New York Jets 2020 Opponents – Miami Dolphins

Michael Meegan continues his look at the New York Jets 2020 opponents, with a breakdown of the Miami Dolphins

A team that was accused of tanking in the first half the Miami Dolphins righted the ship and finished the season 5-4. They added numerous big named free agents and had 5 top 60 picks to help fill out a roster that has undergone massive turnover since they hired Brian Flores in 2019.  The Jets and Dolphins have the wonkiest schedule you will ever see when they face each other as they play successive games in Weeks 10 and 12 with each team having their Week 11 Bye in-between.

Coaching Brian Flores garnered a lot of fans last season for his coaching performance as he overachieved with a terrible roster.  Getting his players to buy in and play hard for him when it looked like they fully punted on 2019 is why Flores looks poised to break the stigma of Belicheck assistants flopping once they leave the nest.  Flores brought in former Jets OC Chan Gailey to run his offense in 2020.  Gailey known for his power run horizontal quick passing spread seems like the perfect OC for Dolphins rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa.  Gailey has not coached since 2016 so it will be interesting to see what new wrinkles he will bring with all that time away. 

Personnel The Dolphins took Tua with the 5th overall pick in the 2020 draft.  While Ryan Fitzpatrick will likely start the season Tua is likely going to take the job by the time the Dolphins face the Jets.  Tua was one of the most productive college QB’s ever and his precision passing was so deadly in college that draft analysts compared him to Drew Brees.  WR Devante Parker and TE Mike Gesecki had break out years for the Dolphins in 2019 and look to be ascending players on offense.  The defense added a lot of new faces in the offseason.  They added Pro Bowl CB Byron Jones to pair with star CB Xavieran Howard as well as spending a first round pick on CB Noah Igbinoghene.  They also added Kyle Van Noy and Emmanuel Ogbah to help sure up Edge rusher on their defense.

Potential Weaknesses–  The Dolphins like the Jets have completely revamped their offensive lines this year as they will likely be propping out 4 new starters in 2020.  I do not like the talent the Dolphins brought in on their offensive line as rookie Austin Jackson and Ereck Flowers starting on the left side is going to be a massive issue for them.  With all their new pieces and 2 new play callers on both offense and defense the Dolphins are lacking in continuity and with such an abbreviated offseason it could take them a while to gel.  

Matchup with the Jets –  I actually think the Dolphins and Jets match up really well on paper.  They both have front 7’s who are great against the run but lack the true edge rushers who are going to consistently get after the QB.  The Dolphins have excellent corners but have some real question marks at safety while the Jets have a good safety room but real question marks at corner.  I think this game comes down to which new offensive line gels quicker and better protects their young QB and allows him to make the plays needed to win the game.  Gregg Williams has a good track record against young QB’s and will be blitzing often to try to make Tua as uncomfortable as possible.  Sam Darnold was not good against Miami as a rookie but did get better in his 2nd year against them and the Jets are going to need him to take a bigger step against them if they want to get some needed wins against a division rival.