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GAME TIME: 8:20 PM EST on Sunday, Sept 26th. The game will be broadcast nationally on NBC TV and on Sirius radio 125 and 126.

PLACE: Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL.

WEATHER FORECAST: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly before 7pm. Partly cloudy, with a low around 81. East wind around 8 mph.

FIELD CONDITIONS: Sun Life Stadium's grass field should be in good shape they're covering the baseball infield with grass early this year. So the Dolphins will actually have a fully grass field. Odds are that the grass over the baseball diamond dirt could be a little looser than the regular grass, and it may be wet from rain on Sunday, but anything is better than the bare dirt.

STANDINGS & STATS: After two weeks, the Dolphins are 2-0 and alone in first place in the AFC East. The Jets are 1-1 and tied with the Patriots for 2nd place in the AFC East.

Dolphins       Pts/Game  Rank   Jets           Pts/Game  Rank
Scored          14.5      23    Scored          18.5      19
Allowed         10.0       1    Allowed         12.0       6

Dolphins       Yds/Game  Rank   Jets           Yds/Game  Rank
Total Offense:	 261      27    Total Defense:   286      11
      Rushing:   126       7          vs Rush:    50       3
      Passing:	 135      28          vs Pass:   236      22

Jets                            Dolphins
Total Offense:	 256      29    Total Defense:   265       5
      Rushing:   126       8          vs Rush:   103      11
      Passing:   130      29          vs Pass:   162       6

Sacks		Made (Avg/G)	Allowed (Avg/G)
Dolphins          6    3.0         5      2.5
Jets              3    1.5         5      2.5

Turnover differential:
Dolphins         +2
Jets             +5

Individual Skill Position Stats:
QB:   QB Henne:           30-49-296-1-0-85.1
Rush: RB Williams:               28-92-3.3-0
Rush: RB Brown:                 26-145-5.6-1
Rec:  WR Marshall:             12-124-10.3-0
Rec:  WR Bess:                    7-63-9.0-0
Rec:  TE Fasano:                 3-46-15.3-0

QB:   QB Sanchez:         31-51-294-3-0-96.4
Rush: RB Tomlinson:             22-138-6.3-0
Rush: RB Greene:                 20-70-3.5-0
Rec:  TE Keller:                9-128-14.2-1
Rec:  WR Edwards:                 6-54-9.0-1
Rec:  WR Cotchery:                6-44-7.3-1

     QBs: completions-attempts-yards-touchdowns-ints-rating
     RBs: rushes-yards-average-touchdowns
     WRs: receptions-yards-average-touchdowns
HISTORY: The Dolphins are 41-46-1 vs the Jets, but have won 3 of the last 4, including both meetings last year. The last time the Dolphins and Jets met in Miami, the Dolphins won 31-27 as Chad Henne threw 2 touchdown passes and the Dolphins scored 21 points in the 4th quarter.


DOLPHINS: DE Jared Odrick (fibula) and G John Jerry (illness) did not practice on Thursday, while LB Channing Crowder (groin) was limited in practice.

JETS: CB Darrelle Revis (hamstring) and LB Calvin Pace (foot) are out this week. OL Wayne Hunter (shin) and OL Nick Mangold (shoulder) did not participate in practice on Thursday, while LB Jason Taylor (elbow) was limited.


Offense:		     Defense:
QB -  7 Chad Henne           LE  - 70 Kendall Langford
RB - 23 Ronnie Brown         NT  - 96 Paul Soliai
FB - 36 Lousaka Polite       RE  - 94 Randy Starks
WR - 19 Brandon Marshall     SLB - 55 Koa Misi
WR - 82 Brian Hartline       ILB - 52 Channing Crowder
TE - 80 Anthony Fasano       ILB - 58 Karlos Dansby
LT - 77 Jake Long            WLB - 91 Cameron Wake
LG - 68 Richie Incognito     LCB - 21 Vontae Davis
C  - 67 Joe Berger           RCB - 32 Jason Allen
RG - 74 John Jerry           SS  - 37 Yeremiah Bell
RT - 72 Vernon Carey         FS  - 30 Chris Clemons

K -   5 Dan Carpenter        P   -  2 Brandon Fields

PR - 15 Davone Bess          KR  - 28 Nolan Carroll
NOTES: Jared Odrick is still out, so it looks like it will be Paul Soliai and Randy Starks on the defensive line again. It also looks like Channing Crowder will be back in the lineup this week, but it remains to be seen if he will be the official starter. Last week, the Dolphins "official" starting defense was 3 DL, 3 LBs and 5 DBs (Benny Sapp was the extra DB).

