Jets at Dolphins: Win — and Lose, and Lose, and Lose, — and In!

Posted: January 1, 2012 by mzyohai in Jets, NFL, Prediction

Nick: As it turns out, last week was probably your team’s Super Bowl. Sure, it was a game to decide who owned Dirty Jersey. But as we well know here at Rivals, bragging rights are bragging rights. You’ll take them any way you can get them, like a homeless man looking for returnables. In your “Super Bowl,” you lost. Badly. It marked the second time this season you couldn’t beat a team whose quarterback completed just 9 passes (Teeeebowwwww!). Anyway, the moral of the story is: your Jets probably won’t make the playoffs. Wah wah!

Mike: I refuse to let this preview be a eulogy for the Jets’ 2011 season. But given my state of disbelief and depression after witnessing last week’s buffoonery, I don’t know how long I’ll be able to stave off the blues in this one.

Nick: In our Patriots preview, you called me out for not pulling my weight in predicting this week’s Jets game. Pardon me for not feeling the need to cover a meaningless game. The Jets need the Titans, Bengals, and either the Raiders or Broncos all to lose this week just to sneak in as the 6-seed. Oh, and they have to win on the road (where the Jets have all of 2 wins) against a Miami team that has gone 5-3 in its last 8 games (with two of those losses extremely close contests against playoff caliber teams). Otherwise it’s another year of empty Super Bowl promises and an offseason full of Peyton Manning speculation. (What an exciting proposition – choosing between Mark Sanchez and a guy who can’t turn his head as your starting quarterback. Go Jets!)

You already lost once with your destiny in your hands – just win in Weeks 16 and 17, and you got that coveted playoff spot that meant anything could happen (see: Packers, 2011). Now you have to pray to the football gods that a bunch of other teams lose that probably won’t (good luck having the Chargers, Chiefs, and reeling Texans all win in the same week). But first, you have to beat the Dolphins with the merciless fury of a Japanese whaler. What match-ups are you looking to on the stat sheet that make you think your team can even give itself a shot at playing in 2012?

Mike: Brandon Marshall is talking smack again for this game. Surprise, surprise. I expect his match-up with, ProBowler, Darelle Revis to be so quiet that we might even forget that Marshall is playing. The next closest receiver on the ‘Fins, in terms of receiving yards, is a full 600 yards below him, so once Marshall is out, the Dolphins have no passing game.

Nick: Advantage: Miami – the Jets have no passing game to begin with.

Mike: So sadly true, which is why the match-up I’m looking forward to is Mark Sanchez v. the Dolphins defense. The Dolphins put running backs on lock down, averaging only 93 yards allowed per game. Interestingly enough, Mark Sanchez’s numbers this year haven’t been statistically bad. In fact, if you look at his stat-line compared to Eli Manning’s third year line, they match up almost exactly:

                          CMP            ATT            YDS            CMP%      AVG      TD          INT            FUM            RAT

Sanchez:           287            511            3,267              56.2          6.39       24            15                4                 79.0

Manning:         301            522            3,244             57.7           6.22       24            18                7                 77.0

The problem is that whereas Sanchez has been clutch in the past, he’s now failing to keep his mental errors out of big moment situations. Sorry, Mark, fumbling on the 2-yard line in the fourth quarter, down to the Giants just won’t cut it in NYC. Try Arizona, they even hire players like Kevin Kolb.

Nick: Wow, I love not even having to rag on Sanchez. You did it for me! Although who knows why someone would call for 59 pass attempts from Mark Sanchez. That’s grounds for suspicion for throwing games, in my opinion, because there’s no way he’s completing 40 passes or throwing more than 50 without getting picked off (lo and behold, 2 INTs last week!). Okay, so I lied. I can’t let an opportunity to bash Mark Sanchez slip away. It’s just too much fun, and easy at that. Easy fun? I know you’re down for that.

You compare Sanchez to Eli in their third years. If your argument is that Sanchez will turn into Eli 2.0, okay, that’s completely hypothetical and therefore completely unarguable. So, sure. But just because the Sanchise compares to Eli in Year 3, doesn’t make his year “not bad.” Eli’s third year wasn’t very good – less than 60%, 22 turnovers, 77 passer rating – and Sanchez’s marginally better year, compounded by his massive and untimely mistakes, doesn’t make it “not bad.” He has looked abysmal all year, totally in over his head and overmatched against any team resembling competent. According to you, he isn’t accurate downfield and he telegraphs all of his passes. When your main job is throwing the ball, that can’t be good.
Mike: I don’t think anyone ever provided a job description when he applied.

Sanchez needs to quiet the rabble surrounding him right now. Teams know he has no accuracy down field and that he chooses to pass over the middle more than 60% of the time. Not to mention his tendency to stare down receivers until everyone in the stadium is fully aware of where he’s throwing. At the beginning of the season, Jets fans were fine with blaming the offensive line’s porous protection, but when the Jets are looking for a miracle, the fans in green won’t be entertaining any excuses from their QB.

Now that we’ve avoided the biggest question for this long, we have to discuss it. Braylon Edwards! He was released by the 49ers and has cleared waived. The Jets also dropped a man from their 53-man roster this week. Do the Jets pick him up?

Nick: I can only hope the Jets pick up Braylon Edwards. He’s been terrible with the Niners, he was terrible with the Jets (I’m sure I don’t have to remind you that dropped passes were his specialty). But by all means, please, go ahead, fill that roster spot with Edwards Scissor-Hands! You could use two guys with troubled histories and various run-ins with the law and with the identical skill set of running in a straight line on go routes and being tall enough to leap for jump balls to bail out Sanchez in the red zone when he panic-throws a fade into the corner of the end zone. Plax could use some cellmate-type camaraderie, as in someone to cower in the corner of the showers with post-game.

Mike: I will almost be happy if the Jets lose, so I don’t have to defend some of the retarded crap I’ve seen out of them this year.

Nick: Ah yes, the wonderful symptoms of a completely depressed fan! You really succeeded in not turning this post into a eulogy, huh?

Mike: Isn’t there a basketball game on somewhere?

Just give me your final score.

Nick: Even if the Jets win, I don’t think they’ll have a shot at the playoffs because too many other factors have to fall in their favor. I think they’ll know this and won’t have much of an inspired effort, particularly after blowing such a big game last week. On top of that, the Dolphins have been coming to play with some pride after losing their first seven. In gaining some momentum for the 2012 season, the Dolphins rob any remaining  shred of dignity the Jets once had. Enjoy rooting for the Knicks and waiting for spring training, Michael. Final Score: Dolphins 20, Jets 17

Mike: After this week, Jets fans, expect a extremely angsty rant about my feelings on this season.

Nevertheless, I’ll be wearing my jersey backwards and pulling my cap on inside-out. Hopefully having Reggie Bush sidelined isn’t the only luck this team enjoys on New Year’s Day.

Sadly, I don’t think the Jets can win this one. If anybody is putting the nail in the coffin of this season, it will be the Jets. It will be Brian Schotenheimer. Is it wrong that I’m getting excited about chasing him out of town with burning torches and pitch forks? Final Score: Dolphins 14, Jets 10

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