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Jets vs. Dolphins: The Key Match-Ups


Both teams are coming off losses that were highlighted by mistakes that both head coaches would like to soon forget. Chad Pennington tries his ball control passing attack against a defense that ranks in the top ten in the NFL against the pass while the Dolphins, already on their second QB of the season, look to get their anemic rushing attack going against a Jets team that has struggled against the run.

But all the stats go out the window when these two teams meet. The Jets lead the series 41-38 and have won three of the last four meetings. They begin a three game stretch against teams with a 2-13 record and hope to jump into the AFC East title mix, while the Dolphins are trying to claw their way out of the division dungeon.

Match up 1

SS Kerry Rhodes vs. TE Randy McMichael

McMichael had a solid day last week, averaging over 14 yards per catch on six receptions, much of it against linebackers in zone coverage. The Jets cannot afford to weaken their run defense and will roll Rhodes up to challenge McMichael on passing downs. McMichael will not enjoy his usual height advantage and if WR Marty Booker sits out this game due to injuries incurred last week, Rhodes will be locked up with McMichael all day.

Match up 2

NT Dewayne Robertson vs. C Rex Hadnot

The Jets have been experimenting with Robertson in an offset position, allowing him to use his speed to penetrate the gap and disrupt plays in the backfield rather than trying to hold up and anchor one-on-one against bigger linemen. Hadnot was pancaked twice in pass protection against the Texans and can be bull-rushed into the quarterback. If Miami needs to double team Robertson, LB Jonathan Vilma will be free to roam between the tackles.

Match up 3

LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson vs. DE Jason Taylor

The rookie tackle was fortunate to face an injured DE Dwight Freeney two weeks ago but now faces Taylor, who continues to shine despite a rib injury. Ferguson does not carry ideal bulk and strength for his frame, but he has a significant weight advantage over Taylor. He plays with good leverage, has quick feet to adjust to the speed rush, and rarely gets caught off balance. But Taylor, who has a full array of inside moves to go with his outstanding speed and quickness, is a multi-dimensional player who can cause problems for Ferguson in a variety of ways. If the Jets are forced to keep a tight end in to support Ferguson in pass protection, then Miami will be getting the best of this match-up. If Ferguson can man up with Taylor and keep him occupied, then Chad Pennington will have more options in the passing game.

Things to Look For:

Teams: The Jets have won three of the last four in the series and are 1-1 against Dolphins head coach Nick Saban…Jets are 4th in the NFL in 3rd down conversions and 5th in AFC in takeaways…Miami defense is allowing 2.9 yards per rush over last three games…Miami QB's have been sacked 22 times this season.

Chad Pennington: Has 5 TD and 0 INT and a 119.3 passer rating in last two meetings against the Dolphins…Is 2nd in AFC in passing yards and leads the AFC in yards per attempt.

Kevan Barlow: Tied for 2nd in NFL among non-kickers with 24 points.

Laveranues Coles: Has TD in each of last three meetings with Miami…Leads NFL WR's with 33 receptions and is 6th in NFL in 1st down receptions.

Joey Harrington: Is making his second start of the season…has 12 TD passes in 14 career games in October…Harrington recorded a 75.8 passer rating in his only start against the Jets, as a member of the Lions in 2002.

Ronnie Brown: Is tied for the lead among AFC running backs with 20 receptions and is 6th in the AFC in total yards from scrimmage.

Chris Chambers: has five TD in his last six games against AFC East opponents and has two TD in his last four games against the Jets.

Wes Welker: Has 18 catches in the last three games, including a career-high nine last week with Harrington…He has at least four catches in every game this season…has 27 receptions to date, two less than his previous single season high of 29 set last season.

Zach Thomas: Opposing TE's have caught two TD this season with Thomas in coverage…he has 10 tackles in 31 of last 36 games.

Jason Taylor: Has 12 ½ sacks in 18 career games against the Jets, including three in their second meeting last season.

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