Offense:                      Defense:
QB -  6 Mark Sanchez          LDE - 92 Shaun Ellis
RB - 21 LaDainian Tomlinson   NT  - 93 Matt Kroul
HB - 38 John Conner           RDE - 91 Sione Pouha
WR - 16 Brad Smith            LLB - 99 Bryan Thomas
WR - 89 Jerricho Cotchery     MLB - 57 Bart Scott
TE - 81 Dustin Keller         MLB - 52 David Harris
LT - 60 D'Brickashaw Ferguson RLB - 99 Jason Taylor
LG - 68 Matt Slauson          LCB - 31 Antonio Cromartie
C  - 74 Nick Mangold          RCB - 20 Kyle Wilson
RG - 65 Brandon Moore         SS  - 36 Jim Leonhard
RT - 67 Damien Woody          FS  - 22 Brodney Pool

K  -  2 Nick Folk             P   -  9 Steve Weatherford

PR - 36 Jim Leonhard          KR  - 16 Brad Smith
NOTES: The official depth charts all list Shonn Greene as the starting running back, but after last week's performance, I think LaDainian Tomlinson will get the starting nod. Darrelle Revis and Calvin Pace are both out for the game.


  1. Mike Nolan vs Mark Sanchez: Sanchez tends to play either great or terrible and the Jets' fortunes ride on his performance. If Nolan's defense can rattle Sanchez, the Jets are doomed.
  2. Chad Henne vs Himself: Just as he did against the Bills, Henne didn't make any big mistakes vs the Vikings, but he also didn't look like the kind of quarterback who can lead the Dolphins to a Championship. Against the Jets' 3rd ranked rushing defense, Henne will need to be more productive.
  3. Dolphins' Linebackers vs LaDainian Tomlinson: Last week, the Dolphins' Defense let Adrian Peterson run for 145 yards at 5.2 yards per carry. The Dolphins can't afford to allow the Jets to run the ball with that kind of efficiency.
  4. Cameron Wake vs Damien Woody: Wake has done an outstanding job so far this year of pressuring opposing quarterbacks. If he can continue his performance against the Jets, that will go a long way towards knocking Sanchez off his game.


Chad Henne is ultimately going to be the key to the offense's success this year, but so far has not demonstrated the kind of production that Dolphins' fans were hoping for. Brandon Marshall, on the other hand, has been exactly what the fans were hoping for, but unless the ball is thrown to him, he can't produce. And this week, Jake Long will face Jason Taylor.

On defense, Cameron Wake is producing the kind of pass rush that the Dolphins lacked for most of last year. Channing Crowder may be back in the lineup this week, which should help the run defense. Overall, however, it is the secondary that has really improved more than any other part of the team. With the career resurrection of Jason Allen and the improvement of Chris Clemons and Vontae Davis, the Dolphins have suddenly become one of the best pass defenses in the league.

LaDainian Tomlinson has become the biggest surprise of the Jets' offense this year, averaging 6.3 yards per carry in limited action. Mark Sanchez continues to run very hot or extremely cold, while one of his favorite targets - Braylon Edwards - was arrested for DUI this week. It looks like Edwards will play, but not start.

The Jets' defense is outstanding again this year, but will be missing 3 crucial starters this week. CB Antonio Cromartie will be the Jets' most visible cornerback this week with Darrelle Revis out while Jason Taylor will probably get the start at outside linebacker in place of Calvin Pace.

On special teams, the Dolphins dumped Clifton Smith this week and went back to Davone Bess and Nolan Carroll as their returners.


On paper, the Dolphins and Jets look virtually identical. They have similar stats, similar offensive and defensive philosophies and similar performance. Their offenses are both near the top of the NFL in rushing and near the bottom in passing. Each features a young quarterback, a strong offensive line and a run-first philosophy.

