Inside The Knox Score: Dolphins at J-E-T-S MNF

It’s that day of the week again folks, my favorite day during the gray and dreary seasons… Monday!!!! Monday Night Football is where footballs fans get to concentrate on a single game and quite possibly make-up for a weekend full of bad decisions. On the docket tonight are the Jets and Dolphins. AFC East action and surprisingly it is the bottom-dwellers. After last week’s mega-hyped Bears vs. Lions game, this game for the average fan is a scheduling letdown, but often times when you expect a boring low-scoring affair or an offensive explosion (see Cowboys vs Pats ) the opposite tends to happen and this is a rivalry game with both teams in dire need of a victory. The line opened -7 for the Jets and has stayed put. The over/under has gone up from 41 pts. to 41.5 and even 42 points on some betting sites.


Miami is 9-3-1 in their last 13 games as a road underdog, and 11-4-1 in their last 16 games on the road in general. Working against them are trends of 1-5 in their last 6 games vs AFC teams against the spread and a terrible 0-6-1 in their last 7 games overall against the numbers. The Jets are 9-3 in their last 12 games ATS, but only 1-4 in their last 5 Monday Night Games on the books. Head-to-head the Dolphins have actually beaten the Jets in 4 of their last 5 meetings.

Former UMAINE Star Matthew Mulligan

Jets Offense vs Dolphins Defense

Mark Sanchez and the Jets offense has been abysmal so far this season. They’ve shown little ability to run the ball and without the rushing attack, opposing pass-rushers have been in the face of Dirty Sanchez all season. Sanchez hasn’t shown enough bravado to take these hits and has been flinching a bit in the pocket. My idea to alleviate this matter has a bit of New England bias to it. A new wrinkle for the Jets that worked very well against the Dolphins was a two tight-end set. The Patriots torched the Fins with this set for a tune of 13 receptions, 189 yards and 2TDS in week 1. The Jets haven’t been using many wrinkles this season offensively, not with the absence of Brad Smith from the roster. Remember the direct-snaps, wildcat formations and shiftiness he would bring to the attack. This lead to more space for Tomlinson and Greene as well as buying Sanchez more time in the pocket.  Matthew Mulligan, a 3rd year tight-end from the University of Maine (born in Bangor, ME) would be a nice wrinkle in both the running game and may help release the immensely talented Dustin Keller. Keller should have a big game tonight. Center, Nick Mangold is back and healthy again and his experience plus the size of D’Brickishaw Ferguson should match-up well against the under-sized Dolphins defense. Cameron wake is Miami’s only real pass-rush threat and if Mulligan is on his side for some chip-blocks they can balance the rushing attack to all three gaps against this defense. This will eventually open up some deep balls to both Santonio Holmes and Plexi-glass Burress.


Dolphins Offense vs Jets Defense

The Jets defense has anything but stingy this year, not against the running game at least. They’ve been giving up an astounding 134.8 yards/gm and that includes huge numbers against teams that aren’t  known for their running game. BenJarvus Green-Ellis torched them last week and I would gather that the Fins will use D. Thomas and Reggie Bush as often as possible. Matt Moore is starting in place of the injured Chad Henne, but with Brash Brandon Marshall out on Revis Island, I can’t imagine a passing game will be in the works tonight.  Brandon Marshall has spat off his mouth again, begging to be ejected or fined in some form of reverse psychology antic. The left side of the Fins O-Line is their strength with Long, Incognito and even Center Pouncey pulling runs in that direction. The Jets will be sending blitzes from linebackers Calvin Pace and David Harris with saftey help from Leonard and Eric Smith all night. They can afford to do this with the man-to-man skills of their cornerbacks, Revis and Cromartie. Matt Moore will have to be wary of these packages and use Davone Bess and his speed on SLUGGO’S  or slant and go’s. Bush should also be split-out as a receiver often to help buy more time and prevent the LBs and safeties from teeing-off.

