Defense Adjusts for Rematch with the 'Cat

ap091012028337.jpg

2009 Week 5 Jets At Miami

The Dolphins ran the Wildcat almost flawlessly the last time the Jets played them earlier this month, racking up 151 rushing yards in a 31-27 win.

Now the Green & White, about to play the 'Fins for the second time in less than a month, are making adjustments in practice to assure the results are not the same this time around.

"It's about missing tackles. We missed way too many tackles the last game," said DE Shaun Ellis, the longest-tenured Jets defender. "The D-line has to do a good job of getting off blocks. I think once we do that and recognize they're trying to get the ball all the way outside, we'll be good. I think we have some good things in as far as our different packages, so I'm anxious to see what it's going to look like live."

The Jets defense is coming off one of its best games, the 38-0 win over Oakland that is the largest regular-season shutout in franchise history, during which the Raiders were held to 263 yards. Through seven games they've allowed only 83 points by opponents' offenses — eight touchdowns and nine field goals for 11.9 points per game, second in the NFL to the Broncos (9.8).

Four of those TDs and a field goal can be credited to the Dolphins in that Week 5 matchup. The Jets' defenders remember what they felt like afterward.

"This is a game that we wanted to get back," said CB Darrelle Revis. "We felt that we didn't play our best defense that day. We have something to show them on Sunday."

As if they needed more motivation, with a win the Jets have the opportunity to go two games above .500 headed into the bye and an even 2-2 in the AFC East. On the other hand, a loss would send them back to 4-4 overall and 1-3 in the division.

"In your division you always want to win your games at home," said S Kerry Rhodes. "This is a chance for us to get back to them at home and try to right what we did a couple weeks ago."

Although Dolphins second-round rookie QB Pat White has gotten a few more snaps recently, adding another wrinkle to their offense, RB Ronnie Brown is the main guy taking snaps in the 'Cat. He proved against the Jets that he was a threat throwing the ball as well as running it, completing his only pass of the season, a 21-yarder to TE Anthony Fasano.

"This is going to be a totally different ballgame," Brown said in a conference call Wednesday. "They are going to change some of the things they do. … There's going to be some differences, but at the same time it's going to be a physical game, I expect."

But with RB Ricky Williams heating up, scoring three TDs last week against the Saints and averaging 5.7 yards a carry all season, Brown won't be the only back they focus on.

"You look at the stat sheet, he had like 6 or 7 yards a carry, so you're already at second-and-short," said Ellis. "I think Ricky Williams, he's the guy you have to stop. Ronnie Brown, you know he's going to be there. But when Ricky touches it, he gets 7 or 8 yards every time."

The 'Fins' success with the Wildcat allowed them to open up the passing game against the Jets as second-year QB Chad Henne played his best game of the season, going 20-for-26 for 241 yards, two TDs and a 130.5 passer rating. He's the only QB to post a rating above 80 against the Jets, who have held all opposing passers to a 63.6 rating, third-lowest in the NFL.

"He caught us off-guard," Rhodes said of Henne. "We didn't have much film on him the first time but he did a great job against us and I think he's getting better. He hasn't played on the road yet, so hopefully that works to our favor a little bit. The crowd will get loud for us and help us out in that aspect."

"We don't want to be looked at like that on defense," said Revis. "We believe that we're a tough group and that's what we want to show opposing teams.

"We feel that were the better team up and down – offense, defense, special teams."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Advertising