It has been a tale of two teams so far for the the New York Jets, and considering cornerback Darrelle Revis dubbed Sunday's matchup in Miami versus the Dolphins a "must win," it would seem wise for the Jets to play more like the team from Week 1 against Buffalo rather than last week in Pittsburgh.
Two Steps Back Quarterback Mark Sanchez struggled mightily versus the Steelers (10-27, 138 yards) after filling up the stat sheet on Opening Day against the Bills. The Jets were able to sack Ben Roethlisberger three times but could not muster anything offensively, and Tim Tebow was once again kept under wraps as the Jets were defeated 27-10 at Heinz Field.
Jets: Mark Sanchez (404 yards, 4 TDs)
Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill (419 yards, 1 TD)
Jets: Davis Harris (17)
Dolphins: Karlos Dansby (17)
State of Gang Green
Sanchez will be without one of his favorite targets in tight end Dustin Keller, who will miss his second straight game with a right hamstring injury. But Revis returns after suffering a minor concussion Week 1 versus Buffalo. Garrett McIntyre will start at linebacker again in place of Bryan Thomas, who was released by the team on Saturday.
Tannehill got his first career victory last week versus the Oakland Raiders, throwing for 200 yards and a touchdown while adding another on the ground, in a 35-10 romp. But the Raiders' defense is not on the same level as the Jets', and the rookie QB will be hard-pressed to have similar success against Revis and Co.
What to Watch For
The Jets need Holmes to get back to being the game-changing wideout of 2010 if they are going to make noise in the AFC this season, and this game would be a good place to start. Holmes, who has not gone over 100 yards in his last 27 games, faces a Dolphins defense that is among the NFL's worst against the pass (627 yards allowed in two games). But being without Keller means that Stephen Hill and Jeremy Kerley need to step up and be factors again.
And could this finally be the game the Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano unleashes Tebow - in the stadium where the wildcat was born? Allowing Tebow some plays to keep the Miami defense guessing could take some of the pressure of Sanchez and help him take advantage of the Dolphins issues in the secondary.
On defense, the Jets get Revis back and that should make it extremely difficult for Tannehill. Reggie Bush is a star and will get plenty of touches, but Rex Ryan will have a gameplan designed to limit the team's effectiveness on the ground, forcing a rookie QB to make big plays if Miami wants to have a chance in this game.
"This is a must-win for us. We need this win. The expectations are high for us to go down there and get a win." -- Revis on the importance of the game versus Miami
JETS AT DOLPHINS
Where: Sun Life Stadium
When: Sunday, Sept. 23; 1 p.m. ET
TV: CBS, Marv Albert and Rich Gannon
Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM
Line: Jets -3