NFL Wire News

Week 17 Preview: Jets at Dolphins

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New York Jets (3-12) at Miami Dolphins (8-7)

Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, at Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens, Fla. – TV: CBS

*TV announcers: Andrew Catalon, Steve Tasker, Steve Beuerlein

*Keys to the game: The Jets are going to run with Chris Ivory and they’re going to run with Chris Johnson. And for a little wrinkle, they’re going to run with WR Percy Harvin and sprinkle in a few carries for Geno Smith. They pinballed their way through a sloppy-tackling Dolphins team for 277 yards on a whopping 49 carries in a 16-13 Monday night home loss to Miami in Week 13 in which Smith attempted just 13 passes.

To avoid a repeat, the Dolphins will commit eight defenders to the box, but must improve the poor tackling that has been rampant as Miami has slid down to 24th in run defense.

They may lose the time of possession battle, but the Dolphins’ offense is playing with increased confidence. RB Lamar Miller isn’t setting any rushing records, but he is contributing enough on the ground and as an outlet receiver to take some of the pressure off QB Ryan Tannehill, who is highly efficient working the short- to medium-range passing game. He targeted WRs Jarvis Landry and Mike Wallace a combined 22 times in the first meeting and should be able to move the ball against the Jets’ weak secondary.

*Matchup to watch – Jets CB Darrin Walls vs. Landry: Landry had a team-high eight catches for 68 yards in the first meeting, although Walls did have an interception. Landry has continued to grow throughout the season, and has been particularly dangerous of late on slants and routes testing the seam.

*Player spotlight -Dolphins LB Jelani Jenkins: The coaching staff is pleased with the development of the second-year player, who took over a starting job following Dannell Ellerbe’s season-ending injury in Week 2 and leads the team with 103 tackles.

*Fast facts: Jet WR Eric Decker has at least 60 receiving yards in six consecutive road games. … Wallace has tied a career high with 10 TDs (2010).

WHO WILL WIN AND WHY

If not for a few late-game collapses, the Dolphins would be in playoff position right now. As long as the run defense doesn’t completely melt down, Miami’s emerging offense has the toolbox to close with a victory.

*Our pick: Dolphins 20-12


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