ESNY previews the upcoming Jets-Dolphins Week 11 matchup at MetLife Stadium.
The veteran. The longtime signal-caller. The Super Bowl champion. The former Delaware Blue Hen.
He’s back in Florham Park and ready to go.
Joe Flacco will notch the start for the Jets this Sunday against Miami. Zach Wilson is still nursing his PCL sprain and hopes to be back for Week 12. But in the meantime, the Jets have made the switch from Mike White to Flacco for the important AFC East matchup that’s on deck.
Flacco hasn’t started a game since last season when he took over for an injured Sam Darnold under Adam Gase (that seems like it was 12 years ago). But he’ll attempt to notch the Jets their first victory since Week 8.
The main issue isn’t at the quarterback position though. Instead, it’s on the defensive end, where the Jets are last in the NFL in both scoring and total yards allowed per game.
Can Robert Saleh/Jeff Ulbrich’s unit turn a corner in Week 11?
Miami Dolphins (3-7) @ New York Jets (2-7)
Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021 — 1:00 PM ET
Radio: ESPN NY 98.7FM
Notable Game Props
(Courtesy DraftKings Sportsbook)
- Jets Total Points: Over-20.5 (-105), Under-20.5 (-125)
- Dolphins Total Points: Over-24.5 (-105), Under-24.5 (-125)
- First Team to Score: Jets (+110), Dolphins (-140)
- Last Team to Score: Jets (+100), Dolphins (-130)
- Jets Total TDs: Over-2.5 (+150), Under-2.5 (-200)
- Dolphins Total TDs: Over-2.5 (-135), Under-2.5 (-105)
Player Prop Picks (Courtesy DraftKings Sportsbook)
Joe Flacco Over-0.5 Interceptions (-115)
Veteran quarterback Joe Flacco is obviously more experienced than both Mike White and Zach Wilson, so he’s more educated when it comes to protecting the football.
But he also hasn’t started a regular-season game since last season — barring injury, Flacco will be playing the most he’s had in a regular-season matchup since the Jets’ loss to the Chargers on Nov. 22, 2020.
Given the Dolphins are expected to bring the pressure on various occasions to disrupt Flacco’s rhythm and prevent him from fully going through his progressions, it’s safe to say the veteran throwing at least one pick is likely.
Joe Flacco Over-1.5 TD Passes (+125)
However, I do believe Flacco will find some success through the air.
The Dolphins defense has allowed 18 total touchdown passes through 10 games and is averaging 273.8 passing yards allowed per game (28th in the NFL).
Pair Miami’s struggles through the air with Flacco’s experience and you begin to realize acquiring +125 odds on Flacco throwing at least two touchdowns is a decent play.
Not to mention, it didn’t take long for Joe to throw a touchdown against the top defense in the NFL, the Bills, last Sunday. The Super Bowl MVP only needed six offensive snaps and three pass attempts to connect with rookie wideout Elijah Moore on a late score.
Jaylen Waddle First TD Scorer (+750)
No, this isn’t a totally safe play.
But hear me out.
I could see the Jets taking some time to figure out how to operate against the Dolphins defense given Flacco is starting in his first game since last season. This offense, as a whole, also just doesn’t possess much experience playing in a game setting with Flacco this year.
The Dolphins offense, on the other hand, is accustomed to playing with second-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and could find a rhythm much quicker than the Jets, especially given Gang Green’s struggling defense.
Miami could drive right down the field on its first offensive drive and Tua could connect with his old Crimson Tide target — rookie Jaylen Waddle.
The first-year wideout only has three touchdowns on the year but is due up for one (he hasn’t caught one since he reeled in a pair of scores against Jacksonville on Oct. 17). What better time to do it than against a putrid secondary such as that of the Jets?
Players to Watch
Self-explanatory with this one.
Joe Flacco will be under center for the Jets instead of Mike White while primary starter Zach Wilson nurses his PCL sprain.
Flacco, whether you like it or not, provides the Jets’ with the best opportunity for a victory in the absence of Wilson.
How he performs remains to be seen. But regardless, all eyes will be on Joe to see if he can bring the Jets a spark.
Rookie wide receiver Elijah Moore is quietly coming into his own.
The second-round draft pick has caught three touchdowns in the last two games and was on the receiving end of Joe Flacco’s lone score in last week’s loss to Buffalo.
Moore is one of the more talented guys in New York’s receiver room, and given the late touchdown last week, could potentially build somewhat of an on-field rapport with Flacco.
We usually throw in the pass rush or the secondary or maybe the offensive line for the “Players to Watch” section (we make the rules here so we’re allowed to break them, too).
But an entire defensive unit in this section? We’ve really outdone ourselves this time.
That’s just how bad Robert Saleh/Jeff Ulbrich’s unit has been though. The Jets are now the worst defense in the NFL in terms of both average yards allowed and scoring.
The 11-man group has a big test this week going against a division rival, but it’s one that hasn’t exactly fielded a stellar offense in 2021 (Miami is 29th in total offense and 28th in scoring).
The Jets defense could use a get-right game. Could it come this Sunday afternoon against the Dolphins?
Follow Ryan Honey on Twitter: @RyanHoneyESNY