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Monday Night Football: Dolphins at Jets

I came here to bury the Jets, not to praise them. The Dolphins and Tony Sparano, they, on the other hand, have already been pronounced dead.

No, you see, TBL gave me permission to rip into New York for tonight’s post.

Seems like you like to tweak the Jets, and I have a feeling they lose tonight, so go nuts.

So, I came here with authority to rip into New York. So, why won’t I? (other than fear that this is a passive-aggressive ploy to see how far I will go, something something give a man enough rope something). I mean, I could point out that they are averaging less than 3.3 yards per carry, that they are near the bottom of the league in performance on short yardage situations, that the line has struggled, while the backs seem incapable of gaining extra yards and making explosive plays. I could point out that the Jets’ passing game has really struggled in recent weeks, that the criticism from Santonio Holmes about the line, as publicly foolhardy as it may be, is accurate. I could point out that most quarterbacks who turn into stars don’t have as many issues with consistency as Sanchez, who can be frustrating to watch.

All of those would have been valid points. But now let’s point out the positives, because a three game losing streak brings out the negative. They’ve played a tough schedule. Baltimore and New England are on the short list for Super Bowl favorites. Dallas is much better than their record and has played a similarly tough schedule. Oakland is a pretty solid football team, and it was on the road. The one patsy they faced, they dispatched with complete ease. At this point, we can say that they are not as good as the Super Bowl favorites, and have some work to do, but just how much, we don’t know. There is a large middle ground there.

This game should tell us if this three game slide is a product of tough matchups or play that will continue downward. The Dolphins are coming off a bye and were a little better than your typical 0-4 team, though now with Matt Moore at QB, all bets are off about what they will be going forward. These teams like to play close games–the last 6 meetings and 10 of the last 11 have been won by one score. We’ve seen the Jets look awful offensively in some games, and inspired all around in others.

Despite all the gloom and doom about the Jets, they still sit favorably in most objective rankings–8th in Simple Rating System, 6th in DVOA, 13th in Advanced NFL Stats rankings. The pass defense, despite having to scheme to create pass rush, still ranks highly even while other parts are floundering.

New York needs to win this game in a competitive AFC that has 8 teams with two or fewer losses at this point. If they lose to Miami, then yeah, panic time sets in. If they handle the Dolphins, then it’s just another crazy ride with the Jets.

[photo via Getty]

 

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