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Jets @ Dolphins Keys To Game

The week is finally here. The week that we have waited all off-season long for. Not only is this weekend the Miami Dolphins home opener at Sun Life Stadium, but the rival New York Jets are also in town for a showdown on Sunday Night Football.

All off-season long the Jets, whether it be their players or coaches, have been running their mouthes on their chances at winning the Super Bowl, and declaring their team a team of superstars!

Well so far the Jets are off to a slow start by their standards. Their record states 1-1, but right now I see a mediocre team plain and simple. After an abismal showing against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 1, the team bounced back against the New England Patriots to pick up their first win by a 28-14 score.

The Dolphins have gone another path than the Jets, a path that New York would like to be on right now. The path that is only followed by the undefeated.

The Dolphins may not have picked up their wins in pretty fashion, but their reputation in the league now is a scrappy team that finds a way to get the job done, and to be honest, that is the type of team that I would prefer to have over the flashy team that is prone to mental mistakes.

The Dolphins go into this Week 3 showdown on Sunday Night Football with some particular keys to focus on to stop the Jets, and extend their win streak against their arch rival to four straight wins.

3.  Henne Vs. Sanchez:

This is the matchup that will get the most publicity during the game, and during the weekend leading up to it. The common argument between Jets and Fins fans is over which franchise quarterback is better, Chad Henne or Mark Sanchez?  Personally, I think that Henne will be the better of the two, but Henne has yet to show that he can lead this Miami offense to big things, even with all of the required weapons to succeed. Both QB’s are in their second year as the starting quarterback, but Henne is entering his third year in the league. The key for either team will be whether or not the opposing defense can get to the quarterback, and make them make quick decisions. Last year Henne proved that he can make the tough decisions when needed, but he has still yet to prove it this year. I think this will be Henne’s coming out game, and for both him and the Dolphins to be successful, Henne will need to have pinpoint accuracy this Sunday, and especially pick on Antonio Cromartie, who will be guarding Brandon Marshall this week in the absence of Darrelle Revis. The  Fins need to utilize the deep ball early and often this weekend. That is one of their strengths now, and they need to show everyone how prolific their offense can be when it’s firing on all cylinders.

2. Battle Of The Trenches:

The battle down under will be key in which quarterback has success, and ultimately, which team sets the tone for the game. We know that the game will be one of the most physical that the Dolphins will play all year. But which team will get the better push up front in the ground game is up in the air. The team that protects its quarterback the best will go a long ways to being the winner of this matchup. We know that both teams have spectacular ground games, but the deciding factor will be which team will protect its quarterback the best.

1. The Pass Rush:

As I mentioned in the second key, one of the goals for the Fins will be to protect Henne at all costs. But to win the game, they will have to disrupt the timing of Jets QB Mark Sanchez. Sanchez is already proven to be one of the least accurate passers in the league to begin with once he is faced with a quality secondary. But once you get pressure on him, it seems he forgets how to complete a pass. For the Dolphins to truly come away with a victory this Sunday night, they will need to get Sanchez on the ground, and make him run for his life. This strategy worked against Brett Favre last week, and disrupted his rythm, and now it is time for Sanchez to feel the wrath of the Dolphins pass rush.

Final Prediction:

While this game will be a close one, I predict the Dolphins will again come out victorious, 24-21. The Dolphins have showed so far that they can come out with the win at the end of a close game, and can hold onto a lead going late into the game. I thinkMiami shows New York what a true winner looks like, and pulls out their 5th consecutive win against the Jets on Sunday night.

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