Dolphins vs. Jets 2012 game preview: Miami heads to New York seeking series split

Joel Auerbach

The Dolphins will try to earn a season split with the Jets on Sunday, putting distance between the two teams in a close AFC East in the process.

The Miami Dolphins, at 3-3, come out of their bye week in sole possession of second place in the AFC East division as they travel to New York to face a Jets team trying to put a tough loss in Week 7 behind them.

In Week 3, the Jets won in overtime in Miami, 23-20, after Nick Folk's 33-yard field goal on the second attempt following a timeout that nullified his blocked first attempt gave New York the win. After rallying in the fourth quarter to force an extra frame against the New England Patriots last week, the Jets lost, 29-26, following a lost fumble by quarterback Mark Sanchez.

Kickoff at MetLife Stadium is set for 1 p.m. ET, and the game will be televised on CBS.

Meet the New York Jets

Down 10 entering the fourth quarter in New England last week, the Jets held a 26-23 lead with under two minutes remaining in regulation before the Patriots tied and eventually won the contest. The fumble in overtime was another costly turnover in a season featuring many of them for Sanchez, who is completing 53.2 percent of his passes for 1,453 yards, along with nine touchdowns, seven interceptions and six fumbles for the season.

New York's average of 22.7 points per game offensively ranks 18th in the league, while defensively the Jets are allowing an average of 24.3 points per game, good for 21st in the NFL. Even without cornerback Darrelle Revis, New York's passing defense still ranks ninth in the league, surrendering 215.1 yards through the air per game.

Meet the Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins were last seen on Oct. 14, when they defeated the St. Louis Rams at home, 17-14. Miami is currently in the midst of a two-game winning streak, as they also went on the road and downed the Cincinnati Bengals, 17-13, on Oct. 7.

Rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill has exceeded expectations thus far, throwing for 1,454 yards -- while completing 59.6 percent of his throws -- along with four touchdowns and six interceptions. He also has one rushing touchdown. Defensively, Miami ranks eighth in the NFL, surrendering 19.5 points per game. Additionally, their 20 points per game averaged offensively ranks 11th in the league.

Local Takes: Jets

Scott Salmon from Gang Green Nation says this week's matchup is a good one for Sanchez to build confidence from:

The point I'm trying to get at is that Sanchez is in a great position to capitalize on his recent success and his newfound weapons to tear apart the Dolphins secondary. With the deep passing game we saw against the Texans and the Patriots, Sanchez ought to be able step up and be a franchise quarterback, at least for this one game, and lead the Jets to victory.

Local Takes: Dolphins

Kevin Nogle from The Phinsider says Jets safety LaRon Landry's comments only add fuel to the rivalry:

If beating the Jets wasn't enough motivation. If beating a division rival wasn't enough motivation. If staying within a half game of the division lead, if not moving into the lead, wasn't enough motivation, Bush and the Dolphins now have just a little more reason to shove it straight down Landry and the Jets' throats on Sunday.

Follow the Fun

Be sure to check out SB Nation's team blogs, Gang Green Nation and The Phinsider, for more analysis and highlights from the game.

Add these fine follows to your Twitter timeline:

@GangGreenNation

@thephinsider

@AdamHBeasley - The Miami Herald's Miami Dolphins reporter.

@SethWalderNYDN - New York Daily News sports reporter.

Prediction

From the Week 8 picks:

A battle to control the middle of the AFC East ... hold on to your seats. As with every week, the question here is whether or not Rex Ryan finally has enough ofMark Sanchez kicking the ball out of the end zone and other amusing follies. It's like Ryan is dangling the red meat in front of the media, content with the attention and cognizant of what would happen when he finally flips the switch. New York won the Week 3 game on the road in overtime, but Ryan Tannehillis the little rookie quarterback that could, getting better as the weeks go by.

The pick: 14-13, Dolphins.

Odds

The Jets opened as three-point favorites, according to OddsShark, and the spread has moved in the Dolphins' favor, as New York is currently favored by only one point. The over/under combined point total is sitting at 40½.

Next Week

The Jets will be on their bye week in Week 9 before going to Seattle to face the Seahawks on Nov. 11. The Dolphins will stay on the road next week when they travel to face Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts.


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