DATE: Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012
TIME: 1 p.m. ET
SITE: MetLife Stadium
TV: CBS (Ian Eagle, play-by-play; Dan Fouts, analysis)
SERIES RECORD: New York leads 49-44-1 (including playoffs)
AT MIAMI: Dolphins lead 25-22-1
AT NEW YORK: Jets lead 27-19
LAST MEETING: 2012 at Miami; Jets 23, Dolphins 20 (OT)
SERIES TREND: The Sept. 23 battle at Sun Life Stadium continued the recent trend of close games, as it was the eighth time in nine meetings the outcome was decided by eight points or less. The Dolphins had won three consecutive road games against the Jets before they lost in a Monday night game last season.
SERIES HIGHLIGHT: This marks the second time in four years the Dolphins will face the Jets in New York in Week 8, and they can only hope for a similar result as the first one. That game in 2009, of course, was the one that always will be remembered for Ted Ginn Jr.’s exploits, kickoff returns of 100 and 101 yards for touchdowns in the third quarter of a 30-25 Dolphins victory. Jason Taylor also returned a fumble for a touchdown in that memorable third quarter to help Miami win despite being outgained by 274 yards.
JETS’ RECORD: 3-4
LAST GAME: Lost at New England, 29-26 (OT)
OVERVIEW: The Jets have gone through a roller coaster of a season so far, dealing with injuries to star Darrelle Revis and Santonio Holmes, getting embarrassed by San Francisco at home, and then playing AFC powers Houston and New England to the wire before suffering tough losses — all the while dealing with the neverending talk of a quarterback controversy and how best to use Tim Tebow.
THE JETS’ STRENGTH ON OFFENSE: The Jets have been very uneven on offense, and that’s being kind. When they’ve been at their best, it’s been when Mark Sanchez has thrown the ball effectively, as he did throughout good portions of Sunday’s loss at New England. Second-year player Jeremy Kerley has stepped up as the new deep threat in Holmes’ absence and the return of tight end Dustin Keller has given Sanchez his security blanket back.
THE JETS’ QUESTION MARK ON OFFENSE: Head coach Rex Ryan and offensive coordinator Tony Sparano would love nothing more than to be able to pound opponents into submission, but the running game just hasn’t been good enough to do that. Except for a great game against Indianapolis, Shonn Greene has been mostly disappointing and the Jets as a team don’t even average 4.0 yards per carry. The notion that Tebow would help the running game hasn’t materialized yet, as he’s averaging a mere 3.5 yards on his 22 attempts — and that includes a 22-yard gain at Pittsburgh in Week 2.
THE JETS’ STRENGTH ON DEFENSE: Revis has been out of the lineup since sustained a knee injury against the Dolphins in Week 3, but the pass defense has remained very impressive. Fellow cornerback Antonio Cromartie has really stepped up in Revis’ absence and he leads the Jets with three interceptions. Of course, Dolphins fans also remember safety LaRon Landry returning an interception for a touchdown at Sun Life Stadium in Week 3.
THE JETS’ QUESTION MARK ON DEFENSE: Opponents haven’t had nearly that much trouble running against the Jets, who have allowed 169 yards rushing or more in four of their seven games and are giving up 4.6 yards per carry. In defeat, the Dolphins rushed for 185 yards when the teams met back in September.
THE JETS’ STRENGTH ON SPECIAL TEAMS: The Jets have been pretty good all the way around on special teams this season. Joe McKnight has a kickoff return for a touchdown, Kerley has a punt return for a touchdown, Nick Folk is a perfect 11-for-11 on field goals this season, including a 54-yarder at New England Sunday, and the Jets have converted a couple of fake punts with a Tim Tebow run and a Tebow pass to backup linebacker Nick Bellore.
THE JETS’ QUESTION MARK ON SPECIAL TEAMS: The Jets have been solid in all aspects of special teams this season, but their first major breakdown contributed to the loss at New England Sunday. After taking a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, the Jets quickly allowed New England to tie the game by allowing a 104-yard kickoff return to Devin McCourty.