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  Miami Dolphins - Team Report
December 30, 2011
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Jason Taylor will end his career with the team he played 13 of 15 seasons for, and against the Jets, the team he hated for all but the one season he played for New York.

Taylor, 37, announced Sunday will be his last NFL game during Wednesday's press conference.

"This will be my last game as a Miami Dolphin, as a professional football player," said Taylor, who was selected to six Pro Bowls during his accomplished NFL career. "I look forward to enjoying this week and soaking it all in for the next few days. We have a game left to play. There will be time for thank yous and goodbyes. This is not the time for that."

Taylor said he made the decision after consulting with friends, including former Dolphins teammates and brother-in-law Zach Thomas.

"I figured out this was the right move to make, the right time to do it," Taylor said. "It's been a tough year, unfortunately. We've had some good times, we've had a lot of bad times, too."

Taylor said the lone regret of his career was never winning a championship with the Dolphins. Team owner Stephen Ross released a statement saying Taylor "will always remain an integral part of the Dolphin family."

"We congratulate him for all he has done and we are looking forward to continuing to work with him as he begins the next chapter in his life," Ross said.

Despite the team's 5-10 record, Taylor's comfortable with the final chapter in his accomplished career, which featured this third-round pick becoming a six-time Pro Bowl selection and the 2006 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, not having a fairy tale ended.

"I wanted to make a practice squad in 1997. I was just so happy to be in the league and have an opportunity to play and come down and play with a team with Dan Marino and Zach Thomas and all the guys that were around then," Taylor said in an interview earlier this season. "I would have never thought 15 years later I'd still be sitting here."

His goal this season was to pass New York Giants Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor on the all-time sack list so he can have bragging rights on the golf course. He's got that thanks to his 139.5 sacks, which is the sixth highest total since the NFL began counting the statistic in 1982.

Taylor's pushing Michael Strahan for fifth all-time, and needs two sacks to tie the former Giant great. Coincidentally, Strahan's up for Hall of Fame consideration in 2013, and its possible his induction could hint at Taylor's chances considering they were the premier pass rushers of their era.

"It would be an honor," Taylor said. "We all play this game to play it at the highest level. To be recognized for your efforts at the highest level, and that obviously being the Hall of Fame, would be fantastic."

The Dolphins will need to address the pass rush in the draft or free agency because there's no one presently on the roster worthy of putting opposite Cameron Wake. The team invested a second-round pick in Koa Misi last year but his pass-rushing skills are the worst aspect of his game.

SERIES HISTORY: 92nd regular-season meeting. Jets lead series 48-42-1. The Jets won the first game 24-6 at the New Meadowlands in what was Matt Moore's first start for the Dolphins. The Dolphins have won four of the last six in the series, with the last victory coming by the score of 10-6 on Dec. 12, 2010.



PLAYER/PERSONNEL NOTES



--John Jerry will be called on to replace Jake Long as the team's starting left tackle.

"John's done a more than adequate job. With him getting reps there, the more time Jake's been out the more comfortable he's getting. He has a long way to go but he's came a long way too so we expect him to do the same thing on Sunday," interim coach Todd Bowles said.

--Matt Moore's first start for the Dolphins was against the Jets, and during that performance he threw two interceptions, and the offense only managed six points. Plenty has changed since then for Moore, who has a 89.8 passer rating.

"That was awhile ago, but we've come a long way. We've got some wins under our belt now. Not as many as we like, but definitely I think there's a different kind of theme to our offense now and that being we've established a running game. Not that we haven't before, but we got the running game going and we're making some plays on the back end ... We have an advantage obviously playing them for a second time. Just being in the division obviously you know you're opponent a little bit, but we're both different teams like I said, so it will be interesting," Moore said.

--Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore feels he's a contributor to Brandon Marshall's third Pro Bowl bid.

"Absolutely, I mean, yeah a little bit. He does a lot of the work with catching the ball and making the plays that he makes, but yeah, it makes me feel good. Absolutely, not taking anything away from Brandon (Marshall). It's a good feeling to be a very small part of that," Moore said.

--The Dolphins need one win to get to six on the season. The NFL record for most wins after an 0-7 start is six by the 1978 St. Louis Cardinals and 1998 Washington Redskins.

--The Dolphins offense has produced 38 passes of 25-plus yards this season. Only the Green Bay Packers (41) have produced more.

--The Dolphins have committed the fourth fewest penalties this season (80). The Packers, Colts and Jaguars are the only teams that have committed fewer penalties.

BY THE NUMBER: 25 - Despite not starting the first four games of the season, quarterback Matt Moore has 25 completions of 25-plus yards, which has him tied for seventh most in team history for a single season. He needs three passes of 25-plus yards to tie Dan Marino for third place in team history. Marino owns the top two spots with 37 passes of 25-plus yards in 1994, and 31 in 1991.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "My technique couldn't have been better, but at the same time, I think they gave him 'the Jordan Rule.' You get a little close to Michael Jordan they're going to call a foul." -- Brandon Marshall on Darrelle Revis' 100-yard interception in the earlier game, which some believe deserved a pass interference call on Revis.



STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

Reggie Bush has a 5.0 average on his 216 carries. He has the highest average for all the NFL tailbacks with 1,000 or more rushing yards, and his respectable run as an NFL tailback began against the Jets in the Week 5 meeting between these two AFC East rivals.

In that 24-6 loss to the Jets, Bush rushed for 71 yards on 10 carries. That was the first game he averaged more than 4.0 yards per carry for the Dolphins, and he's failed to hit that target of yards per carry just three times the rest of the season.

Even though Miami will be playing without four-time Pro Bowl left tackle Jake Long, who was placed on injured reserve this week, the offense needs to be physical with the Jets' defensive front, which is allowing opponents to average 4.0 yards to carry, and has given up 17 rushing touchdowns.

It would be ideal for the Dolphins to use plenty of counter runs against the Jets 3-4 front, which is ultra aggressive, and can be taken advantage of on play-action fakes. Establishing the ground game could open up the passing game for the Dolphins.

PLAYER NOTES

--SS Yeremiah Bell's start against the Jets on Sunday will mean he's started every game for four consecutive seasons. With 103 tackles this is also his fourth straight season with 100-plus tackles.

--RB Reggie Bush needs 81 rushing yards for 600 in the month of December/January, which would be a career high.

--OLB Cameron Wake has 28 sacks in his first three seasons. He needs three sacks to tie Joey Porter for most sacks in his first three seasons with the Dolphins. Porter had 5.5 in 2007, and 17.5 in 2008, and 7.0 in 2009.

--WR Brandon Marshall has caught 23 passes for 346 yards and scored two touchdowns in the four games he's played against the Jets. Marshall has caught 16 passes of 25-plus yards, which is the most a receiver has caught in franchise history since 1990. He's on pace to catch one fewer pass (5.1) per game than 2010 (6.1), but averages the most receiving yards (75.6) in team history. Marshall has 1,177 receiving yards, which is good enough for fifth place in team history. He's 94 yards from passing Irving Fryar for fourth place. Marshall was limited during Wednesday's practice because of his left knee sprain.

--TE Anthony Fasano has contributed 22 catches for 237 yards, scoring four touchdowns in the eight games he's played against the Jets.

--WR Davone Bess needs two third-down receptions to move past Chris Chambers for most third-down receptions by a Dolphins player since 1994.

INJURY IMPACT

--LT Jake Long was placed on injured reserve because of a torn right biceps.

--TE Anthony Fasano returned to practice after sitting out last week because of a concussion.

-- ILB Karlos Dansby sat out Wednesday's practice for undisclosed reasons that weren't related to an injury.

-- CB Vontae Davis participated in Wednesday's practice without limitations despite suffering an elbow injury last week.

--RB Daniel Thomas practiced on Wednesday despite the knee sprain he suffered in Saturday's loss to the Patriots.

--RB Reggie Bush was held out of Wednesday's practice because of a right knee injury he suffered against the Patriots, but Bush is walking without a limp.

--RT Marc Colombo missed practice because of an ankle injury.

--WR Clyde Gates was limited on Wednesday because of a groin strain.

--CB cornerback Jimmy Wilson missed practice because of a hamstring injury.

GAME PLAN: The Achilles heel of the Dolphins' 3-4 defense has been coverage of tight ends, especially dangerous receiver types like Dustin Keller, who leads the Jets with 58 receptions for 770 yards and four touchdowns. Keller has caught 19 passes for 232 yards and three touchdowns in his six games against the Dolphins the past three seasons. Keller caught two passes for 51 yards in the first game against the Dolphins because Kevin Burnett and Karlos Dansby effectively bracketed him. The Dolphins need to reproduce that game plan, preventing Keller from being a factor in Sunday's game.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH: Dolphins WR Brandon Marshall vs. Jets CB Darrelle Revis -- Marshall serves as the primary target for the Dolphins passing game, and he's been getting more involved with downfield throws since Matt Moore became the starter. Marshall's averaging 15.3 yards per catch, and is bringing down 5.1 catches per game. The last time he faced the Jets, Revis shadowed him the entire game. Even though Marshall caught six passes for 109 yards that performance was viewed as a disappointment because Marshall failed to bring in four passes thrown to him in the end zone, and Revis returned one of them 100 yards for a touchdown.

Dolphins RT John Jerry vs. Jets OLB Calvin Pace -- Jerry will be starting the second game of his young career at left tackle because of Jake Long's season-ending biceps injury. In his first start at left tackle Jerry, who is naturally a guard, handled himself admirably against the Bills. The Dolphins effectively ran to the left, and Jerry didn't allow a sack. But Calvin Pace, who has contributed 49 tackles and 4.5 sacks this season, is more of a forceful player than anyone the Bills have to offer. Pace's physicality won't trouble Jerry, who anchors well, but Pace's experience setting up young offensive linemen could be troubling.

   
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