Week 2 of the NFL schedule features a matchup between two old AFC rivals as the New York Jets host the Miami Dolphins. Game time is set for 1:00 EST on Sunday, September 16, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The game can be seen on CBS in local markets.
Oddsmakers list the Jets as 2.5-point favorites at home. The over/under for the game is set at 43.5 points. Make sure you check out a full list of the Week 2 NFL odds.
The Jets were one of the biggest surprises in Week 1, beating the Lions on Monday night 48-17 behind rookie quarterback Sam Darnold. The rookie’s debut looked like a disaster in the making when he began his career by throwing an ill-advised pick-six. However, he and the Jets both bounced back in a big way as they steamrolled the Lions the rest of the game, highlighted by a 31-point 3rd quarter.
The Dolphins also started their season with a win, although in a much quieter way, which tends to be the case when the game takes seven hours to complete because of multiple weather delays. Miami persevered through the delays, and with the help of a kickoff return for a touchdown by Jakeem Grant and a 75-yard touchdown catch by Kenny Stills, the Dolphins knocked off the Titans 27-20.
Historically, these rivalry is as close as they get. The Jets hold a slight 54-50 lead all-time. True to form, these two teams split their meetings last year with the home team winning each game. With the winner of this game guaranteed at least a share of first place in the AFC East early in the season, both the Dolphins and Jets should be equally motivated to come away with the win.
For the record, I think both of these teams need to pump the brakes on any expectations that may have arisen after Week 1. However, I think the Jets have a little more to be excited about. Seeing that they are the home team with less than a field goal to cover, I’ll take my chances leaning toward the Jets to cover.
Despite last week’s win, the Dolphins have given me a few reasons to be concerned. It starts on defense, where they had three interceptions last week but no sacks. Two of those picks came while Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota was trying to play through an elbow injury. The third one came against backup Blaine Gabbert. It’s hard not to overlook how the Dolphins were able to benefit from facing Gabbert for most of the second half and an injured Mariota before that.
Obviously, it’d be a mistake to draw too many conclusions about Darnold from one game. But he’s definitely a step up in competition from Gabbert or an injured Mariota, which doesn’t bode well for the Miami defense. The Dolphins getting no sacks and just two tackles for a loss against the Titans is a red flag for me. Miami has some capable pass rushers and they will have to find a way to get into the backfield and disrupt Darnold.
With the Miami offense, I’m a little worried about Ryan Tannehill. Overall, his numbers against the Titans were good, but it’s hard to overlook his two interceptions. The Dolphins have plenty of help around him, including a productive rushing attack with Frank Gore and Kenyan Drake. That should enable Tannehill to do better with his ball security since he shouldn’t have to force things. Playing against a Jets defense that had five takeaways last week, it’s hard not to worry about Tannehill and the Dolphins turning the ball over.
As for the Jets, it’d probably be wise to pump the brakes on them being an offensive juggernaut. They scored one touchdown on defense and one on special teams, so their offense was responsible for only 34 points, including Isaiah Crowell’s garbage time 62-yard touchdown run. That being said, the Jets did give Darnold a steady rushing attack with Crowell and Bilal Powell last week. If they can keep that up, things will be a lot easier for Darnold, who did well to settle down after that dreadful interception to start the game.
The Jets also shouldn’t bank on getting five takeaways every game. We know Matthew Stafford is a quarterback whose prone to mistakes and turnovers, especially when his team is trailing. That being said, the Lions only scored 10 points with their offense, which is an impressive feat for the New York defense. I also think they’ll match up well against Tannehill and the Miami offense.
With this being a rivalry game and both teams being a little fortunate in Week 1, this game could go just about any direction. However, the Jets were a little more convincing on both sides of the ball last week whereas the Dolphins have a few more lingering questions to answer. I’ll lean toward the Jets to beat the Dolphins at home by at least a field goal.