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A few thoughts on the match-up before the predictions…
The Dolphins have played better football the past two weeks, collecting wins over the Steelers (with Ben Roethlisberger absent for most of the game) and the Buffalo Bills. This winning streak has been built on the back of Jay Ajayi and improved defense. Overall, these two teams are fairly equal through half of the season and both teams would likely characterize their starts as disappointing.
This is not a bad match-up for the Jets, despite being a notably more challenging one than Baltimore or Cleveland. They should be able to slow down Ajayi with the league’s top run defense and put the game in the hands of the perpetually mediocre Ryan Tannehill. If the Jets are smart, they will do what they did last year en route to beating the Dolphins by double digits two separate times. Blitz Tannehill frequently off the edges and make him beat you vertically outside the numbers. Double Jarvis Landry in the slot and make another receiver beat you. If Ajayi and Landry don’t control the game, Miami is going to have a difficult time scoring points and will make mistakes.
On the other side of the football, put the game into the hands of Matt Forte and Bilal Powell. The less Ryan Fitzpatrick is throwing down the field, the better. Beat Miami with your running backs and in the short/intermediate passing game with Brandon Marshall and Quincy Enunwa taking advantage of Miami’s corners.This is a decent match-up for the Jets on paper but a road divisional win never comes easy. This is the type of win that would begin to turn a few heads and make this winning streak feel a little more legitimate.
On to the predictions…
1. Matt Forte and Bilal Powell will combine for 37 touches, 200 total yards of offense and two touchdowns.
2. Jay Ajayi will rush for 95 yards and one touchdown.3. Ryan Fitzpatrick will throw for 205 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
4. Ryan Tannehill will throw for 250 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
5. Brandon Marshall will have 90 yards receiving and a touchdown.
6. Jarvis Landry will have 85 yards receiving on 8 receptions.
7. Leonard Williams will record his 7th sack of the season. The Jets will sack Tannehill three times.
8. Miami will sack Ryan Fitzpatrick twice.
9. Quincy Enunwa will have 5 receptions for 60 yards.
10. Kenny Stills will have one catch over 30 yards.
11. Nick Folk will hit a 45+ yard field goal.
12. The Jets will cover as 3.5 point underdogs and win 24-21 on a late field goal from Folk, winning their third game in a row.
Season Record, Against Spread: 4-4
Season Record, W/L: 5-3
Photo Credit: NewYorkJets.com