1) Disrupt Darnold
In the four games that quarterback Sam Darnold has started, he’s thrown eight interceptions and has regressed from the midway point of his rookie season last year. Other than his return game from injury against the Cowboys, where he threw for 338 yards and two touchdowns, the second-year player hasn’t looked comfortable directing the Jets offense. It’s paramount on Sunday that Miami’s front seven must harass and apply pressure forcing Darnold to throw into coverage or at least get the ball out of his right hand before he’s ready to deliver. If the Dolphins defense can get Darnold and the Jets offense into third down situations, that’s where the New York offense has struggled mightily converting at just over 20 percent.
2) Limit Le'Veon
Running back Le’Veon Bell hasn’t been the explosive player the Jets had envisioned this off-season. Much like Darnold, some of Bell’s struggles are due to the lackluster play of the Jets offensive line, and the inability to have success on the ground early in the game. Bell has yet to rush for over 75 yards in a game this season and that goes for his receiving yards as well. His explosive play ability has diminished and the Dolphins defense must keep it that way inside of Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Keeping Bell under control has placed the burden of moving the offense to Darnold, who hasn’t played with the consistency needed to get his offense going. Controlling the line of scrimmage and getting some penetration up front should help the Miami defense in getting off the field and gaining field position for their offense.
3) Win Turnover Ratio
Your rarely going to have a winning outcome or have sustained success when your team is minus 14 or minus six like the Dolphins and Jets are respectfully. Turnovers can bring momentum and emotion to a team or can deflate one in a flash. Dolphins fans lived those emotions last week in Pittsburgh when a tipped pass turned into an interception, that led to a Steelers score right before halftime. That sequence revived a team and fan base that was life-less for most of the first half. The game changed drastically after that chain of events and hopefully the Dolphins can inflict that type of scenario against the Jets this Sunday. Field position, gadget plays, fakes on special teams will all be on display by both of these teams looking for a way to win. All of those plays will collectively play a part in what team comes out victorious, but the ill-timed turnover seems to directly effect the outcome more times than not!