The New York Jets (0-2) play their home opener on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins (1-0). It is being aired on CBS at 1pm EST.
The Jets have not looked good over the past two games. Will the familiar, swampy New Jersey air breathe new life into this team when they take the field on Sunday?
As a native New Jerseyian (New Jerseyite?), I don’t think the Jersey air has ever breathed new life into anyone. It’s not going to start with the Jets.
Will this game be closer than last game? Yes.
Will the Jets win? No.
Much like the Oakland Raiders, Miami has too many offensive weapons for the Jets to contend with, even if the Dolphin defense is, in some ways, lacking.
The Dolphins have one of the best wide receiving corps in the league with DeVante Parker, Kenny Stills and Jarvis Landry. Morris Claiborne can’t cover all three of these men, so that leaves Juston Burris and Buster Skrine on the other two. How do you think that’s going to turn out. Notice I didn’t use a question mark there? Because I know. And you know. And I know you know. It has the potential to be very ugly.
Luckily, the Jets do have hope to make this a closer game than their last outing: the offensive line of the Dolphins is arguably the weakest one they’ve faced so far. That, combined with Jay Cutler’s relatively old and creaky bones, might allow for the maligned defensive line of the Jets to finally live up to their potential in this game. If they do, we might be in for at least a semi-interesting match up.
As for the Jets offense, this might be the game where they finally establish a run game early. The offensive line had some shining moments last week against a tough Raiders front. If they can improve on that performance, Bilal Powell might wind up having his first good game of the season.
Additionally, Austin Seferian-Jenkins comes back this game from his suspension. He’s gotten a lot of hype in the offseason. If he can take advantage of a weak Dolphins linebacking corps, all the better.
In the Jet passing game, Josh McCown will probably have more problems than usual utilizing his poor crop of wide receivers. The Dolphin secondary, with the likes of Byron Maxwell, is probably the strongest point on this defense. The passing game will probably be channeled through the aforementioned Powell and Seferian-Jenkins.
I’d say that Jay Ajayi is the X-factor of this game. If the Jets can slow him down on the ground (which they haven’t been able to do to any running back they’ve faced thus far), they have a chance of keeping this game close. If they can’t, blow-out city.
I think that they can. The defensive line has to be better than they’ve seemed thus far, right? And the linebackers can’t get any worse than they were last game. I think these two units have bounce back games (at least when it comes to stopping the run for the linebackers; I’ve resigned myself to the fact that this group simply can’t cover tight ends or running backs no matter how hard they try).
Final Score Prediction: Dolphins win: 32-24
In the end, Jets are going to score more points than they have this season so far because they will be able to establish a run game plus force a few turnovers by pressuring Jay Cutler. However, this won’t be enough because Jay is going to take advantage of weak coverage by Burris, Skrine and the linebackers all day.
As always, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend anyone on the Jets, although Jermaine Kearse has been a surprisingly reliable option over the past few weeks. Still, he’s really nothing more than a last resort. Bilal Powell might have a good game, but I still wouldn’t play him just because of the three-player committee that the Jets have been running recently. If you want to go sleeper at the tight end position, Austin Seferian-Jenkins could have a decent game.
But if you really want to pick up a sleeper tight end off waiver wires, then look no further than Julius Thomas. The Jets linebackers have been miserable at covering tight ends, so Julius Thomas is primed for a big game. As for the rest of the Dolphin’s offense, I’d play them all with confidence, even Jay Ajayi, who I don’t think is going to have a big game rushing yards-wise, but might have a few good catches and will probably wind up getting at least one touchdown.
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