The Jets, and their underwhelming 0-2 record to begin the season, have the look of a team that will struggle to find wins in 2017. However, as Dolphins fans know, the trip to New York is rarely a breeze and wins are never an easy thing to come by when facing a division opponent. The betting line has the Dolphins favored by six points, so not even Vegas is predicting the Jets to roll over in this game.
With that being said, here’s a look into the five players who will likely play a large role in the outcome of Sunday’s game.
Head coach Adam Gase reined Cutler in for the first half of last week’s game against the Chargers before being allowed to play a bit more freely in the second half. Expect more of the same this week against the Jets as it’s likely Gase and the coaching staff believes the team should be in a great position to win if they can eliminate turnovers.
As we saw in the second half against the Chargers, Cutler will take a few chances down the field when given the opportunity, so as long as DeVante Parker can continue his recent run on stealing jump balls from opposing team’s cornerbacks, Cutler will be in line for another solid performance to begin his career with the Dolphins.
Last year Ajayi notched his third straight 100-yard performance in a 27-23 win against the Jets after recording 111 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries. The second matchup against the Jets later in the season wasn’t quite as successful, but that game belonged to Matt Moore and his career-best four passing touchdowns in a 34-13 victory.
After recording 28 carries week one against the Chargers, expect another heavy dose of Ajayi against New York as the Jets rank dead last in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game after the first two weeks of the season.
If you remember last year’s second matchup against the Jets you’ll likely remember one of the best moments of the 2016 season for the Miami Dolphins.
A miscommunication on the snap count led to Suh and Cameron Wake being unblocked around the edge of the offensive line where they proceeded to meet at the quarterback, Bryce Petty, which was worth re-watching until the batteries in your TV remote died.
It’s unlikely this scenario repeats itself, but as long as Suh is able to be disruptive against the run and help make the Jets’ offense become one dimensional, the double teams he typically faces will help free Miami’s edge rushers get after the quarterback in what will likely be numerous pass situations.
If the Jets are able to come away with a victory in this game it’ll be in large part due to McCown’s performance.
New York hasn’t been able to get its ground game going so far this season – averaging just 82 rushing yards per game – so if this trend continues McCown is going to have to make several plays through the air.
He’s not surrounded by playmakers that football analysts would consider studs, so McCown is in a position where he’ll need to protect the ball and be efficient with the shots they take. If McCown can protect the ball and connect on few plays down the field he may be able to lead the Jets to their first win of the season.
Kearse is the only Jets offensive player with double-digit receptions and the only player not named McCown to find the end zone through the first two weeks of the season.
Week one against the Chargers proved that the position of cornerback is still a bit of a question mark for Miami, so Kearse may have a few opportunities to make plays for the Jets’ offense.
The Dolphins allowed Keenan Allen to go for 100 yards on nine receptions last week so there should be an emphasis on taking away the opponent’s number one receiver this week. However, if the Dolphins struggle with this task again Sunday, Kearse could be in line for a big day.