AFC East rivals will collide for the second time this season in Week 9 as the New York Jets pay a visit to the Miami Dolphins. Game time is at 1:00 EST on Sunday, November 4, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. Fans in local markets can watch the game on CBS.
Oddsmakers list the Dolphins as 3-point favorites at home with an over/under of 45 points. Be sure to check out a full list of this week’s NFL betting odds.
For the Dolphins, the 2018 season has been a tale of two seasons. Miami started the season 3-0, including a win over the Jets in Week 2, leading some to believe they would be one of the league’s surprise teams. However, the Dolphins have seen things fall apart quickly, losing four of their last five games to fall to 4-4 at the midway point of the season.
Coincidence or not, most of Miami’s losses have come with Ryan Tannehill on the sidelines and Brock Osweiler starting at quarterback. Tannehill remains out this week, forcing Osweiler to make his fourth straight start. For what it’s worth, three of Miami’s four losses during this rough patch have come on the road, so it’s possible returning home will help them get back on track. Of course, no matter where they play or who starts at quarterback, the Dolphins need to get back to winning in order to stay in the playoff hunt.
Naturally, the same is true for the Jets, who are coming off back-to-back losses. New York’s offense showed up suddenly for a couple weeks in early October, but it has since disappeared. In all five of their losses this season, the Jets have scored less than 20 points. With an underperforming offensive line and injuries taking away many of their top playmakers, there are few reasons for the Jets to be optimistic moving forward, especially with a 3-5 record on the season.
On the bright side, the Jets have a manageable schedule over the next month or so. It starts with the struggling Dolphins this week and continues with two games against the Bills in the next five weeks. If the Jets can win this week, they may have a chance to crawl back into the playoff race. However, the Jets are running out of time to find some consistency and start stringing wins together.
The Dolphins have won four of their last five games against the Jets, and I expect that trend to continue this week. Both teams are battling injuries and have terrible flaws, but I see the Dolphins as being a little more capable offensively. Miami is also 3-1 at home this season despite their recent struggles, so I feel more comfortable leaning toward the Dolphins.
As noted, the Jets have been up and down offensively this season, but there are good reasons to believe they will remain down after scoring a total of 27 points over the last two weeks. Running back Bilal Powell is done for the season while both Quincy Enunwa and Robby Anderson are questionable to play this week. Without that trio last week, the Jets averaged less than four yards per play. Not surprisingly, they were held to just 57 rushing yards and also struggled on third down.
To be fair, the Miami defense isn’t as good as the Chicago defense they faced last week. But that’s not enough to convince me that the Jets can get it going offensively. Without reliable playmakers or a competent offensive line, Sam Darnold is going to struggle to move the ball against any defense. Over the last two weeks, Darnold has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns and completed fewer than 50% of his passes. It’ll take more than facing the Miami defense to turn things around.
On the other side of the ball, the Miami offense has continued to be surprisingly adequate even while the team has struggled to win games. Osweiler has been far from perfect, but he’s proven to be a viable backup. The Dolphins also got a great performance last week from DeVante Parker, who returned from exile to collect six passes for 134 yards when the Dolphins needed him amidst a slew of injuries to their receiving corps.
Perhaps more importantly, the Dolphins have managed to maintain a steady rushing attack all season. The tandem of Frank Gore and Kenyan Drake have helped Miami run for over 100 yards in their last four games. If they can do that against a Jets defense that was shredded on the ground last week, the Dolphins won’t have to rely too much on Osweiler to carry the offense.
All things considered, I have more faith in the Miami offense to score points than I do the Jets. Neither team will be up against a particularly challenging defense. However, I still have serious questions about how the Jets will move the ball and score points. With the Dolphins also having plenty of success at home this season, I like my chances with Miami being able to win the game by at least a field goal and covering the spread.