The Jets are looking for their second straight win Sunday afternoon. It would be the team’s first multiple-game win streak since late 2020.
But head coach Robert Saleh’s crew has one of its toughest matchups of the year, and it just so happens to be its first AFC East matchup of the season, too. Entering MetLife Stadium will be rookie head coach Mike McDaniel and the 3-1 Miami Dolphins.
Miami is coming off its first loss of the year to the Bengals in Week 4 and will be without starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. The third-year passer suffered a concussion and back injury after taking a scary hit against Cincinnati. Veteran backup Teddy Bridgewater will thus get the start for the Dolphins.
That won’t automatically make things easy, however, for a Jets defense allowing over 25 points per game. Bridgewater can still play and will make the Jets’ defense pay if given enough time in the pocket.
Jets vs. Dolphins
When: Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022
Where: MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ
Time: 1 p.m. ET
Radio: ESPN Radio New York 98.7 FM
Keys to victory
Pressure. This Jets pass rush, which includes defensive ends Carl Lawson, John Franklin-Myers, and rookie Jermaine Johnson, will need to eat Sunday. A disrupted pocket would hinder Bridgewater and the Dolphins’ offense.
Pass game rhythm. Quarterback Zach Wilson and the Jets’ offense must develop a rhythm through the air. While the offensive line is banged up, the unit fields the necessary weapons to take advantage of a weak Dolphins secondary. Miami is allowing 299.3 passing yards per game (second-to-last in the NFL) — it would be a waste if the Jets didn’t have their way with that unit.
Limit the run game. The Jets need to limit the success of Miami’s run game so the pressure falls on Bridgewater. Forcing the Dolphins into third-and-long situations would allow Saleh to unleash his pass rush.
Wilson was underwhelming in the first half of last week’s return against Pittsburgh but improved in the second half to lead the Jets to victory. Now, he’ll have his first divisional test of the year.
Can the young quarterback build on last week’s late success and put together a productive performance against an AFC East rival?
Did you know?
The Jets have lost a whopping 10 of their last 12 meetings with the Dolphins, dating back to November 2016. In this span, the Jets’ only wins over Miami have been in September 2017 (20-6) and December 2019 (22-21). The Dolphins swept the season series in both 2020 and 2021, winning all four games by an average margin of nearly 14 points.
Bridgewater will trot out against his former team in the absence of Tagovailoa. While this can be perceived as a positive for the Jets’ defense, it may not make that much of a difference. Miami still sports an intelligent, offensive-minded head coach in McDaniel along with numerous weapons to help take pressure off Bridgewater.
Combine this with the inconsistent Jets defense, and you have what should be a fourth win for the Dolphins. Dolphins 24, Jets 10.