Somethings gotta give. The Dolphins and Jets are tied at 55-55 with 1 tie in their history. Sunday’s game against the Jets will have one franchise slightly ahead of the other. The reports are that long time veteran Joe Flacco will be the starting QB in this matchup. It appears as if the Jets want to win this game, rather than give Mike White who looked like Superman against the Bengals but then played like Clark Kent against the Buffalo Bills. It seems as if the Jets have had enough of that fairy tale. The fact that Zach Wilson isn’t playing means the Jets want the “W” rather than see more of their rookie QB Zach Wilson. Maybe the Dolphins defensive efforts against the Ravens has Jets HC Robert Saleh thinking he’d rather not subject his young QB to that type of punishment. It could well be a combination of both.
The Dolphins are riding the crest of a 2 game win streak as they fly north to play their division rivals. These two teams know each other backwards and forwards, they play twice a year and couldn’t be any more familiar than they already are. The Jets are struggling on both sides of the ball, 26th in the NFL scoring 17.9 PPG and 32nd in the NFL on defense allowing 32.9 PPG. The Dolphins in comparison are also not NFL royalty as they are 28th offensively scoring only 17.7 PPG and on defense have improved recently to 24th, allowing 25.2 PPG. Basically, not much of a difference between the 3-7 Dolphins and the 2-7 Jets.
Flacco over the years has had success against the Dolphins, a 6-1 record, but the 6 victories were when Flacco was a member of the Baltimore Ravens. Flacco’s only meeting with the Dolphins as Jets QB was last year in October when the Dolphins defense hounded Flacco, so much so he finished with a 50.0 QBR completing less than 50% of his pass attempts and finished with no TD’s and 1 INT. The Dolphins would love nothing better to repeat that performance on Sunday.
The Jets best offensive player thus far this season has been their rookie RB Michael Carter. The Jets took Carter in the 4th RD last year he’s been a spark on this offense. On the other end of the scale, their most disappointing player has been WR Denzel Mims. Much like the Dolphins hoped DeVante Parker would play like it was 2019, the Jets hoped Denzel Mims would finally emerge as their big target WR. Mims 6’3 207 was a 2nd RD pick in 2020 and he hasn’t shown the Jets a whole lot to build on. He has only 7 receptions for 129 yards on the season. He’s on pace to finish with less production than last season as he had 23 receptions for 357 yards. Mims has yet to score an NFL TD. Surely now, it will happen this week. I have that kind of power! FWIW, Mims in COVID-19 status and may miss the game, so I guess he may not score that TD after all.
Last week, the defense was the story. I don’t mind if that continues but my hope is the Dolphins offense shows a little something Sunday. I’d love Tua to have a strong game and I’d love to see us run the ball effectively and more often. If anyone is interested, since Jakeem Grant’s departure, Jevon Holland is just a tick behind Grant on punt returns, Grant averaged 8.3 YPR while Holland is at 7.0 YPR. Kick returns show a larger disparity with Grant averaging 23 yards per return while Waddle is averaging 18.3 YPR and Gaskin 14.5 YPR. To be fair, it’s such a small sample it’s nearly irrelevant, only 2 returns for Grant and 8 combined for Waddle and Gaskin. Kickoffs are almost routinely sailing into the endzone for touchbacks. All hail NFL SAFETY!!!!
The Dolphins are most likely not involved in an AFC playoff race and our division rival New England Patriots have opened up a lead on us at 7-4. We do potentially have a “soft” schedule for the next 4 facing the Jets this weekend and again December 19th with the Carolina Panthers (5-5) and the NY Giants (3-6) sandwiched in between. We can revisit this in 4 weeks and see where we’re at. If we’re 7-7, I’ll think we’re a hot team winning 6 in a row, but then we face the Saints and 2 AFC power teams, the Titans and the Patriots. Let’s just take care of one team at a time shall we, beat the Jets this weekend and we’ll take it from there.