If there is one thing the Jets are not – and the way this season has gone that sounds more like the beginning to a joke – it is road warriors.
The Jets are 0-7 on the road and have looked dreadful at times no matter the stadium, but the road has been particularly bad for the Jets (3-10). Here’s a quick run down of the lack of production:
-The Jets are averaging six points per game on the road and 17 at home.
-They’ve been held under 200 total yards of offense three times.
-The Jets haven’t cracked 300 yards of offense away from the Meadowlands since Opening Day.
-They are averaging just 66 yards rushing while being gouged for nearly 160.
-Five times the offense has failed to rush for over 60 yards.
-The Jets have the ball for an average of 24 minutes and 54 plays while opponents play keep away for nearly 35 minutes and 77 plays, according to Edwards.
Looking at those statistics makes your eyes bleed.
“So that’s why we’re 0-7 to be quite honest, because you can’t play like that on the road,” head coach Herman Edwards said after reeling off similar statistics.
“You inflict pain on yourself,” Edwards continued. “Some people like doing that…obviously we like inflicting pain on ourselves when we go on the road because we have played very, very well.”
Yet the Jets showed promise last week. They penetrated the red zone for a season-high six times and came away with points each time. Jets crossed the 20 just five times in the four games prior to the win over the Raiders. Guess it’s better than nothing?
“There’s a lot of things about this year that we haven’t done real good so I’ll just take it for what it’s worth and it starts with me,” Edwards said.
The defense must tighten its collective belt this week. The Dolphins (6-7) have won three in a row, including upending the heavily favored Chargers in San Diego last week. Dolphins QB Gus Frerotte hasn’t dazzled but is efficient this season, throwing 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. His main duty is to handoff the ball to RBs Ronnie Brown or Ricky Williams.
Brown, the second overall pick in April’s draft, has 841 yards and four touchdowns this season. He is averaging 4.5 yards-per-carry. Williams has enjoyed a bit of resurgence after missing last season for well-documented personal reasons. He spells Brown and three touchdowns this season.
“I think he’s getting better and he’s getting in football shape,” Edwards said of Williams. “Not as quick as he was, but still got good feet, good acceleration and he’s a good football player.
“You’re not hearing a lot about Ricky Williams right now and that says a lot. Sometimes the best thing is when you’re not heard [about.] That means you’re doing a lot of good things.”
Judging by the numbers, the Dolphins are middle of the pack. They rank 15th in total offense, including 17th in rushing.
When the Jets beat Miami 17-7 in Week 2, Miami’s offense struggled mightily. DE John Abraham ransacked the Dolphins, recovering and forcing a fumble and adding a sack. Abraham’s greatest improvement has been playing the run.
Generally, Abraham, who has 8.5 sacks this season and is oft-injured, has not missed a game this season. He credits missing training camp as one of the reasons he stayed healthy and has been able to retain the weight he gained.
The defense will have to put up another spirited effort this week and the offense will need to churn out touchdowns and not settle for field goals.
“We’ve got to do a lot of things right to win a game on the road,” Edwards said.
That would be a first.
Stat of the week. -The Jets have given up 34 runs of 10 or more yards this season, a product of their defense wearing down from being on the field too much. Conversely, the lack of a speed threat at running back this season has hurt the Jets. The Jets have only 20 runs that have gone for 10 yards or greater with six coming from quarterbacks.
-For the third consecutive week and just the fifth time this season, the Jets didn’t turn the ball over in their win over the Raiders.
-S Kerry Rhodes, a fourth round pick last April, has the fourth most tackles among rookies. Rhodes has 79 tackles; the Raiders Kirk Morrison leads rookies with 98.
-On offense, only four Jets have started in the same position all 13 games. FB Jerald Sowell, WRs Laveranues Coles and Justin McCareins and G Brandon Moore have lined up in the same position all season.
PARZIALE’S POINTS: HOW THE JETS CAN WIN
1. On Top Of Things. The Jets must get a lead early and play from downhill. As evidence in the Raider game, the Jets got ahead early and led at halftime for just the second time all season. The other time was Week 2, against the Dolphins; a game the Jets won 17-7.
2. Six Greater Than Three. It took the Jets four trips to the red zone to finally score a touchdown against the Raiders last week. Oakland’s offense was woeful and does not have the same success as Miami with the rushing attack. The Jets must not settle for field goals each time they get to the red zone.
3. Taylor Made. Tackle Adrian Jones must take his game to another level this week against Miami DE Jason Taylor. With eight sacks this season, Taylor needs just two more for his fourth-straight season with double-digit season. Needless to say, he will be motivated.
The Dolphins, at 6-7, have their playoff hopes on a respirator. Coming into this week, Miami must leapfrog three teams to hope to make the playoffs. Still, that’s more motivation than the Jets have. If the Jets can pull off the victory, they will virtually end Miami’s season, but is that enough? Brown and Williams are a dynamic duo, and WR Chris Chambers speedy, averaging 14 yards-per-catch. Will CB Ty Law, who looks to have lost a step, be able to stay away from the oxygen machines in the Florida heat? It’ll be tough and the Jets will stay close.
Miami 20 Jets 16
-WR Harry Williams Jr. (knee)
-RB Curtis Martin (knee)
-RB Derrick Blaylock (ankle)
-DE Shaun Ellis (hamstring)
-DT Dewayne Robertson (thigh)
-T Scott Gragg (back)
-LB Mark Brown (neck)
-DT Bryan Thomas (bicep)
-CB Ty Law (illness)
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