Miami Dolphins: Brian Hartline Must Return to Play Against the Jets

Connor McKnightSenior Analyst IOctober 24, 2012

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - OCTOBER 14:  Brian Hartline #82 of the Miami Dolphins looks on prior to the game against the St. Louis Rams at Sun Life Stadium on October 14, 2012 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Everyone was surprised at the start of the season. Having floated through the Dolphins organization for the past three seasons with average production, Brian Hartline finally made a splash as a Miami receiver.

It would be safe to assert that both the secondaries of the Oakland Raiders and the Arizona Cardinals want nothing to do with Hartline. Against the Raiders, he accumulated 111 yards on nine catches, building a relationship with rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill. But against the Cardinals, that relationship flourished. On 12 catches, he amassed a massive 253 yards, even adding a touchdown to his impressive outing.

And for once, the Miami Dolphins had a receiver leading the NFL in yardage. It seemed almost unbelievable with a rookie quarterback under center.

But against the St. Louis Rams, he was nonexistent. Zero catches. Zero yards. It seemed as if he gave up against Cortland Finnegan. And he was definitely missed.

However, considering the current state of Miami's receiving corps, Hartline has a chance to return to form, a chance to remind everyone that he has the potential to be an elite receiver for this surging Dolphins' squad.

And what better opportunity than against the New York Jets, an AFC East division rival?

In Week 3, Hartline was only able to pick up one catch for 41 yards. However, if the Dolphins want to slowly gain ground in the division, Hartline will definitely have to step up and lead an offensive charge against a strong, yet weakened Jets defense.

And if he can do this, Miami may have found their elite receiver.