The Jets made it through the AFC North with a 2-2 record. But now the real test starts as New York meets an AFC East rival in the Miami Dolphins. Gang Green looks to snap an 0-12 streak against teams in their division.
Tua Tagovailoa is out with a concussion but that doesn’t mean the Jets can sleep on Teddy Bridgewater, a mobile quarterback with weapons in rookie Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill. Both wide receivers are listed as questionable on the injury report, with groin and quad issues, respectively. But they will likely suit up and do damage.
Bridgewater showed his skills and chemistry with Hill when he replaced Tagovailoa against the Bengals. He completed six passes to the Cheetah for 109 yards.
Hill, who leads the NFL with 477 receiving yards, is going against Sauce Gardner—a matchup to watch for on Sunday. Hill is known for his speed, but the rookie corner can handle this assignment. Through four games, Sauce has allowed a reception percentage of 47.4, better than Marshon Lattimore, Jalen Ramsey, and Trevon Diggs, among other top and established players in the same position.
The fourth-overall pick out of Cincinnati has allowed just nine receptions on 19 targets. Last week against the Steelers, he allowed just nine yards on seven targets. But he hasn’t faced someone as notorious as Hill, so, again, keep an eye on this one throughout the game.
Jets QB Zach Wilson will be suiting up for his second game of the season, so it likely he will be more comfortable on the field. Look for him to air the ball out more, especially against a Dolphins defense that is ranked 31st is passing yards per game with 299.3 yards. Miami’s defense is 30th in allowing completions of at least 25 yards, and is in the middle of the pack, ranking 16th, in points allowed per game with 22.8.
The Dolphins defense may also be without two of their top corners. Xavien Howard (groin) did not practice this week and is listed on the injury report as “day to day.” Byron Jones (Achilles) was placed on the reserve/PUP list ahead of the 2022 season and will not be activated to face the Jets.
For New York to stay in the win column, they need to play four full quarters. The Jets’ two wins this season came as a result of fourth quarter comebacks. They rallied from double-digit deficits against the Browns and Steelers to narrowly escape. The Green and White can’t rely on mounting another late-game thriller.
Wilson needs to throw the ball and get rookie wide receiver Garrett Wilson involved early. In last week’s win, Z. Wilson completed 18 of 36 passes for 252 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Garrett Wilson has 255 total yards this season on 39 targets. He has two touchdowns, both courtesy of Joe Flacco. In week four when Zach was back under center, G. Wilson was fairly quiet, catching two of six targets for 41 yards.
As Zach looks to get more adjusted to playing with G. Wilson and rookie running back Breece Hall, both of whom earned Rookie of the Week awards in the young season, he needs to continue building chemistry with wideouts Corey Davis and Elijah Moore.
While the Jets offensive line has been decimated by injuries, Pro Bowl left tackle Duane Brown was activated from injured reserve on Saturday. He will become the third different player in three weeks to start at that position. Brown will add some much-needed strength and leadership to the line that is playing without right tackle Max Mitchell (knee). The injury-plagued offensive line is also without right tackle Mekhi Becton who underwent season-ending knee surgery during training camp. Brown was signed to a two-year contract following Becton’s injury.
To sum it up, for the Jets to walk away from this game with a win, they must contain the Waddle-Hill duo, protect Z. Wilson, and get the rookies more involved.
Betting Odds (Courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook as of 10/9):
Spread: Dolphins (-3.5)
Moneyline: Dolphins (-190); Jets (+160)
I like the Jets with the points this week. Z. Wilson looked comfortable out there last week and will continue to get the rookies involved on offense. That being said, with Bridgewater at QB, I don’t like the over as I feel he might run a lot despite having star-studded talent at the wide receiver position. The odds for him to score a TD are great and I have a feeling he’s going to see the end zone on a short QB keep.
My picks: Jets +3.5; Under 45.5; Teddy Bridgewater Anytime TD +500
(Photo: Getty Images)
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