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Jets-Dolphins Week 3 preview

Jay Cutler #6 of the Miami Dolphins communicates

Jay Cutler #6 of the Miami Dolphins communicates to his teammates during the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at the StubHub Center on September 17, 2017 in Carson, California. Credit: Josh McCown sets to pass against the Raiders in the Jets’ 45-20 loss at Oakland Sept. 17, 2017.


The Dolphins will have racked up 16,790 miles before they play their first real home game. Their original opener against Tampa Bay was moved to Nov. 19 because of Hurricane Irma and the team moved practices to Oxnard, California, as part of the evacuation process to prepare for the Chargers last week. Now the Dolphins travel to MetLife Stadium to meet the Jets before heading to London to play the Saints in Week 4. Their 16,790 air miles are more than 14 teams will total for the entire season.


The Jets were missing some offensive pieces the first two weeks. Whether it was not having tight ends Austin Seferian-Jenkins (suspension) or Eric Tomlinson (health), or receiver Jeremy Kerley, who was still getting caught up on the offense, quarterback Josh McCown was shorthanded. He might finally have all the weapons he needs against the Dolphins.

“For us, the mind-set is a little different as we go along from Week 1 to Week 2 to Week 3 and so on,” McCown said. “We’re seeking improvement as we get to know each other every game. That’s the goal for us as an offense. Do we like what we see and are we improving? Hopefully, if we can stick to those details, I really believe that at some point we’re going to look up and be on the right side of the scoreboard and putting up more points as we grow together. Hopefully that’s sooner than later.”


McCown, 38 with 15 years in the NFL, was Jay Cutler’s backup with the Bears in 2011-13.

“We’re close friends,” McCown said. “I enjoyed my time there with Jay in Chicago and getting to know him. Obviously, in the quarterback room you spend a lot of time with guys and so I enjoyed it. It’ll be fun to go against him because I enjoy his friendship, who he is and he and his family. Especially when I met him, he wasn’t married, to having kids, to watching his kids grow up, it’s cool. I love him like a brother, he’s a good dude and I look forward to playing against him.”


Ndamukong Suh is one of the league’s top run-stoppers and the Jets will need to get their interior linemen on him very quickly — and often. The news that Jets right guard Brian Winters will miss the game certainly doesn’t help.

Against the Chargers last week, Suh had four total tackles and two tackles for loss for a team that allowed only 44 rushing yards.

“He poses a lot of problems,” Jets offensive coordinator John Morton said. “Just like last week with [Khalil] Mack, we have to be aware with him and take care of him, just like with [Cameron) Wake on the outside. The game plan is set up for that.”


The Jets’ pass rush was nonexistent at Oakland. Derek Carr wasn’t touched once and several Jets attribute it to the Raiders quarterback’s quick release and the offensive line stifling the rush. Cutler was sacked twice in the victory over the Chargers. To put pressure on Cutler, the Jets need to not only stop the run, but also keep the Dolphins in long down and distances. If that’s the case, the Jets feel they can get to Cutler, who isn’t the most mobile of quarterbacks.

“We got to stop the run effectively, consistently on all downs,” defensive end Kony Ealy said. “And force these opponents, where they have to throw the ball more and obviously our pass rush will come alive. We’ve got too much talent on our defense and on our defensive line to not have that.”


Gains of 20 yards or more allowed by the Jets’ defense in two games.

New York Sports