Hurley: Are You Sick of the Jets Yet?
JIM HURLEY'S HANDICAPPING NOTEBOOK
JETS ON TV AGAIN (!!!) TONIGHT ON THE ROAD AT MIAMI
Have you seen enough of the New York Jets yet?
Has it even been possible to AVOID seeing the Jets over the past month?
- HBO selected the Jets to be the focus of their "Hard Knocks" series this summer. Rex Ryan makes for great television (some of which he now regrets). Between the episodes themselves, and everyone talking about what happened on the episodes, this became a virtual month long pre-game show for the regular season.
- The Jets keyed the first big Monday Night game of the regular season, hosting the Baltimore Ravens in a battle of playoff teams. Everybody watches Monday Night Football anyway...with so much hype from the summer leading into the Fall...this became the must-see game of the opening weekend.
- The Jets were featured last Sunday afternoon in the late TV window at home against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Again, it was the must-see game of the day (though Houston at Washington ended up putting on a much better show!). Hey networks, there are other teams in the league!
- Not content to only make headlines on weekends, troubled Jets star Braylon Edwards was arrested for DUI earlier this week...in the city that has more taxis than anywhere else in the world!
You can't get away from the J-E-T-S...JETS/JETS/JETS!
They're back on TV tonight, as the showcase game for NBC in prime time. Who are they playing? Doesn't it even matter?
The Jets visit the Miami Dolphins, the third straight quality team interested in shutting Rex Ryan's big mouth. Baltimore was able to do it. New England got in the first blow, but then took a beating the rest of the afternoon that sent the Pats back to Foxboro with their tails between their legs. Will Miami be able to do what New England couldn't?
If you're like most fans and handicappers, you've seen a lot of the Jets lately, but not much of Miami. Maybe you watched some of Miami/Minnesota early last Sunday. It turned into one of the most boring games of the day though...so nobody would have blamed you if you changed to something better (which was most of the other early games!)
Let's get caught up with the Dolphins. Here are the boxscores from their first two weeks of action...
MIAMI 15, BUFFALO 10
Total Yardage: Miami 296, Buffalo 166
Rushing Yardage: Miami 132, Buffalo 50
Passing Stats: Miami 21-34-0-164, Buffalo 18-34-0-116
Turnovers: Miami 0, Buffalo 0
Points Scored on Drives of 60+: Miami 7, Buffalo 7
Third Down Conversions: Miami 44%, Buffalo 21%
Vegas Line: Miami by 3, total of 38
Comments: Miami controlled the flow of the game obviously...but they were only up 13-10 until a late safety got them the cover. It may turn out that Buffalo is one of the worst teams in the league this year. They certainly possess one of the worst offenses of the last few years. This was an impressive statistical win, but not a big scoreboard win. That's fine in terms of taking care of business in the standings. For handicappers trying to evaluate the Dolphins, this is a mixed bag. The running game wasn't explosive. The passing game was just kind of there. And, the weather was great. What would have Miami's numbers looked like in late season Buffalo weather? Or, what would Miami's numbers have looked like against a top defense like they'll be seeing tonight in the NY Jets.
Game Two was a virtual replay of Game One, with the final score being just one point different...
MIAMI 14, MINNESOTA 10
Total Yardage: Miami 226, Minnesota 364
Rushing Yardage: Miami 120, Minnesota 156
Passing Stats: Miami 9-15-0-106, Minnesota 22-36-3-208
Turnovers: Miami 2, Minnesota 4
Points Scored on Drives of 60+: Miami 7, Minnesota 3
Third Down Conversions: Miami 45%, Minnesota 35%
Vegas Line: Minnesota by 5, total of 41
Comments: The scoreboard was a replay, but the stats were not! Miami was actually outplayed here in terms of moving the ball and getting things done. They won thanks to a defensive touchdown...and a 4-2 turnover advantage that isn't likely to happen again. A win is a win...and Miami's strong defense will give it a decent shot every time they take the field. But, you have to be concerned about:
- Chad Henne's ability to do anything in the air. He's been largely invisible in two important games.
- The team's overall invisibility on offense. Miami only has 13 and 7 offensive points through two games. They're VERY lucky to be undefeated.
- The slowing down of Ricky Williams. To the naked eye, he appears to have lost a step. That's a step that matters in this offense.
It's not much of an exaggeration to say that this Miami team looks a lot like last year's NY Jets team! All defense and no offense. The Jets showed you can take that a long way if you get some breaks in the postseason and peak at the right time. It's not the standard of champions right now, though. And, it only yielded a 9-7 regular season record last year for New York anyway.
To us, these are the key questions as you handicap tonight's AFC East showdown:
- Is Miami's defense really as good as New York's, meaning it's a virtual dead heat on that side of the ball? Remember that Darrelle Revis is out for the Jets.
- Who has the quarterback edge between Chad Henne and Mark Sanchez? Henne had a head start in the league...and neither is exactly racing to superstardom at the moment. Was a solid effort from Sanchez last week (21-30-0-200) a sign of things to come, or just a reflection of a poor New England defense? (And, isn't it depressing that these QB's are so shaky that 200 yards seems like a good day?)
- Will the Jets let down off the huge win over New England? That was a gut check result to be sure. After the home loss to Baltimore, the Jets just couldn't afford a loss to the Pats. The balance of power in the AFC East was at stake. Will a letdown from the Jets suddenly swing the power toward Miami with a stunning 3-0 start?
You regulars know we can't post our opinions on those questions here in the NOTEBOOK. We can tell you that JIM HURLEY has a very big Sunday planned, with early and late afternoon STUNNERS that will lead up to a strong TV release in the Jets/Dolphins battle. You can purchase today's slate here at the website. Be sure you take care of business before the early games kick off! Seasonal packages for the BLUE RIBBON, CLOSED CIRCUIT, and TOUCHDOWN clubs can also be purchased online.
Games of serious interest for us today include:
Tennessee at the NY Giants
Atlanta at New Orleans
San Francisco at Kansas City
Dallas at Houston
Indianapolis at Denver
If you have any questions about today's slate or our seasonal programs, call the office at 1-800-323-4453.
Back tomorrow to preview the Green Bay/Chicago game on ESPN's Monday Night Football. Stat reviews of the college and pro weekend will go up Tuesday to help springboard you to the new handicapping week. Real football resumes Thursday with Texas A&M at Oklahoma State in what could be one of the highest scoring games of the season.
Make sure you're with us EVERY DAY in the NOTEBOOK so you know what's really happening in the world of sports. And, link up with JIM HURLEY'S NETWORK for game day bombshells from a PROVEN WINNER who's been cashing tickets for his clients for nearly 25 years.
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