Fantasy & Game Predictions

The Dolphins seem to be in the “Suck for Luck” sweepstakes to get projected first overall pick Andrew Luck next season. The Chad Henne era appears to be over and Matt Moore is not the answer. Although they have had recent success against the Jets, this isn’t gonna go well for them tonight. Their offense is atrocious and I’m predicting 2 INTs and only 167 yards of passing for Moore. He will also be sacked at least 4 times. With Revis shutting down Marshall, expect the free-roaming Jim Leonhard to get a sack and an INT in this game.  The Jets defense has struggled against the run and the two-headed attack of Bush and Thomas will tally a combined 120 yards. Thomas,  the rookie out of Kansas State, will post 80 yds and Bush will have another 40. Don’t expect Bush to see a ton of yards on screens with the safeties not needed on double-coverage. Screens will be spied and virtually useless. I expect Keller at TE to have an amazing game tonight. 10 catches-100 yds-2tds and I’m hoping that the home-town Mainer, Matt Mulligan gets in the game on two tight-end sets and sees 3 catches. He will spring a big run from S. Greene tonight as well as provide a key block or two on screens for L. Tomlinson. Tomlinson gets 70 yds receiving and a TD to top things off. Holmes and Burress can contribute with 5-6 catches each over the middle, but never seem to be part of the red-zone. If either of those players score, it will be a big one in the neighborhood of 50-60 yards.

Pick: Jets win big 27-10 to cover the 7 point spread and the score is under the 41.5 total.

You can follow JB Knox on twitter @theknoxscore

8 Responses to “Inside The Knox Score: Dolphins at J-E-T-S MNF”
  1. IanBlanchard says:

    Good look Jim. I would say that Sanchez must find his receivers HOLMES and BURRESS in order for them to solidify the win and for me to eek out a last minute win in Fantasy

  2. J.B. Knox says:

    Who is in your lineup tonight? Holmes will have his chances with Keller getting many looks over the middle. If its Sanchez numbers may be 230 with 2 TDS. I think the TE Keller dominates

  3. nsixx99 says:

    I agree with IanBlanchard that Sanchez will need to find success in the passing game to pull out the win they desperately need. The Dolphins pass defense is 31st in the league so tonight is the night for the struggling Jets offense to find their stride. But on a personal note I hope the Dolphins pull off an upset i like the idea of the Jets being 3 games back of the Patriots!

    • J.B. Knox says:

      Thanks for the comments nsixx!!! Was already following you on twitter and have just subscribed to your blog!!! Keep up the good work. I will be on twitter during game tonight as I expect you will be too. Hope you enjoy and yes I too would love to see the Fins take it. Pats defense was stellar yday. I though Dane Fletcher was amazing as the mic!!! He was in charge of switching defensive audibles in place of Mayo & Guyton and I think he is the smartest LB we ‘ve had since Teddy Bruschi

  4. nsixx99 says:

    It was fantastic yesterday to finally see the Pats D play, they had been questionable up to that point. thanks for the follow!

  5. IanBlanchard says:

    thanks nsix99 for the comments!

  6. brief22 says:

    Great post! I like how you put the “Suck for Luck” Miami needs Andrew Luck. So so the Colts, I think they could use him as a backup until Manning leaves. It could be like a Rodgers-Favre situation.

    Nice post again and keep up the good work!


    • J.B. Knox says:

      I agree Sam, I actually think that the Colts should take him instead of the Dolphins. The Fins need RT badly and a safety. Safety seems to be the 2nd most important position nowadays with the pass-happy offenses in the NFL. If Miami gets the first pick they’d be wise to trade down and get the 1st pick in the 2nd round plus another selection. They can probably find a mobile QB later in the draft that can avoid pass rushes instead of taking Luck and letting him get killed bcuz their line doesn’t know how to block. Look at Cutler and Sam Bradford this year. Those guys are getting wrecked. I also wouldn’t be surprised if the Jaguars offer a combo of picks and players to move up and get him which would play write into the hands of the Dolphins if they are smart. Hey, I think I need to write a post about this!!! BTW Can’t wait for the rankings to come out tmw!!!

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