When the Miami Dolphins enter MetLife Stadium for Monday night's matchup with the Jets, they will be led by their new starting quarterback. Matt Moore replaces Chad Henne, who will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a shoulder injury on Oct. 2.
The Jets will be glad to see the Dolphins without Henne, who has posted a 3-1 record with six touchdowns, one interception and a passer rating of 94.2 against them in his career. Although Henne is out, Moore presents his own problems for the Green & White defense.
"What worries us is his ability to run the ball," said defense coordinator Mike Pettine during his weekly news briefing this afternoon. "It's something they coach down there. He's very mobile."
A fourth-year veteran, Moore has career rushing numbers that are less than impressive — 21 attempts for 26 yards. However, once outside the pocket, he is able to keep plays alive with his feet, buying time to find an open receiver or tuck the ball and run.
"It's a challenge for us every week," said CB Darrelle Revis. "We're familiar with Matt Moore, with him being in Carolina and making plays throughout the years. We just have to do a good job studying this week and making sure he doesn't hurt us through the air."
Pettine said that Jets QB Kevin O'Connell has been particularly helpful in learning the tendencies of the Dolphins' offensive system. O'Connell spent this past training camp in Miami, sharing snaps with Henne and Moore.
Moore is aided by his ace target, WR Brandon Marshall. At 6'4" and 230 pounds, Marshall is a difficult matchup for any defense, combining ferocious physicality with plus speed.
"He's one of the best receivers in the league," said Revis. "He's a threat. We figure this game is going to come down to a dogfight."
While Revis was speaking metaphorically, Marshall also believes the game may come down to a scrap.
"I'm going to play like a monster," Marshall told the Miami media on Thursday. "I might get into a fight with Bart Scott. Antonio Cromartie, we pretty much matured our relationship a little bit. If it happens, it happens. We'll see."
Pettine wouldn't mind if Marshall decided to get himself ejected on Monday.
"I just shook my head when I saw that one," said Pettine. "As long as it's not a one-for-one trade, he can go right ahead."
While part of this week was spent developing a defensive scheme to stop Moore and Marshall, the Jets spent most of their time on self-improvement. All week, head coach Rex Ryan preached the importance of "alignment, assignment and technique."
"It's the basics," said Pettine. "Do your job and good things will happen. Part of doing your job is knowing your job."
Pettine pointed out one particular instance from last week's loss to the Patriots where failure to complete seemingly menial tasks resulted in an undesirable outcome.
"I addressed it Monday — we probably wasted Mike DeVito's best performance of his career," said Pettine. "We have some guys playing at a very high level and other that are hit or miss. If we raise our level of consistency, we'll get back to where we need to be."
According to Revis, where the Jets "need to be" is in the win column.
"We're desperate for a win. We need a win," said Revis. "We're on a three-game losing streak, so it's good to be at home, and we need to get a win."