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New York Jets’ Keys to Victory in Massive Showdown with AFC East Rival Dolphins

Chris Ivory (Joe Camporeale – USA Today Sports Images)

Chris Ivory (Joe Camporeale – USA Today Sports Images)

The Jets were once 4-1 this season, but they now head into week 11 with an even 5-5 record.

With the Jets stuck in a four-way tie for the last Wild Card spot and behind on tiebreakers, every game from here on out is crucial for the Jets.

If that isn’t enough pressure for Gang Green, the Miami Dolphins are trying to get back into the race since they are one of three teams with a 4-6 record. So this Sunday could be a must win for the Jets if they want to stay in the playoff race.

The Jets know they can beat Miami as they already have a 27-14 victory over the Dolphins earlier this season. If the Jets want to sweep the season series against the Dolphins, here’s what the Jets have to do on Sunday.

  1. Chris Ivory – When these two teams squared off in London back on October 4, Chris Ivory rushed for a career high 166 yards on 29 attempts to go along with one touchdown. In recent weeks, Ivory has been off his game. But this weekend is a good opportunity for Ivory to get back to his earlier season self since he already should have confidence that he can run all over the Dolphins. If there is one thing we’ve seen from Jets football this year, it’s that the Jets win if Chris Ivory runs the ball well. Recently, Ivory is not getting as many chances to run the ball as he did earlier in the season. But if he gets his opportunities and he plays well, then that takes a lot of the pressure off of Fitzpatrick’s shoulders.
  2. Turnovers – Another thing that has been hurting the Jets during their rough patch is turnovers, on both ends of the ball. When they were winning, the defense was forcing a lot of turnovers and the offense was not. But now, Fitzpatrick is throwing the ball a lot more than anyone would want because Ivory is not playing well, which is resulting in more interceptions. The defense is not forcing as many turnovers as they were earlier in the season. As a result, the Jets are losing the turnover battle every week. And it is always hard to win games if you lose the turnover battle. So most importantly, Fitzpatrick has to be smarter with the football and not turn the ball over. The Jets are having enough trouble scoring as it is right now and turnovers clearly do not help. But if Ivory is running the ball well, then that will help out Fitzpatrick a lot because he will not have to throw the ball as many times.

The Jets may look pretty bad right now, but they are not out of it yet. They have six games remaining and they probably have to win four of them to get a playoff spot. And since one of the remaining games is against New England, the Jets cannot afford to lose games for stupid reasons. They have to stay focused and start playing their best football right now. It will be a huge uphill battle to the playoffs if the Jets fall below .500. This Sunday’s game is as close to a must win as they will have all season.

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