Dolphins look to beat the Jets and improve to 3-3 on the season

Zach Sieler (Photo courtesy of the Miami Dolphins)

The Miami Dolphins (2-3) will play the New York Jets (0-5) at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday, October 18 during Week 6 of the 2020 NFL Season. Kick-off is set for 4:05 p.m. on CBS. 

The game will provide a chance for the Dolphins to improve to .500 for the first time in head coach Brian Flores’ career. It is also the first of his 22 games in which the team is favored; the spread is -9.5, having moved from -8.0 on Monday morning.

The Jets are dealing with a lot of issues, both offensively and as a team. Le’Veon Bell, who was an outcast, was released mid-week. 

The Dolphins, whom Bell has been interested in joining in the past, were favorites to land Bell until he took a one-year deal with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Injury Report:

Bell hasn’t been the only issue in Jets camp. Starting quarterback Sam Darnold will be out after suffering a shoulder injury, backup Joe Flacco will start his second straight game. First-round tackle Mekhi Becton also looks to miss action after missing practices on Wednesday and Thursday with a shoulder injury. 

On the Dolphins side of things, starting defensive tackle Davon Godchaux will miss Sunday’s game and possibly the remainder of the season with a bicep injury. Zach Sieler will look to continue to get reps in place of Godchaux. He impressed during a fine game against the 49ers. Kyle Van Noy could also miss after not practicing on Wednesday and being limited Thursday with a groin injury. Andrew Van Ginkel, who has played well despite limited snaps, could see an increased role with a Van Noy absence. Lastly, Shaq Lawson, who was out last week with a shoulder injury, was limited on Wednesday and Thursday. 

Pros/Cons: Jets

The list of cons for the Jets could be written down in a list so long it would take years of watching Adam Gase coach to even get to the middle. The team just flat out can’t compete and wasted a talent like Bell for 18 games, and players like Robbie Anderson have flourished since leaving Gase’s Jets. 

The Jets’ offense is consistently flat. One of the main issues has been the QB position. However, the lack of a run game in most of their games has caused the inability to open up the playbook. Defenses know that they can’t run the football, and the passing game has been lackluster. If Frank Gore misses Sunday’s game with a minor injury, rookie La’Michel Perine from the University of Florida could get some significant touches. 

The one main pro that can be thought of for a team with so many flaws has been the play of Jamison Crowder, who, in his three games played, averaged 111.7 yards per game and two touchdowns. He’s essentially been their only threat in the passing game, which says a lot considering how useful Bell was in the passing game while a part of the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

Pros/Cons: Dolphins 

The Dolphins played an excellent and perhaps their most complete game in years last week against the 49ers. The team clicked on all cylinders and was ready to go from the very first drive. 

The passing game and the offense’s overall effectiveness have been seen as a major plus to many fans and media members. However, the main positive has been the defense’s play after missing defensive back Byron Jones for a few weeks due to injury. Jones makes an immediate impact while on the field that allowed Nik Needham to get a little more comfortable in the nickel. Needham didn’t have a great game, but he improved from the performances we saw in recent weeks.  

The presence of Zach Sieler was a boost to the Fins d-line and pass rush. Christian Wilkins has been quietly having a good season, and the d-line as a whole has started to gel together. However, after Shaq Lawson was lost last week, Sieler came in and played a significant role in the defense’s success. That was vital to the team’s victory and dominance. 

The rush defense is still a major con, one that the team needs to improve this weekend. The Jets don’t have a star running back or one who makes you feel pain from short yardage gains. If the rush defense can’t contain Perine or whoever the Jets put in, there needs to be a discussion on what’s next. 

It should be an absolute gimme for the team to hold the Jets below their average 103.4 yards a game. 

Prediction: Dolphins win 35-10

This should be a blowout, no contest. The victory run includes only one game against the 49ers, who were also suffering major injuries, but the Jets are a really bad team both talent-wise and on the coaching front. If this game is anything but a blowout, real questions will need to come up regarding the readiness to play. 

A loss would signal red flags, but winning seems inevitable.

Kai’Chien Chisholm is currently studying broadcast media and wants to become sports broadcaster. He currently works for the ProFootballNetwork and is the Podcast Network Director for the site while running his own podcast.