It should come as no surprise that the Jets' rush defense has rebounded from its one poor outing of the season. With David Harris back in the lineup, the Green & White have yielded just 39.5 yards per game during the team's two-game win streak.
The Cardinals remain the only team to have topped 100 yards on the ground against the Jets, amassing 171 in a 26-3 win. But Harris missed that contest as a balky hamstring snapped a streak of 121 consecutive starts. He remains the defense's heart and Harris embraces the challenge ahead of slowing down a streaking Jay Ajayi.
"It doesn't happen much, but he's playing out of his mind right now," Harris said of Ajayi's back-to-back 200-yard efforts. "The offensive line is getting downhill and punishing the front-seven fronts. We know the challenge we're faced with and we're looking forward to it."
Entering Week 9, the Jets defense leads the NFL while surrendering just 74 rush yards per game. In front of Ajayi, the Dolphins have a formidable line from left to right in Branden Albert, Laremy Tunsil, Mike Pouncey, Jermon Bushrod and Ju'Wuan James.
"They play well together. They get movement, they're cutting off backside pursuits, which is opening up lanes for the running back," Harris said. "Pretty much, they create two different holes every play. We need to play real good, solid defense up front and make sure we take all those possible gaps away."
Winters Is HereThe Dolphins will move four-time Pro Bowler Ndamukong Suh around on Sunday and RG Brian Winters is expected to see a lot of him at Hard Rock Stadium.
"Everyone in the league is good, but he stands out. He's a premier D-tackle in the NFL and you need to take that into perspective," said Winters, who pointed to Suh's handling of double teams and the ability to work an edge. "You have to know that going into the game. Every play is going to be a battle."
Winters was particularly effective against Suh last year in London as he started at RG and the Jets ran for 207 yards in a 27-14 triumph. Over the last two games, the Green & White have averaged 163 yards on the ground.
"It's good, I love the changeup. It's obviously good to keep a team guessing whether you're going to run it or pass it," Winters said. "We have threats in both areas, so it's been awesome. Obviously as an offensive lineman, you love the run game."
"We definitely stuck to the run. We were behind, but being effective," added RB Matt Forté. "The offensive line did a great job pounding them up front and staying on them. They wore them down throughout the game. You could see toward the latter end of the third and the fourth quarter, it started wearing on them. To me, it's commitment to the run and that helps everything. The pass helps out the run and it's just being a balanced offense."
Spiller ReadyAfter two days of practice, new Jets RB C.J. Spiller could be active Sunday in South Florida. The 5'11", 200-pound Spiller, who played for Chan Gailey in Buffalo from 2010-12, told reporters on Thursday he was studying and things were coming back quickly.
"He picked it up. He moves around pretty good," said head coach Todd Bowles. "We're not tackling, so it's a little hard to get a true progression on him. He's a pro. He's ready to play if we need him to play."
Best Images from Friday's Practice Leading up to the Green & White's Trip to Miami
The StandardVeteran DL Steve McLendon, who is in his first year with the Jets after six seasons with the Steelers, says the team has plenty of work in front of it. While the Green & White have liked the taste of winning, they know they will have to get on a long run in the season's second half.
"We know what the standard is in the NFL," he said this week. "Ten wins means there is a good possibility you're going to get into the playoffs. That's what we want here — we want to get into the playoffs. And I think we have the team to do it, so we just have to keep playing fast, keep playing hard and keep playing smart."
Final Injury ReportILBs Darron Lee (ankle) and Bruce Carter (quad) and TE Kellen Davis (elbow) all did not practice Friday and will miss Sunday's game. C Nick Mangold (ankle), OL Brent Qvale (neck) and LT Ryan Clady (shoulder) also did not participate in Friday's workout. While Mangold and Qvale are doubtful, Clady was listed on the injury report as questionable.
"He's played tough," said Bowles of Clady. "He battles. He battles. He has some games where he got overpowered a little bit, but he's more than held up his share of the bargain. Obviously he's been nicked up a little bit here and there. I thought he's done a courageous job."
DE Muhammad Wilkerson (ankle), RT Breno Giacomini (shoulder) and T Brandon Shell (shoulder) were limited and are questionable for Week 9.