TALE OF THE TAPE

Tale Of The Tape: New York Jets At Miami Dolphins

New York Jets
Miami Dolphins
(credit: Al Bello/Getty Images)
(credit: Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
(credit: Al Bello/Getty Images)
(credit: Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Quarterback
The Jets got the kind of performance from rookie quarterback Geno Smith in Week 16 vs. the Browns that they were hoping to get on a consistent basis. Smith has excellent athletic ability and he is a strong runner. However, he has a tough time reading defenses and he often makes incorrect decisions. Smith has a 12-21 TD-interception ratio, and that inconsistency could haunt him in this game.
Winner The Dolphins were awful on the offensive side of the ball vs. the Bills in Week 16, but they can still make the playoffs if they beat the Jets while the Ravens lose or the Chargers win. Ryan Tannehill was awful against Buffalo, but he has been solid overall in the second half of the season. He is completing 61.1 percent of his passes and he has 23 touchdown passes.
Offense
The Jets are one of the most limited offensive teams in the league. Their best option is to let running backs Bilal Powell and Chris Ivory attack opposing defenses between the tackles. This gives the Jets a chance to wear down their opponents. The Jets' best receivers are Jeremy Kerley and tight end Kellen Winslow, and neither one is a gamebreaker.
Winner The Dolphins are not one of the more gifted offensive teams in the league, but head coach Joe Philbin has found a way to get the most out of running backs Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas. They give the Dolphins a semblance of a hard-hitting running game. Brian Hartline is a quality wide receiver who has caught 74 passes. Explosive Mike Wallace can stretch the field with his speed.
Defense
Winner The Jets are going to try to crush the Dolphins' hopes with their hard-hitting defense. This may be Rex Ryan’s last game as head coach, and you can be sure his defensive players will be fired up to give him a potential going-away present. Linebacker David Harris has a team-high 118 tackles to lead the NFL’s third-best run defense. Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson leads the Jets with 10.5 sacks.
The Dolphins rank 20th overall on defense and while they have not been consistent, they should be good enough to get the best of the Jets. Outside linebacker Philip Wheeler has a team-high 109 tackles and has the speed to range sideline-to-sideline to make plays. Defensive end Olivier Vernon is an underrated pass rusher who has a team-best 11.5 sacks.
Special Teams
Winner The Jets have been consistent in their special-teams coverage, but they have struggled with their own return game. They have not given up a punt return longer than 38 yards, they have not returned a punt for more than 24 yards. Nick Folk has had an excellent season, making 31-of-33 FG attempts.
The Dolphins have not allowed opponents to return a punt or a kickoff for a touchdown, but they have given up some big returns. Marcus Thigpen has decent speed and is capable of making productive plays. Caleb Sturgis is a below-average placekicker.

We'll Just Call it a Tie

(credit: Al Bello/Getty Images) (credit: Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

The Dolphins need some help – as do all the other contenders for the AFC’s No. 6 seed – but they have an excellent chance of getting the best of the offensively challenged Jets in the season finale.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. KANSAS CITY, MP - JANUARY 15:  Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks to throw a pass against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 14: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks to pass in the second half against the Houston Texans during the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium on January 14, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
    Conference Championship Tale: Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots

    The Steelers and Patriots meet in Foxboro for the right to go to Super Bowl LI in Houston.

  2. ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 15:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at AT&T Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 14:  Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons drops back to pass against the Seattle Seahawks during the game at the Georgia Dome on January 14, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
    Conference Championship Tale: Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons

    Two MVP candidates at quarterback meet up in Atlanta for the right to go to Super Bowl LI in Houston.

  3. GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 8:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers drops back to pass in the second quarter during the NFC Wild Card game against the New York Giants at Lambeau Field on January 8, 2017 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 26: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys throws against the Detroit Lions during the first half at AT&T Stadium on December 26, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
    Divisional Round Tale: Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys

    The Packers look to avenge a loss to the Cowboys in the regular season.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Connecticut

CT Business Spotlight
The Latest UConn News
Sign Up Today!

Listen Live