Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Coming off a bye week, the Miami Dolphins are just behind the New England Patriots in the AFC East. The Dolphins can take a big jump towards the top of the division if they can knock of the New York Jets in New York on Sunday.
“I think they’re playing well. It’s a good football team and they’re playing well. Again, I don’t think teams change a whole lot, but they’re certainly looking improved,” said Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin of the Jets.
The Jets are coming off arguably their best performance of the season, even though it was a loss, against the New England Patriots. The Jets took the Patriots to overtime before losing on a fumble by quarterback Mark Sanchez in the extra period.
New York racked up 403 yards of total offense, including nearly 300 yards through the air while Sanchez managed to only be sacked four times on 41 passes. If New York continues playing this way, they will present a completely new challenge to the Dolphins who faced them just a few weeks ago.
“They have a lot of confidence in their guys,” Philbin said. “Give them credit. They’re well-coached on defense. They believe in their players. They believe in the scheme that they run.”
Fins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman said that obviously with All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis out of the lineup this time around, the Jets’ defensive scheme will be different.
“They’re still able to do a lot of things,” Sherman said. “Cromartie is a great corner. They have some very talented kids, but you have to look at them for what they are as opposed to what they were when we played them. I think they’re playing good ball right now and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
The Dolphins are still hoping to get a big contribution to the passing game from Jabar Gaffney, but have been pleasantly surprised with the play of Marlon Moore. It’s made the waiting for Gaffney easier on the Dolphins offense.
One of the things coaches are watching for this week ahead of the Jets game is to make sure the team isn’t over-prepared or overhyped coming off the bye week.
“Our preparation has been ahead of schedule because of the bye week, but I think the players, game week doesn’t really start until Wednesday,” Sherman said. “You can come in on a Monday and get them all geeked up and then they go away for a day and then I think you peak a little bit too soon. I envision that, when they come back on Wednesday, it’ll be very focused and very determined and very excited about the possibilities this game presents.”