The Jets are not downplaying the importance of Sunday's game with the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium.
"It's a must win, so we just have to go out there and play our game and let the chips fall where they may," LB Calvin Pace told me on "Jets Talk LIVE" this week.
The Jets and the 'Fins have exchanged in a war of words preceding this Week 8 matchup and the verbal volleys add some spice to an intense rivalry. But the talking won't matter much come 1:05 PM Sunday afternoon and Pace knows the Jets have to keep Reggie Bush in check.
"Before this year, Reggie Bush wasn't really too much of a factor," he said. "But he's having a good year. He said some things about Revis and I think he took what I said about trying to get him out of the game the wrong way. But he's doing a nice job for them as far as being an explosive playmaker.
"Every time he touches the ball, he has a chance to go to the house. Part of my job is to keep him bottled up, knock him back in to Dave (Harris) or Demario (Davis), and I'm confident we'll do that."
Even though the Dolphins have had two weeks to prepare for the Jets, Pace believes much of the uncertainty is gone for the Green & White. The Jets got a good look at the Dolphins in their Week 3 OT victory and they also won't have to deal with the South Florida heat and humidity this time around.
"We're more prepared for the tempo of the offense. We kind of know the running game and how they try to do things," he said. "Tthey do have a new coach (Joe Philbin) and sometimes it's hard because you don't know how he's going to attack you. I just think we're a lot more comfortable facing their offense."
The Jets offense looks a lot more comfortable with Dustin Keller back in the fold. DK, who missed the first Dolphins meeting and 4.5 games in all, is the security blanket for QB Mark Sanchez.
"We look at things similar," Keller told me on JTL. "The reason for that is because we spend a time in the film room. Whether it's first or second or third down, we have a good idea of what they're bringing. If we see what they're in, then we'll talk about, 'Are you going to be hot on this?' There are so many different things going on in the game, but just to be able to share the similar thoughts with your quarterback is a special weapon."
Used primarily as a blocker and a decoy against the Colts, Keller tied Jeremy Kerley with a team-high seven receptions against the Patriots while totaling 93 yards. Sanchez threw a rope to Keller for a 7-yard TD in the fourth quarter to culminate an impressive 14-play, 92-yard drive.
"I can't lie — I was exhausted during the game," DK said. "It felt good to get back in to the swing of things, getting some balls thrown your way and some chances to make some plays."
After asking Jets Nation for some of their thoughts on Sunday's matchup, we received a number of quality responses. Here are a few excerpts…
RichardKamas, UTKey Matchup: Jets LBs vs Dolphin RBs
We know the Dolphins can run and stop the run. The Jets must slow down the Dolphins RB and make the visitors pass in in 3rd-and-long situations. That will really help the Jets D in what should be a tough, close game.
Brian J.New Brunswick, NJ
Miami at home on Sunday is a "must win" game. Under Rex Ryan, the Jets haven't been able to sweep the Dolphins. The Jets defense must contain Reggie Bush and Miami's run attack. On offense, Mark Sanchez has to play consistent like last week and take advantage of Miami's weak secondary. Going into the bye week 4-4 is crucial.
David A.Haifa, IsraelX Factor Jets Offense — Offensive Line: The OL must make space to run and keep Mark Sanchez upright to pass.
X Factor Jets Defense — Defensive Line: The DL must keep the Dolphins OL from getting to the second level. That will allow LB Harris/LB Davis/S Landry free to tackle RB Bush. (On pass plays, the Jets coverage is good enough to stop Tannehill).
X Factor Special — Crowd Noise: The Texans and the Colts needed to waste timeouts because of crowd noise. The 12th man needs to do their part.