The Jets-Dolphins matchup Sunday in Miami once looked like one of the most intriguing and significant final regular-season clashes. Now, it is a game that has basically developed into a nothing burger.
With their loss in Seattle last week, the Jets (7-9) — losers of five straight — were eliminated from the postseason picture, and they still have the longest playoff drought stretching backward to 2010.
Miami (8-8) still has some faint playoff hopes being locked with Pittsburgh at the No. 8 spot, and they need a win and a Patriots’ loss. If they end the regular season tied with Pittsburgh, they would have the advantage based on a regular-season win.
However, the Dolphins are reeling with five-straight losses, and starting quarterback Tua Tagovailia likely won’t be playing due to another concussion. It will be either Teddy Bridgewater or Skylar Thompson.
This will be a game to see if the NY Jets end on a high note after two brutal losses, as well as whether the Dolphins, who were once one of the league’s biggest surprises, salvage a playoff berth.
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N.Y. Jets vs. Miami Dolphins Betting Odds
Although the Jets have nothing to play for in their season finale, they are favored over the Dolphins, who likely will start rookie QB Skylar Thompson as they try to make a last-ditch effort to qualify for the postseason.
Here is a look at the best NY odds for each team heading into Sunday’s game.
A Closer Look At Each Team
The Jets have mustered just a combined nine points in their last two games, and they have dropped six of their last seven games.
Quarterback Mike White looked tentative and confused last week in which he threw two bad interceptions, threw for 240 yards, and was sacked four times in the 23-6 loss to Seattle. Veteran running back Ty Johnson was the lone bright spot on the ground with 46 yards, as rookie phenom Zonovan Knight was held to 27 yards.
Tight end Tyler Conklin continues to show how he was a valuable offseason signing with six catches last week, and rookie wide receiver Garrett Wilson went over the 1,000-yard mark in receiving this season. Wilson has 74 catches.
White will have his final chance to show he can be the Jets’ quarterback of the future. He needs to once again be a game manager, and the Jets need a consistent running game against Miami to be successful in their finale.
Miami started the game with Bridgewater, and he was forced to leave the game with a finger injury. Thompson relieved him, but neither quarterback was impressive.
Bridgewater was 12-for-19 for 161 yards with a touchdown and interception, and Thompson was 12-for-21, 104 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Looked like a tossup, but Miami needed more.
Raheem Mostert quietly has had a good year with 820 yards, while Tyreek Hill (117 catches, 1,687 yards, seven touchdowns) and Jaylen Waddle (70-1,312-8) have been one of the league’s most effective tandems. Tight end Mike Gesicki (28-316-5) has been a pain in the Jets’ side over the years.
This once was an 8-3 Dolphins team that had its sights set on the division title. Yet, if Bridgewater or Thompson can get the ball to Hill, Waddle, and Gesicki consistently Sunday, it will be a long day for the Jets.
This unit has slumped in recent weeks, and it allowed Seattle to run for 198 yards last week. Seahawks’ quarterback and ex-Jet Geno Smith threw for 183 yards with a pair of scores. He was sacked four times.
The Jets still have the league’s fourth-best unit in total defense (311 yards allowed per game), and the fourth-best scoring defense (19.1 points allowed per game). They also rank second against the pass (192.1), but 16th against the run (119.1).
Rookie corner Sauce Gardner continues to prove he is one of the league’s top corners, and tackle Quinnen Williams has 12 sacks and 30 quarterback pressures.
But the Jets’ defense needs to come up with a big play — something that has been missing in their slump. They will need to get after the quarterback and shut down Hill and Waddle through the air, and Mostert on the ground. They have needed a shutdown game, and this is the opportunity.
They are ranked 20th in total defense (347.3 yards allowed per game). Miami has allowed an average of 24.6 points per game (27th) and 240.1 yards through the air (27th), but only 107.1 yards on the ground (eighth), They have 40 sacks (12th), but they need to improve their third-down defense (41.5%, 26th) and red-zone defense (61.4%, 26th).
However, the unit has been inconsistent all season.
They have received steady play from their linebacker unit, which is led by leading tackler Elandon Roberts, who has 103 stops. Bradley Chubb was picked up from Denver, but he hasn’t materialized as expected.
Linebacker Jaelen Phillips has seven sacks and nine quarterback hurries, and fellow linebacker Melvin Ingram has six sacks and nine hurries.
They will need to harass White all afternoon to move toward a playoff spot.
Series History and Injuries
This has always been one of football’s most intriguing matchups, and ironically, it is tied 56-56-1. The Jets are 25-36-1 in Miami.
New York won the earlier battle at MetLife this season by a 40-17 score. However, their last win in Miami was in October 2015 by a 27-14 score. They have lost 10 of their last 13 games against the Dolphins.
Jets offensive tackle Duane Brown (shoulder), guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (knee), cornerback Brandin Echols (quad), tackle George Fant (knee), and safety Lamarcus Joyner (hip) did not practice Wednesday and are doubtful.
Chubb (ankle/hand), tackle Terron Armstead (knee), cornerback Xavien Howard (knee), tackle Kendall Lamm (ankle), and wide receiver Cedrick Wilson Jr. (hip) did not practice Wednesday and are doubtful.
Prediction (Season Record 10-6)
This game has the makings to be a yawner or a nailbiter. The real question for the Jets is whether they can recover from the previous two weeks. The Jets are 5-0 against backup quarterbacks, but they have lost their last four on the road, and their offensive line is banged up badly.
Head coach Robert Saleh has pledged his loyalty to Zach Wilson, and apparently, the Jets will give him another shot. However, don’t look for him in Miami. White may still be able to win the game with a strong showing here.
White came out slow last week, and he has to be on track early. Likewise, the same applies to either Bridgewater or Thompson. However, the Dolphins still should have enough incentive with the possibility of playoffs in the offing.
The Jets’ defense should rise to the occasion and corral Bridgewater or Thompson. Have a strong hunch here, and I’ll take the Jets and lay the points…Jets win, 20-17.
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