Written by Chad Hahn
The winless Miami Dolphins meet up with the 1-7 New York Jets this weekend in a game that, in most seasons, would be the lowlight match-up of the NFL’s annual calendar. But not this season..The one year the Dolphins decide to rebuild and be woefully bad, nearly a quarter of the league follows suit and creates a murky, huddled mess of teams all vying for valuable positioning in the 2020 NFL Draft order.
So there’s a lot at stake tomorrow when the Dolphins and Jets kick-off. New York claiming a win effectively eliminates them as a team from contention for the top pick — historical data suggests finishing with 3 wins only nets you the top pick one out of every three times. And with a Jets win, New York would have two at the midway point of the season and will need to play the Dolphins again in New York later this season.
If there’s one game Dolphins players, coaches and organization want to win — even though it could affect their standing for the No. 1 pick in the 2020 draft — it’s this game. The players want to beat former coach Adam Gase. The Dolphins coaches are tired of being winless and hearing about the Miami Miracle being the team’s last win, especially because it came against most of them. And the organization needs to deliver at least one victory for its devoted fan base, and what better game than against a bitter rival.
This is one of the Dolphins’ best chances to win a game. But, the Jets are a better team — barely. The Dolphins likely will have to wait for the 0-8 Bengals in Week 16 to notch their first win. The Dolphins, 3-point underdogs, have not been favored in any game this season and have lost 10 straight. This could get ugly as the Dolphins and Jets are averaging an NFL-worst 11 points a game.
The Dolphins have two significant threats to ‘spoiling’ a winless season, and this is the first of them. The Jets are in a full spiral, with ex-Dolphins coach Adam Gase — 5-15 in his past 20 games — at it again, getting rid of players apparently for looking at him sideways. The Dolphins have played three competitive games in a row, though two of them (against the Redskins and Steelers) saw potential wins gored by play calls by the Miami coaching staff that could make a ‘tank’ conspiracy theorist bounce off the walls.
Now to the actual game to play at hand, Expect second-year signal-caller Sam Darnold to test that depleted, to say the least secondary that is filled with most players that wouldn’t be on an NFL roster if Miami wasn’t a franchise. Expect a big day from WR Robby Anderson and WR Jamison Crowder. Le’Veon Bell also is in line for a big day as the Dolphins defense has a lot of consistent issues with playing a full game.
As bad as the Jets are the Dolphins are worse. To win this game the Dolphins need to get pressure on Sam Darnold which the Dolphins have had some serious issues doing so. I expect Dolphins to give the Jets a run for there money until the end where the Dolphins continue to crumble in the second half. My prediction is the Jets roll over the Dolphins in this rival game as Adam Gase will try and embarrass his former team.