The defenses are both strong, but Miami's defense is playing better against the pass while the Jets are stronger against the run. But their philosophies are very similar. Each team wants to stop the run first and pressure the quarterback with a variety of different pass rushes, hoping to force them to make mistakes.

Unfortunately, if you look at the stats, the Jets' strengths tend to match up well against the Dolphins' weaknesses. The Jets are a strong running team, while Miami's defense is better against the pass. When Miami has the ball, their running game faces the Jets' 3rd ranked run defense.

But the games are not decided by the stats. The Dolphins have found many different ways to beat the Jets since Tony Sparano came to town and are in a good place to beat the Jets on Sunday night.

When Miami has the ball, they are probably going to have to throw the ball more than they have in the first two games. They are going to have to rely more on Chad Henne to move the ball downfield and less on the legs of Ronnie and Ricky. The Jets' run defense is very strong and while the Dolphins will never abandon the run, they must be able to pass more effectively.

Some of the pundits have predicted that the Dolphins will use the Wildcat a lot more this week, but I doubt that. The Jets know the Wildcat very well and unless the Dolphins are willing to introduce a lot more variation with the Wildcat (such as letting Tyler Thigpen run it), I doubt Miami will rely on it heavily.

With Darrelle Revis out, however, there should be more opportunities for Miami to throw downfield and they'll need to do that Sunday. You can expect more than 15 passes by Chad Henne this week, but the targets will remain the same. To move the ball, the Dolphins will target Marshall. To move the chains, they'll look to Bess and for big plays, they'll look to Hartline.

Of course, one of the keys to beating the Jets will be to avoid turnovers, so Miami will have a conservative gameplan. They will run the ball and show the Wildcat, because that is the basis of Miami's offensive philosophy, but they will need to pass early and often to beat the Jets.

One surprise Miami might pull out of its bag of tricks is Patrick Cobbs. Cobbs has been extremely effective in the past as a receiver out of the backfield, but has been quiet this year. He might reappear on Sunday night, especially with Calvin Pace out.

On defense, the key to stopping the Jets' offense is not to stop their running game. While it is important to restrict any opposing team's running game, the key to stopping the Jets' offense is to pressure Mark Sanchez into poor play. Sanchez, even more than most quarterbacks, is very inconsistent and susceptible to pressure. He can fall apart in a heartbeat under a good pass rush and for Mike Nolan's defense, this is very good news.

So far this year, the Dolphins have been winning with a big play defense that forces turnovers and makes big stops. They have been putting a lot of pressure on opposing quarterbacks and doing an excellent job in pass coverage.

Against the Jets, this should pay off well. Miami's pass rush will harass Sanchez and the coverage downfield will force him to look long and hard before throwing. This should prevent big plays, especially with Braylon Edwards limited this week. Pressuring Sanchez will give the Dolphins the turnovers they want and keep the Jets on their heels.

Obviously, the Dolphins must be concerned about the Jets running game, but perhaps more importantly, they need to watch out for short passes to Tomlinson out of the backfield. Tomlinson is very dangerous on screens and short passes to the flats and Miami must guard against these plays.

When not running, Sanchez' favorite receiving target is TE Dustin Keller. Last week, Vikings' TE Visanthe Shiancoe was Favre's favorite target - until the Dolphins decided to cover him with CB Sean Smith. Once Smith was put in place on Shiancoe, Shiancoe's production dropped to zero. Look for Smith to get a key role in covering Keller this week.

Ultimately, this game will likely fall out about like the Vikings game did. If the Dolphins can pressure Sanchez, win the turnover battle and generate even a modest amount of offense, they should win this game. But Chad Henne must start being more effective throwing the ball down the field for Miami to become a genuine playoff-caliber team.


To watch the game on TV, you may go to one of the sports bars listed on my "Places To Watch" web page.

To listen to the game live over the Internet, you must now pay the NFL for the privelege. They are charging $9.99 (US) per month or $39.99 for the season for something you used to get for free. If you want to sign up for that, go to the following link NFL Field Pass.

Also, here is a list of some websites that have live scores and updates. Both the Official Website and NFL.com have almost live applications that run in your browser and give you current stats and play-by-play information.

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