The New York Jets will look to avenge an embarrassing loss from earlier in the season and avoid slipping into last place in the AFC East when they host the Miami Dolphins in Week 14. The rivalry matchup gets underway at 1:00 EST on Sunday, December 8 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Fans in local markets can see the game on CBS.
Oddsmakers list the Jets as 5.5-point favorites at home with an over/under of 46 points. Click here to check out all of the Week 14 NFL betting odds.
For a minute, it looked like the Jets were going to make a surprising playoff push late in the season. They had won three in a row and were almost back within striking distance of a Wild Card spot. Of course, that was before last week’s disaster in Cincinnati, as the Jets became the first team this season to lose to the Bengals. The loss dropped New York to 4-8 and has taken away the small glimmer of hope they had left. Now the Jets are just a game ahead of the Dolphins in the AFC East standings, so a loss would put them in last place after losing to Miami earlier this year. The Jets will also finish their season with games against the Ravens, Steelers, and Bills, so this could be New York’s last chance to win a game in 2019.
Meanwhile, someone should think about breaking up the Dolphins. Not long ago, it seemed possible that Miami could go winless this season following their preseason fire sale. But the Dolphins haven’t quit on first-year head coach Brian Flores and have somehow won three of their last five games, a stretch that started with a win over the Jets. Despite being 3-9, they appear to be trending in the right direction. If the Dolphins can keep it up, they have winnable games with the Giants and Bengals left on their schedule and could actually surpass the Jets in the AFC East standings, especially if they can steal a win in the Meadowlands this weekend.
Oddly enough, the Dolphins are currently rocking a four-game winning streak against the Jets. Miami is 6-1 in New York since the start of the 2016 season, with current Jets coach Adam Gase coaching the Dolphins in most of those games. On top of that, the Dolphins have won eight of their 11 road games against the Jets, so recent history is not on New York’s side in this game.
It’s almost impossible to believe, but the Dolphins are starting to look like a halfway decent team. Admittedly, the Eagles are average at best, but last week’s win was impressive for a team that was getting blown out of the water on a regular basis early in the season. Obviously, Miami still has plenty of flaws, but so do the Jets, which is enough to make me think the Dolphins can at least beat the 5.5-point spread and possibly record another win.
Defensively, the Dolphins have plenty of issues that still make it tough for them to win games. But on the offensive side of the ball, Ryan Fitzpatrick is finding a way to get the job done. Despite a dreadful offensive line and the occasional turnover, Fitzpatrick has thrown for over 300 yards in two of his last three games. DeVante Parker is quietly putting together an impressive season. With the success Andy Dalton had against the New York defense last week, there’s a fair chance Fitzpatrick puts together another solid outing.
Rather quietly, the Dolphins are averaging 27 points per game over their last three games and have scored at least 20 points in five of their last seven games. That’s after scoring 16 points or less in their first five games. Obviously, the Dolphins aren’t blowing the roof off anybody and still struggle to establish a potent ground attack. But there’s enough evidence over the past month or so of genuine progress on the offensive side of the ball.
Meanwhile, I don’t know what happened to the Jets offensively last week. After three straight games scoring 34 points against mediocre competition, the Jets laid an egg against a weak Cincinnati defense. A majority of the blame should be pointed at New York’s offensive line. Even against bad defensive teams, the Jets haven’t been able to get enough of a push to spring running back Le’Veon Bell. He has remained stifled all season and only got 10 carries last week.
At the same time, Sam Darnold continues to be up and down with such a porous offensive line in front of him. Darnold was sacked four more times last week and failed to get the Jets into the end zone. The Dolphins, of course, have plenty of issues on defense. But some of their young players are coming along, especially on the defensive line, so they should be able to hold their own against New York’s O-line.
All things considered, I don’t feel confident enough in the Jets to lay down 5.5 points in this game. In a straight-up PK, I might give New York the benefit of the doubt at home. But the Jets have got to be demoralized after last week’s loss to the Bengals while the Dolphins figure to be confident after their recent play. That should help create a competitive game that allows the Dolphins to at least beat the spread.