Jets-Dolphins’ Clash Continues To Conjur More Questions Ahead

The Jets host the Dolphins Friday at MetLife in the league’s inaugural “Black Friday” event with a 3 p.m. kickoff.


For the Jets, the day is fitting. It could be a “Black Friday” cloak over the remaining seven games. The positives are getting harder to find.


This was supposed to be a key divisional matchup with playoff implications on the line. Believe it or not, the Jets are still on the periphery on that scope with their 4-6 record. Their percentage of making the playoffs is below 10 percent, and they have another meeting with the ‘fins in South Florida in December. 


The questions will begin..(later in the column)


Miami heads into Friday’s game with a 7-3 record and ready to take another step toward wrapping up the division title, winning four of its last six. On the other hand, the Jets have dropped three straight and scored just 24 points in the process.  


We’ll get our first full-time look at Tim Boyle at quarterback, who has made three starts in his 16 previous appearances with stops in Green Bay, Detroit, and Chicago. Boyle is no baby at 29, but there’s always was a reason why he was a backup.


Miami’s defense is ranked 12h overall, 14th against the pass, and 10th against the rush. They got a burst of energy in their recent win over the Raiders with Jalen Ramsey back in the secondary. 


You can see where this may be headed. Boyle had some moments last week when he relieved Zach Wilson, but he couldn’t totally resuscitate the Jets’ offense on life support. 


The biggest issue for the Jets’ offense is their offensive line. Mekhi Becton likely will miss the game against the Dolphins, and it will be their eighth different line combination this season. 


That again will not bode well for the Jets’ running game behind Breece Hall, who ran for just 23 yards against the Bills last week and has not passed the 50-yard mark since his 177-yard burst against Denver Oct. 8.


The quarterback and the line issues will eventually be fixed with the likes of Connor McGovern, Alijah Vera-Tucker, and Wes Schweiker being back next year from IR, and Aaron Rodgers waiting in the wings.l


Should offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett last the season after Buffalo and Pittsburgh fired their OCs in a sense of urgency about the remainder of the season?


Speaking of Rodgers, is it worth bringing him back in mid-December to maybe spike season ticket sales for next year and put him in front of a makeshift offensive line? Probably not, unless the Jets miraculously rediscover their offense.


Is GM Joe Douglas worthy of another season with the Wilson misfire, and his teams having an overall 25-52 record since he took over in 2019? What about head coach Robert Saleh, as the 44-year-old has a 15-29 career mark heading into the Dolphins’ game. Does anyone hear a little bit of Adam Gase coming out of Saleh lately?


Yes, not having Rodgers is an escape clause here, but there is more beyond Rodgers starting to surface. Jacoby Brissett or Gardner Minshew were two viable options as backup quarterbacks during the summer, but the Jets put all of their eggs in the Wilson basket.


Vera-Tucker looked like a stud his rookie year, but he has been injury prone. Maybe Douglas should have drafted a lineman instead of edge rusher WIll McDonald. Free agent lineman McGovern, Laken Tomlinson, and Duane Brown have been injured and subpar.


You’ll probably watch the Dolphins walk out of MetLife with a victory Friday, and the Jets’ offense have another putrid effort. Their defense should keep Miami in the 20s, but that could collapse depending how long they’re on the field.

Based on what we’ve seen and know, a 23-9 Dolphins’ victory should be in the range.


It could be another week ahead of soul-searching that won’t end anytime soon.

About the Author

Jeff Moeller

Jeff Moeller has been covering the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and college football and basketball as well as high school sports on a national and local scene for the past 39 years. He has been a Jets and Giants beat reporter for the past 13 years.

Get connected with us on Social Media