October 27, 12
Jets’ Mark Sanchez in the Eye of the Storm as Hurricane Sandy and the Miami Dolphins Approach
Weather could be an issue for teams entering week 8 of the NFL season as Hurricane Sandy threatens to impact the entire East Coast. Sandy is is expected to make its way over the Northeastern United States this weekend. Of the games likely to be impacted by these thunderstorms, none have received more buzz than the AFC East division rivals rematch between the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets. After an overtime defeat in week 3, Miami is looking to even things up when they fly up to MetLife Stadium for Sunday’s game.
NFLWeather.com forecasts a 60% chance of rain, cloudy skies, with a high near 64. Northeast winds are expected between 10 to 14 mph. What this means for both teams is that they will need to spend time preparing for a potential downpour.
No longer allocating his film study time to Eva Longoria, Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez has shown improvement these last two weeks but is still having turnover trouble. With the current forecast, expect Rex Ryan to avoid taking risks and rely on his running back Shonn Greene to pick up most of the yards on offense. Even two or three yards a play on the ground will allow Sanchez to make quick and easy throws when he needs to. The Jets don’t want to be in a lot of third and long situations that would force them to air out the ball in the rain. Thus, Shonn Greene should get upwards of twenty carries or more on Sunday. By the way, the Jets are 3-0 this season when Greene gets 19 or more carries. According to NFLWeather’s analytics, the Jets are also 4-2 in the rain over the past three years, including the win over the Dolphins earlier this season.
On the other sideline, Miami’s offense has a somewhat more developed passing game. Even though Ryan Tannehill is still raw, he has proven that he can pick apart a secondary through the air. The Dolphins also have a dynamic running back in Reggie Bush who left in the first half the last time these two teams met. Expect Bush to be a big part of Miami’s offense on Sunday, especially in the passing game. If Reggie gets loose, his quick cuts on the wet turf could result in a lot of bonus yards for the Phins. Under the cover of Hurricane Sandy, screens and quick outs could be in store for Rex Ryan’s overly aggressive defense. Bush’s explosiveness in wet weather presents a mismatch for a defense that has given up an average of 147 yards a game to opposing running backs.
Like week 3, expect this to be another close, wet and physical ball game. It has been five weeks but emotions of this game are still swirling. The Dolphins ability to throw the ball will end up being the difference maker in this one. But if Sanchez can control the ball, it could be a quite a game to watch…..from the comfort of your livingroom.
NFP (at) NFLWeather.com