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The Dolphins have a much different team from the one that showed up at MetLife Stadium on Sept. 24, but more importantly they’re hoping to play a much different game than the one that resulted in a 20-6 loss.
“This is another opportunity to come out here, especially after the performance that we had the first time we played these guys and put something better on tape and come out here with a W,” wide receiver Jarvis Landry said. “That’s the only mind-set that we really have approaching this one.”
The Dolphins understand the mistakes they made in the first matchup, including penalties.
For offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen, the recipe for beating the Jets is simple.
“Really, really easy question,” he said. “We have to be as physical as them. We’ve got to match their intensity physically.”
Safety Michael Thomas has a lot of respect for the Jets.
“They compete,” he said. “They play hard. When we go out there, we’ve got to make sure we’re the team that executes more. We’ve got to make sure we’re the team that plays faster, that plays more physical.”
No more Jets: The Dolphins will be wrapping up their home-and-home series against the Jets on Sunday, marking the first time they’ll be done without an AFC East team before facing anybody else in the division. This will tie for the earliest date the Dolphins have wrapped up their home-and-home against the Jets — it also happened in 1967 and 1995. The earliest the Dolphins have ever wrapped up a home-and-home series against any AFC East opponent was Oct. 9, which happened in 1983 when they faced the Buffalo Bills after opening the season against them Sept. 4.
Tannehill contributing: Quarterback Ryan Tannehill is spending the season on injured reserve because of the knee injury he sustained in August, but he’s still finding a way to help the Dolphins this season. Head Coach Adam Gase said Friday that Tannehill has been a big help on game days by offering suggestions on the sideline. “It’s not a ton, but it seems to be at the right time,” Gase said. “It’s very helpful because he’s got very good grasp of what our offense is.” Gase said he often has to remind Tannehill to move away from the playing field to make sure he doesn’t get in the way of oncoming players during the action.
The play’s the thing: Jarvis Landry flashed a big smile when he was speaking to reporters this week and was asked about his touchdown catch against Atlanta when he found himself wide open on a misdirection play. The question, of course, is whether the Dolphins will be able to use that play again now that it’s on tape. “You never know,” Landry said. “We’re going to just put it in the bag. We might find a way to hide it and bring it back out again.” Landry said every time the Dolphins have run the play, where everybody is moving to the right except for his loop back to the left, he has found himself wide open. In fact, Landry says there’s been only one problem with that play — catching an easy pass with no one around. “Really, I’m telling you, every time we ran the play, it’s been wide open just like that,” Landry said. “I was excited when he called it. I tried not to drop. That’s the hardest part.”
Smooth transition: Linebacker Rey Maualuga has made a quick impact since entering the lineup for the Tennesee game in Week 5, and no doubt it’s helped that he’s familiar with defensive coordinator Matt Burke from their time together in Cincinnati. “It’s a defense that I’ve been around for the past nine years of my playing career,” Maualuga said. “Some terminology got changed, but for the most everything has been the same for me.” Maualuga then hesitated to find the proper way to explain how well he knows the Dolphins system before he pointed to rookie linebacker Chase Allen. “I don’t want to brag, but it’s something that I could teach my buddy over here,” Maualuga said. “That’s how much I know the defense and how much easier it was for me to just step right in and be thrown into the mix because of how comfortable I was with it. For the most part, everything has been the same for me and I’m just glad and helpful that it’s been the same and Burke trusted me to come out here and help the team.”
Winning the close ones: The Dolphins’ magic in close games continues and now they’re closing in on an NFL record. The Dolphins have won a franchise-record 11 consecutive games decided by seven points or less, three shy of the NFL record of 14 set by the Indianapolis Colts between 2008 and 2009. The Dolphins’ streak includes a victory against the Jets, the 27-23 decision at Hard Rock Stadium last November. “I’ll be the first person to say, we don’t want that,” safety Michael Thomas said. “We would love to get out with a lead and run away with one, but definitely we’re battlefield-tested. It doesn’t matter what the score is or the situation we’re going to always keep fighting, that’s it.”