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New York Jets Opponent Profile: Miami Dolphins

By Tyson Rauch

On Sunday the New York Jets (3-12) wrap up their 2014 season with a match-up against their bitter rival, the Miami Dolphins (8-7). The Dolphins beat the Jets in week 13, but have lost 2 of their last 3 games, eliminating Miami from postseason contention.

Diverse offense

The Miami offense features a dangerous passing attack that is supported by a solid running game. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill is doing an excellent job of spreading the ball around and has been effectively using his legs (317 rushing yards) when plays break down. Mike Wallace (10 touchdowns) remains a vertical threat for the Dolphins while rookie wide receiver Jarvis Landry (79 receptions) has emerged as a reliable weapon for Tannehill. Tight end Charles Clay (53 receptions) is a consistent safety valve over the middle of the field and is a tough match-up for opposing linebackers and safeties.

The Dolphins rushing attack is led by running back Lamar Miller, who is on the verge of his first 1,000 yard season. Miller is averaging over 4.7 yards a carry and is threat out of the backfield with 38 receptions.

Struggling defense

The Miami defense has struggled to stop the run as evidenced by the Jets’ 277 rushing yards in week 13. At this point it is safe to assume that the Dolphins will stack the line of scrimmage with a goal of forcing the Jets into obvious passing situations. The Miami Dolphins may be able to take advantage of a match-up in the middle of the line as Jets' center Nick Mangold could miss Sunday's game with an ankle injury.

The Miami Dolphins’ pass rush features defensive ends Cameron Wake (11.5 sacks) and Olivier Vernon (6.5 sacks) along with defensive tackle Randy Starks (3.5 sacks). The Miami secondary, which includes an excellent defensive back in Brent Grimes, could be facing a Jets receiving group that will be without Percy Harvin. New York's dynamic playmaker hurt his ribs on Sunday and is listed as questionable.

Playing for pride

With their postseason dreams dashed, the Dolphins will be playing for pride and for a chance to end the season with a winning record. Considering the nature of the rivalry between the Jets and Dolphins this should be a physical game with both teams opening up their playbook to secure a victory.

Look for the Dolphins to attack the Jets' depleted secondary with a diversified passing attack. Miami will try to take advantage of Mike Wallace's speed and will feature tight end Charles Clay, a player that the Jets defense will have a hard time covering.

On defense, Miami will be motivated to bounce back from an embarrassing effort in week 13. The unit will sell out to stop the run and force Geno Smith to beat them with his arm. The Jets quarterback has been playing better as of late, but tends to struggle when he cannot rely on an effective running game.

On paper this is a game that the Miami Dolphins should win, but as history dictates, anything can happen when these two teams are paired up.

For more Jets news and updates, visit Jets Central.

Tyson Rauch is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on

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