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The Good


Shaking several years of cobwebs and dust off, Matt Moore came in and absolutely shredded the Jets. In only 18 pass attempts, Moore completed 12 for 236 yards and 4 TDs. With the lone blemish being an interception on an underthrown deep ball. Not bad at all for a guy who has been collecting dust on the shelf for several years. Moore attacked downfield early and often against a weak Jets secondary and a Jets team that decided to put 8 men in the box all night to stop Jay Ajayi. Moore made them pay. Particularly impressive was a 52 yard deep ball for a touchdown to Kenny Stills who was running a post. The Jets brought a blitz and Moore stood tall to take the hit and deliver the throw.


Jarvis Landry certainly helped Moore's stat line. He took a 5 yard slant and turned it into a 66 yard catch and run for a touchdown. One of the knocks on Landry coming out of college was his lack of speed. Well, it didn't seem to be a problem on the play as he outran the entire Jets defense.


Dion Sims continues to show he is developing as a pass catcher. Yes, it was only 4 catches for 31 yards. But two of those were touchdowns. He also had an impressive 28 yard catch on a ball that was underthrown. He was able to shake off the defender and fight for the ball, then he literally dragged another defender to the 1 yard line, setting up his second touchdown catch of the night.


Cameron Wake is back, better than ever. Aside from tallying another sack (10.5 on the season), he also intercepted a pass while dropping back in coverage. The first of his career. Wake got the trifecta with a sack, forced fumble and interception in the same game. The last player to do that was Jason Taylor in 2006.


Tony Lippett is developing into a stud right before our eyes. Yes, he still has some work to do, but he's getting there. Lippett had two interceptions. Particularly impressive was the first one on a deep throw. Lippett was in excellent trail technique and was able to adjust to the ball in the air and intercept the pass. It was one of the most impressive interceptions I have ever seen. He now has 4 interceptions on the season.


Huge kudos to Xavien Howard, who has missed most of his rookie season. But he came back with a vengeance. Howard had the unenviable task of covering Brandon Marshall most of the night. Marshall ended the night with 1 reception for 16 yards. Howard, much like Lippett, was excellent in trail technique on deep throws, and was able to position himself to deflect the pass. He ended the night with 3 pass deflections.


All of a sudden, the future at the cornerback position is looking very bright for the Dolphins.


Overall, the defense played well, amassing 3 sacks and causing 4 turnovers. The Jets were 5 of 15 on 3rd downs. The most noticeable blemish being allowing 5 yards per carry and 116 yards on the ground.


Walt Aikens is a special teams demon. Last week, Aikens returned a missed extra point back for 2 points and had a terrific play on a punt that pinned the Cardinals down at the 1. This week, Aikens literally did everything, blocking the punt, recovering the ball and returning it for a touchdown. This is the type of guy we need to keep around so that our special teams can continue developing.


The Bad


The Dolphins need to figure out how to get the running game going. Granted, the Jets were stacking the box to stop Jay Ajayi and the passing game made them pay. But late in the season, when the weather can become a factor, you need to be able to run the ball. I know Pouncey is a huge part of the offensive line, and the center position is key to running the ball, but the other four guys need to step it up.


As mentioned before, the Dolphins need to shore up that run defense. Buffalo leads the league in rushing. New England is 8th. Most of the teams in the playoff hunt can run the ball (Houston, Oakland, Pittsburgh), so if we make the playoffs, that's what we would need to stop.


The Ugly


Calling out penalties here. The Dolphins defense is the most penalized in the NFL. The Dolphins contributed 9 more penalties this week. Two of them were defenseless receiver penalties on Isa Abdul-Quddus that were iffy, but overall, there is a lot of work to be done here by the team.




The Dolphins are guaranteed a winning season for the first time since 2008. But it won't mean much if they don't make the playoffs. With Denver playing New England this week, the Dolphins have a good chance of holding onto the 6th seed. But to make it, they need to keep winning. 10 wins is the goal and the best chance to do that is in Buffalo next week.




     We have been here before. It is almost like déjà vu. The only thing standing between the Dolphins and the playoffs are the Jets and Bills. Just like before, both teams are pretty much out of it, though the Bills are mathematically alive. This time is different because both games are on the road. It is also different because Miami is about as banged up as I’ve ever seen the team. Their hope is in Matt Moore finding a glimpse of the old gunslinger inside who went 6-2 as a starter the last time he was a starter. Miami needs that Matt Moore to show up because they’re also banged up on defense.  Saying the defense is banged up is sort of like saying the space shuttle is an airplane. It doesn’t quite describe the carnage that has gone on. Suffice it to say, the Dolphins Playoff hopes rely on their never-say-die attitude that has launched this team on an improbable 7-1 record over the last 8 games..

     The Jets are 4-9 this year and it stems mostly from bad play at the QB position. They’ve benched Fitzpatrick in favor of rookie Bryce Petty. Petty is a mixed bag and a raw talent. He is quick, feels pressure well and won’t hesitate to run the ball. He also has good touch on his deep ball. He is mostly inaccurate on his underneath stuff and relies on WR’s making good catches. Watching the game last week he was very inconsistent but had enough good throws to bring home a W for the Jets.  You would want to think this is an easy game for Miami but they’ve struggled against QBs like this in the past. I expect Sunday will be no different. I’d almost play man defense against the Jets with a spy  on Petty.  The Jets are pretty effective running the ball so shutting that down by building an early lead would be the key to winning.

                On Defense the Jets rank 20th and were gouged by the run last weekend. Miami’s problem is they’ve been unable to get their running game on track even against teams like the 49’ers so I’m not going to hold my breath here. The Jets are 22nd against the pass and have only produced 22 sacks this year. If Miami doesn’t self destruct, they should find some room to run a balanced attack and win the game.

Go Matt Moore,



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