The Jets host Miami in their first divisional game of the season, and with it looking like Tua will be out for this one the Jets could be in prime position to get a surprise win and squish the fish at Metlife this Sunday. It won’t be an easy one, but there are keys to winning this one for the Jets that could upset the Dolphins and put the Jets first in the AFC East for the first time in what feels like decades.
Before the start of this season, the Jets hadn’t won a game in September since 2018, something commentators loved to trot out every season as staple content. This Sunday the Jets look to rid the NFL Network of another of their favorite stats: they have not won a divisional game since week 17 of the 2019 season, and that was a game against Buffalo backups. That’s a truly terrible stat that Jets fans will know all too well and one that probably hurts more than some of the others.
Know Your Enemy
Some quick numbers:
- DVOA: 14th
- Offence: 2nd
- Defence: 28th
- Special teams: 31st
- PFF: 72.1 (18th)
In this game against Miami on Sunday the Dolphins are coming in as worthy favorites to get the win. Mike McDaniel is having a good start to his first head coaching job and has at the very least given the Dolphins a competitive offense that is scoring points seemingly at will. The addition of Tyreek Hill (another sore point perhaps for Jets fans) alongside Jaylen Waddle at wide receiver and bringing in Terron Armstead to try to shore up the offensive line gave McDaniel the pieces to make it work.
The biggest question mark though was Tua. Not a lot of people outside of Miami seemed to think Tua was the answer, and Brian Flores apparently thought the same. McDaniel though brought in a QB-friendly scheme, as most Shannahan tree offensive schemes do, that Tua seems to have found a rhythm in. With Tua out though we’ll get to see if it was the player or the system that made the real difference in Miami.
Keys To the Game
Miami’s defense has been great against the run this year, but they’ve been giving up points through the air. The Jets’ run game has been abysmal. Hall and Carter have done a great job despite the offensive line, but without push at the line, they can’t establish the run and make it a real threat. However, many fans and Mike LaFleur may want to take the pressure off Zach and run the ball this one is all going to come to Zach passing from the pocket.
Sauce Gardner and DJ Reed have been truly excellent this year and this week is going to test them by covering Hill and Waddle. It would be nice if this were the game that Ulbrich gives them the nod to take over and the matchup with these top-flight receivers. Joyner and Whitehead had a bounce-back game at safety against the Steelers but until we see it more consistently, we should always worry about the safety spot.
The Dolphins’ line in pass protection is still a liability at times, and if the coverage can hold up it should let the D-Line get home against Teddy Bridgewater who holds the ball a little longer than Tua.
This latest iteration of the offensive line has played 3 quarters of football together, which is a long time by their standards this season. If the Jets line up as expected with AVT at LT, Herbig at RG, and McGovern at RT we know where the pressure is coming from at least.
Tomlinson needs to have a big game here as he’s consistently struggled this year and at times seems to have forgotten how to block. The Dolphins like to blitz, a lot. Experienced players like Tomlinson and McGovern will need to guide the rest of the line to picking up the right players in protection to allow Zach enough time to get the ball out.
As usual we’ve got predictions from the JetsJoint team:
The Miami Dolphins were looking like a clear favorite for the past couple of weeks. But the 4th quarter emergence of Zach Wilson makes this a much more interesting game. If the 4th quarter Zach Wilson shows up all game, the Jets will fly high. I think he has found himself. Jets 27-17.Jets Chaos – Jeremy Krevat
The New York Jets need to carry the momentum of a big win in Pittsburgh and bring that energy home. The Miami Dolphins are hurt at key positions, and the New York Jets should take advantage of that. In the end this game is a shoot out and ends with the Jets on top 30-27.Talking Jets – Thiago Rodrigues
For my part, I think the Jets lose this one, as much as I hope it’ll be otherwise. There hasn’t been consistent enough on defense, and we won’t be able to play the type of game we need to that gives Zach the best chance to be successful at this early stage in his career. I expect to see the Dolphins win this one comfortably 24-13.