their starting running back. The unicorns have been out in full force protecting Ryan Tannehill giving up only 1 sack in the past two contests. The defense is starting to find an aggressive identity lead by Ndamukong Suh and Cameron Wake making up for the loss of Pro Bowl safety Reshad Jones. Things look like they are starting to come together. Or will the Dolphins pull the carpet out from underneath its fan base like usual and say, “Gotcha!”?
Another division rival is coming to town and it’s the New York Jets. The Jets aren’t looking too hot. With the less than impressive play of starting QB Ryan Fitzpatrick he was benched and Geno Smith was given another shot. Unfortunately, it ended early with an injury and Fitzpatrick was inserted back into the starting lineup. The only aspect of the Jets’ game that seems to be going their way is their rush defense. They are first in the NFL in fewest rushing yards allowed. It’s clear that Miami’s offense flows through the running game, but when the run game isn’t working the offense turns stale quickly.
1. Adam Gase
Coach Gase is blossoming before our very eyes. He left our arguably best running back Jay Ajayi at home when the team traveled to Seattle to begin the season due to behavior issues. If that doesn’t turn heads I don’t know what will. He’s more patient with the running game than before and it has paid off with Jay Ajayi’s spectacular two week performance. After half time two weeks ago Miami was trailing Buffalo. But, Gase made adjustments and Miami came away with a victory. Gase continues to learn on the job.
Now that Miami is playing the league’s toughest run defense what if they’re able to take away Miami’s secret weapon? We all know that the Jets’ defense is going to do everything in their power to stop Jay Ajayi. Gase must have an alternative game plan in order to beat the Jets. The emergence of Jay Ajayi has already happened. Now it’s time for Devante Parker to awaken. Miami is going to have to beat them though the air. But how?
2. Ryan Tannehill
Tannehill has been a solid quarterback for Miami the past 2 games. Only one interception has been thrown and he’s only been sacked once. This has given Ryan Tannehill more time to throw the ball (kudos to the “Unicorns”). Although, his numbers aren’t impressive (Avg. 228 yards the past 2 games) he’s making smarter decisions with the ball. In practice this week the coaching staff encouraged Tannehill to use his legs and athleticism more. Tannehill is one of the best QB’s when it comes to throwing on the run. If Miami is going to keep the Jets’ defense off balance we must see more play action, more running from Ryan Tannehill, and Parker needs to show up. The Jets will do everything in their power to make Tannehill be the one to beat them.
3. Don’t Get Marshed !
Brandon Marshall has been a nightmare for the Miami Dolphins for quite some time. Marshall is not an easy WR to contain due to his height, size, and physicality. It also doesn’t help that he seems to have a chip on his shoulder against Miami ever since he was let go by the Dolphins. You can bet that CB Byron Maxwell who has been inconsistent will have a bull’s eye on him all game. Maxwell will not be able to contain Marshall by himself. He will need lots of help from Miami’s safeties.
This is another important game for the Dolphins. They are 1 win away from tying the Bills for second in the division and being a .500 ball club. Look for the Jets to come after Miami’s rushing attack early. Ryan Tannehill must step up and get more involved in the offense. He must use his legs more when passing. Having to contain both Ajayi and Tannehill mixed with some play action passes Miami can win this game. Let’s see what Adam Gase has planned.