Matchup to watch: Dolphins CB Byron Maxwell vs. Jets WR Brandon Marshall

Miami Dolphins cornerback Byron Maxwell (41) is called for pass interference on New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida on November 6, 2016. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

Miami Dolphins cornerback Byron Maxwell  is called for pass interference on New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

Miami Dolphins CB Byron Maxwell

#41

6-foot-1, 203 pounds

 Clemson, 6th season

Pro Football Focus 2015 position rank: 15

 Scouting Notes: According to Pro Football Focus, Maxwell is matching the highest level of his playing career, his performance for the Seahawks in 2013. Maxwell is in better condition and better understands Vance Joseph’s scheme than he did early in the season when he struggled so badly he was benched. Maxwell is thriving in zone coverage, has been creating turnovers and providing tighter coverage. It’s a joy to watch Maxwell hand-fight with Brandon Marshall. These two were made for each other and as much as the Dolphins and Jets dislike each other, watching Maxwell frustrate Marshall (can we add snow Saturday night, please?) is pure theater. Maxwell held Marshall to five catches for 46 yards in the first meeting, with two pass interference penalties.

“It’s a fine line between having a corner who never touches people to a guy who grabs all the time. I don’t want a corner who never touches guys. I want a corner who is close, who’s competing (and) who is trying to make plays.” — Miami defensive coordinator Vance Joseph on Maxwell, who he said did a “fine job” against Marshall in a previous meeting.

Miami Dolphins cornerback Byron Maxwell (41) is called for pass interference on New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida on November 6, 2016. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

Miami Dolphins cornerback Byron Maxwell is called for pass interference on New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall at Hard Rock Stadium. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

New York Jets WR Brandon Marshall

#15

6-foot-4, 230 pounds

 UCF, 11th season

Pro Football Focus 2015 position rank: 75

 Scouting Notes: Marshall is having his worst season since 2006, per PFF. Marshall is averaging only 57 yards per game, largely because Ryan Fitzpatrick was horrendous this season. At 32, it’s not reasonable to expect Marshall to be the same player he was in years past. Marshall has also dealt with foot and ankle issues all season. But he still has size and strength. Marshall called out Maxwell after the last meeting for not playing football and holding on every play. This week, Marshall showed New York reporters the penalty flag he said he plans to bring to the game in preparation for Maxwell.  Bring on the trash talking and the chippiness. It’s a Christmas Joy to take in.

“Actually, there’s been progress,” Brandon Marshall said of Byron Maxwell. “He went from being the league’s top guy in holding, not even close, to just being the top guy in holding. He’s made progress. Well, he’s done a better job of taking it from every play to every other play.”

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