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Thursday, September 20, 2012
Three-point stance: Miami Dolphins

By Dan Riccio | ESPN Stats & Information

After two weeks and a big surprise in New England on Sunday, the AFC East is up for grabs as the Jets fly to Miami for another division game in Week 3.

The story for the Dolphins this season has been Reggie Bush, who trails only Buffalo’s C.J. Spiller for the NFL lead in yards from scrimmage. Expect Miami to command the run game on both offense and defense against the Jets in this matchup. The offense ranks third in the NFL with an average of 5.5 yards per rush while the Dolphins' defense ranks No. 1 in the league, allowing just 2.2 yards per rush through two games.

The Jets meanwhile hope to see the return of Darrelle Revis on defense. Let’s take a look at three statistical keys to this game and start with the impact of missing Revis against the Steelers:

1. After Week 1, the Jets ranked as the third-best defense in the NFL in Total QBR allowed on passes thrown outside the painted field numbers. The team led the NFL with three interceptions on those attempts, including one returned for a touchdown. Without Revis in Week 2, the Jets ranked as the third-worst NFL defense in Total QBR allowed on sideline passes. If the star cornerback returns, the Dolphins are in trouble not only on sideline passes but between the field numbers, where Ryan Tannehill ranks 32nd of 33 qualified quarterbacks in Total QBR.

2. The Jets have dialed up aggressive pressure on defense this year and rank second in the NFL by sending five or more pass rushers on 47.6 percent of opponent dropbacks. For the Dolphins, Tannehill has thrown two interceptions against added pressure and trails only Jay Cutler (3) in the NFL this season. The rookie has also thrown nine pass attempts under duress or hit while throwing against five or more pass rushers, tied with Michael Vick for the most in the league.

3. With a rookie at quarterback against a solid pass defense, the Dolphins could rely heavily on the run with Bush, who has at least 100 yards in five of his last six games. This season Bush leads the league in rush yards (104) and touchdowns (2, tied with Frank Gore) on attempts outside the tackles. Gang Green matches up well as the third-ranked defense allowing just 2.4 yards per rush on outside runs. If there is an opportunity for the Dolphins, however, it will be from poor tackling. The Jets have allowed the most yards after contact in the NFL this year.