The New York Jets face off in their second divisional matchup in the first three games with the Miami Dolphins coming into town. The Jets are anywhere from six to seven point underdogs depending on where you look and this will be more of a Dolphins home game than a Jets. I’ll take a look at how the teams matchup against one another.
Yes I am picking Josh McCown over Jay Cutler strictly on quarterback play. Cutler looked shaky against the Chargers and didn’t show any ability to throw the deep ball even in the field of play outside the numbers. He’s a gunslinger and takes a lot of chances which could play into the Jets favor on Sunday.
Josh McCown, while not great, has been playing better than expected. He’s the perfect stop gap quarterback, good enough to be competitive but not good enough to win you a ton of ball games. The Jets offense opened up a little bit more against the Raiders and the Dolphins secondary is vulnerable. Gun to my head, I’ll take McCown (and end up dead).
Running Back: Dolphins
Matt Forte, while I still have no idea why he’s even playing, ran the ball well against the Raiders with 9 carries for 53 yards. Bilal Powell is getting the Han Solo-lite treatment and barely getting any touches, for a reason I still can’t quite figure out. Maybe Elijah McGuire gets more burn against Miami? Whatever the case, Forte should be on the sidelines and not taking up a majority of the touches.
Jay Ajayi is a bruiser. It takes 3-4 defenders to bring him down and with the Jets tackling woes, he might never go down. He’s a Marshawn Lynch like runner and he can turn a two yard loss into a six yard gain.
If the Jets can’t tackle and push the offensive line back then Ajayi might win this game single handedly.
Wide Receivers: Dolphins
The Dolphins receivers are terrifying against a bad secondary and bad linebackers, which the Jets currently have. Jarvis Landry and Devante Parker are guys who can turn a five yard slant into a 60 yard touchdown. Kenny Stills is a guy who will have two receptions for 94 yards and two touchdowns. They’re all big play guys who can turn an inch into a mile. The two rookie safeties will have their hands full on Sunday.
While McCown and Jermaine Kearse have developed a nice chemistry, there’s no receiver on this roster who strikes fear in a defense. The Jets can work a lot with the underneath routes and should attack Byron Maxwell but stacking up against the Dolphins they’re just not as talented.
Tight End: Jets
I’m basing this off of my prediction that Austin Seferian-Jenkins will have a lot of targets and hopefully turn those into a productive day for the Jets (and as my fantasy fill in for Greg Olsen). He’s a very capable tight end and the Chargers had success throwing to the tight end against Miami, a combined 10 catches on 12 targets for 101 yards and a touchdown.
It will be interesting to see what the Jets do with Julius Thomas. I think they’ll be forced to put a linebacker on him considering Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye will be the last line of defense against an explosive receiving core. If that happens, the Dolphins might have the advantage but for now give me ASJ.
Offensive Line: Dolphins
The Jets offensive line had a good game against the Raiders in passing situations but on run plays they can’t seem to create a push. Miamis offensive line creates a good push for Ajayi in the running game and only gave up one sack to the Chargers defense. I expect more of the same against a banged up Jets defensive line and batch of bad linebackers.
Defensive Line: Dolphins
I went back and watched the Dolphins/Chargers game and my goodness, the Dolphins front four wreak havoc. They don’t even need to blitz anybody because this front four creates a bunch of pressure. They might knock McCown out of the game and we might be forced to see Bryce Petty finish out the game.
The Jets defensive line is bad and banged up. Mo Wilkerson once again was non existent against the Raiders and Leonard Williams is battling a bone bruise in his wrist that will most likely linger the entire year. Without Sheldon Richardson to draw double teams, Williams has struggled to do much of anything this season and I don’t see that changing on Sunday.
Darron Lee gets driven back easier than a tackle sled. Demario Davis still can’t cover much of anything. Jordan Jenkins has played pretty well despite the other linebackers’ struggles. The Dolphins linebackers have to just not make mistakes and they’re better than the Jets’. However they are vulnerable to underneath routes and running backs in the passing game.
If I was basing this off of safeties only, the Jets would win. Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye have played good football their first two weeks. But this is based off of the entire secondary and the Jets have a bad one. They can’t seem to cover anyone and they give up too many big plays, which plays right into the Dolphins’ plans.
The Dolphins secondary isn’t much better but with no real threat besides Jermaine Kearse, they won’t be tested much in this matchup.
Special Teams: Dolphins
Can the Dolphins catch punts and not fumble them? They can? Okay then they have the better special teams.
Head Coach: Dolphins
Until Todd Bowles can make game adjustments and play young players he won’t be getting any love from me. Adam Gase runs circles around him.
Photo credit: newyorkjets.com