As per usual, we deal with reality around here

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Premium – The Jets took care of business today, but if you look at some things closer, let’s not put them in Canton for what they accomplished in Miami . . .

The Miami Dolphins offensive line is a mess, and the Jets’ talented defensive line too advantage of this weakness.

Early in the season, the Dolphins offensive line was playing very well.

Then on November 9, the bottom dropped out.

Their big-money, talented left tackle Branden Albert, blew out his knee.

So they moved their impressive rookie first round pick, the 19th overall selection in 2014, Ju’waun James, to left tackle, out of position. James was a right tackle at Tennessee.

They took a big step back at both their bookend tackle spots.

And then a few weeks ago, Dallas Thomas, who had taken over at right tackle, got hurt. So they are now on their third string right tackle.

And guard Daryn Colledge has been in and out of the line-up due to a back problem.

This line is an unmitigated disaster, and the Jets did a nice job of dominating them today . . .

Geno Smith did some nice things today, but sakes alive (to use a Marty expression), the Dolphins pass coverage was horrendous. Horrendous! Look, I’m not looking to be a kill-joy, but if your quarterback is consistently throwing to wide open players, am I supposed to overdue the praise (as the Jets brass is wont to do)?

Cornerback Cortland Finnegan gave up two deep balls to Eric Decker. The second one, a 74-yard touchdown, he was nowhere near him. Decker got so far behind him, you would have through Decker ran 4.3, not 4.6.

Finnegan is playing on a messed up ankle, and it showed today. I don’t want to take anything away from Decker, who I think quietly had a very solid season, but clearly, he was able to capitalize on a matchup against a player who was hobbling. He deserves credit for that.

On Smith’s TD pass to Chris Ivory, the nearest defender was in Fort Lauderdale.

Smith was throwing into the type of windows today he saw in college football.

To his credit, he took advantage.

But seeing players wide open this often in an NFL game is rare.

The Dolphins coverage was awful.

So while Smith deserves some credit, I’d be careful not to go overboard.

This sort of scenario doesn’t happen very often . . .

Chris Owusu was a revelation today. He made a spectacular catch on a deep ball, and then a five plays later, took a reverse in for a touchdown.

The kid is a good player. He’s fast (4.3 speed), tough, smart (Stanford grad). He looks like he can be a good one.

So this begs the question – where has he been?

The only reasons he played extensively today was that Percy Harvin was hurt.

Remember, the Jets signed Owusu and T.J. Graham before they added Percy Harvin. Owusu and Graham were both smart signings – intelligent, tough, fast receivers, who can also help on special teams.

To me, the Harvin move was an appeasement trade to placate critics in the press and fan base about not spending enough money, and not having enough weapons.

They could have done without Harvin, if they had used these guys more.

Let’s not forget, that long touchdown catch the speedy Graham had in the Jets upset over the Steelers.

The Jets wasted Owusu, who they actually bounced to the practice squad at one point, and brought back when Greg Salas blew out his hamstring.

This guy should have played earlier.

But the Jets were so into their Harvin experiment, they couldn’t see the forest for the trees with some of these other guys.

It seems like they forgot about Graham since that long TD against the Steelers where he split double-coverage deep. How does that make any sense? You have a 4.3 sprinter who makes a huge play like that and becomes an after-thought?

Personnel moves aren’t just about signing the right players, but using them right.

And while it’s easy to blame John Idzik for all the personnel shortcomings, I think Rex deserves some blame as well. He often doesn’t use the guys he’s given in an ideal fashion.

December 28, 2014

Premium will return by 9:30 pm on Monday.

Dan Leberfeld
Dan Leberfeld
Publisher of Jets Confidential Magazine. Call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4) to subscribe. Co-host of Press Coverage every Saturday on SiriusXM NFL Radio from 11-2.

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