This Sunday, the 2-3 Miami Dolphins will host the 0-5 New York Jets. The Dolphins are coming off an amazing win against the defending NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers. The Dolphins have surprised many this season as they have been competitive in all their games. Led by former Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Dolphins offense has exploded as they have scored 30+ points in three of their five games. At the beginning of the season, many experts thought these two teams were equally bad. However, the teams have gone in completely opposite directions. Vegas has set the line at 9.5 in favor of the Miami Dolphins over the New York Jets.
The last time these two teams played, Sam Darnold led a controversial game-winning drive and they beat the Dolphins as time expired. The Jets will look a lot different this time around. Wednesday evening, the Jets surprised a lot of people by waiving star running back Le’Veon Bell. The move definitely made many scratch their heads but was the right decision as it is clear the Jets are fully committing to the tank.
The Miami Dolphins came into the season poised to be a faster, more disciplined team. Under head coach Brian Flores it seems like they have done just that. The Miami Dolphins made two key offseason signings in cornerback Byron Jones and linebacker Kyle Van Noy. The Dolphins defense has played really well and kept their team in almost all their games. On defense, the Dolphins will most likely stack the box and force Jets quarterback Joe Flacco to throw against their star cornerbacks Jones and Xavien Howard.
The team ranks 20th in run defense, allowing 126 yards per game. There’s nothing really to stop when 37-year old Frank Gore is the lead back for the Jets. In passing defense, the team ranks 21st, allowing 253.6 yards per game. But, is there really much to stop with the Jets’ unimaginative offense?
Ryan Fitzpatrick has performed well and wide receiver DeVante Parker has shown why he was a first-round pick. The Dolphins will look to win the game in the trenches both on offense and defense. Fitzpatrick thrives in play-action, so the Dolphins will look to get running back Myles Gaskin a lot of carries early in the game. The passing game is the clear strength of the Dolphins’ offense, ranking 15th in the NFL. On average, they throw for 260.6 yards per game. The running game is the weak link to the offense, ranking 21st. On average, the team rushes for 104.2 yards per game.
New York Jets
The New York Jets will have a new look offense again this week as quarterback Sam Darnold will be out for at least another game. Last week, Flacco struggled for the most part but seemed to have shaken off the rust he had of not playing for a year. With Bell gone, head coach Adam Gase said that he will look to get running back La’Mical Perine more involved. Frank Gore will still get carries. The rushing offense ranks 21st in the NFL, averaging 104.2 yards on the ground per game.
Wide Receiver Jamison Crowder was once again the only bright spot in the Jets offense last week as he has gone over 100 yards in the three games he has been healthy in this season. Notably, Breshad Perriman is expected to return on Sunday. Adding another potential weapon to the offense. Perriman and Joe Flacco were teammates in Baltimore with the Ravens. Maybe Perriman is a secret weapon for Joe Flacco. The passing offense ranks 32nd in the NFL, averaging 176 yards through the air.
The Jets will need to be more aggressive on defense. Gang Green actually did a solid job last week containing Kyler Murray. The Jets have to play complementary football and that starts with the defensive line. Quinnen Williams must prove himself to the team and disrupt Fitzpatrick’s timing. Rumor has it that general manager Joe Douglas has received calls on Williams. The Jets’ pass defense ranks 25th in the NFL, allowing 265.6 yards per game. Not good news if you want to stop the Dolphins’ air attack.
The run defense shouldn’t have to worry about much as the Dolphins have one of the league’s worst rushing attacks. However, the Jets rank 22nd in run defense, allowing 128.6 yards per game on the ground. A huge step back taken by the Jets’ run defense.
It seems as though we will see a Jets team that has completely given up on the season. Many players seemed surprised when Bell was cut. Team morale is very low right now and head coach Adam Gase is not known to inspire teams. For the Jets to be successful, they have to force turnovers and give Joe Flacco a short field to work with. Otherwise, it will be another Sunday closer to Trevor Lawerence (which may not be a bad thing).