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Place: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
The New York Jets felt like they let a big victory slip away last week, falling in overtime at the New England Patriots despite outplaying their bitter division rival for the entire second half. The Miami Dolphins can relate to that feeling, suffering an overtime loss at home to the Jets last month after carrying a seven-point lead into the fourth quarter and missing a pair of field goals, including the game-winner in the extra session.
The Jets have never swept the Dolphins in head coach Rex Ryan’s tenure and have dropped three of four at home to Miami, which is coming off its bye riding a two-game winning streak and leading New York by a half-game in the tightly bunched AFC East.
Sunday’s matchup has been spiced up by an ongoing rift between Dolphins running back Reggie Bush and Jets safety LaRon Landry. Bush was injured in the first meeting and took exception to comments from Ryan that insinuated he would be targeted by New York. Jets All-Pro safety Darrelle Revis was lost for the season in the first meeting, an injury that Bush termed “karma” for trying to hurt him.
Miami Dolphins (3-3): Rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill had a dismal performance in the first matchup with the Jets, completing only 16 of 36 passes for 196 yards and an interception. He has been much sharper in Miami’s two-game winning streak, completing 69 percent of his passes with two touchdowns and zero picks.
Bush was on his way to a big game against the Jets in the first matchup before hurting his knee just before halftime. He has struggled in the previous three games but hopes to be a full strength coming off the bye. The Dolphins rank fourth in the NFL against the rush at 78.2 yards per game and will be tested by New York’s ground-and-pound attack.
New York Jets (3-4): Oft-maligned quarterback Mark Sanchez threw for a season-high 328 yards and rallied New York from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Patriots. He was helped by the return of tight end Dustin Keller, who had seven catches for 93 yards and a TD after being limited to two receptions all season due to a hamstring injury.
Jeremy Kerley had seven catches for 120 yards last week and will continue to try and fill the void left by the season-ending injury to Santonio Holmes, who had nine catches for 147 yards in the last meeting against Miami. Shonn Green ran for 161 yards against Indianapolis on Oct. 14, but has been limited to 54 yards or fewer in five of his last six.
1. The Jets have been hit-or-miss at home, scoring one offensive TD in back-to-back losses to San Francisco and Houston and rolling up a combined 83 points in wins over Buffalo and Indianapolis.
2. Miami’s last four games have all been decided by four points or fewer, including wins at Cincinnati (17-13) and against St. Louis (17-14) entering its bye.
3. While the Jets (362.9) and Dolphins (363.0) are surrendering the same amount of total yards, Miami is 27th in the league against the pass (284.8 ypg).