The New York Jets are facing a tough situation with a Week 7 road contest against the AFC East rival Miami Dolphins.
- New York Jets (3-3)
- Miami Dolphins (3-2)
- NFL, Week 7, AFC East, Oct. 22, 2017, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
- Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, Florida
The scheduling setup is almost too perfect as it pertains to the National Football League. Thirty-two teams, two conferences, eight total divisions and 16 regular season games. With four-team divisions, the 16-game schedule turns out beautifully.
A team plays within their own division six times, twice per team (one home, one away). Four of a team’s games are played against an opposing conference’s division and another four against another division within the same conference. The out-of-conference matchup happens every four seasons because, of course, there are four divisions in each conference. The in-conference rotation happens every three seasons because the team’s own division isn’t in the rotation.
Only two games are different in terms of a divisional opponent and these are created by the place in the standings for the two remaining in-conference divisions the team’s own division isn’t matchup up with. First place from prior year takes on first place in other divisions. Second place takes on second place, and so on.
Get it? Got it? Good. Because it all really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.
Just know this …
It’s extremely tough to beat a divisional rival twice in one season and that’s what the New York Jets are tasked with early in the season in Week 7 when they travel to South Beach to take on the those pesky Miami Dolphins.
Forget attempting to beat a team three times in a season. When that scenario comes around in the playoffs, the pundits go wild with statistics about the difficulty of the situation.
In Week 3, the Jets emerged out of that 0-2 early-season funk with a dominating 20-6 victory against Miami in East Rutherford. In fact, the score is misleading. It felt like the Jets won by four possessions, not two.
After finding themselves run on by both Buffalo and Oakland, the Jets defense completely shut down the Phins to the tune of 30 yards rushing and 225 yards in total. Jamal Adams led the way with Todd Bowles unveiling a brand-spanking new sub-package that places him in the box with two safeties over-the-top (Terrence Brooks, Marcus Maye).
Still, defeating a divisional rival twice in one season is no easy task, and this is the case when the rival isn’t a good squad. In this instance, this is a Miami Dolphins team coming in with a 2-3 record off the heels of a thrilling comeback victory over the Atlanta Falcons in Week 6. Oh yeah, they also qualified for the tournament a season ago.
It’ll be an extremely interesting watch. The Phins are riding high after the Falcons victory while the Jets feel snubbed at the hands of the NFL after the already infamous Austin Seferian-Jenkins touchdown reversal.
Under normal circumstances, I’m picking Miami here. This all-time series has been one that’s completely unpredictable, so, usually, it’s the safe bet to go with the season split.