Miami Dolphins at New York Jets
|Date & Time||Sunday December 8, 2019, 1:00 PM (EST)|
East Rutherford, N.J.
Jets -7.5; Total 44
Two teams playing better football than some might realize will face off at MetLife Stadium on Sunday when the Miami Dolphins (3-9) travel to East Rutherford, N.J. to face the New York Jets (4-8). While neither team’s record is where they might have hoped it would have been at the beginning of the year, the Jets are 3-1 in their last four games while the Dolphins are 3-2 in their last five.
The Jets might have lost last week at Cincinnati to give the Bengals their first win of the season, but New York won three straight games heading into that one. The competition wasn’t the toughest, with wins over the Giants, Washington, and Oakland, but the Jets scored 34 points in each of those three games and the offense looked more like that “unstoppable” offense that quarterback Sam Darnold was describing in mid-October. It’s not quite clear where that offense went in last week’s 22-6 loss at the Bengals, but New York is clearly playing better football as a whole over the last four weeks than it did in the first nine weeks of the season.
Darnold was less effective against the Bengals than he had been in the previous three weeks. Against Cincinnati, he completed 28-of-48 passes for 239 yards but averaged 279.3 yards per game in the previous three weeks. He also threw for seven touchdown passes and ran for two more in those three games. Le’Veon Bell, who has led the Jets in rushing in every game this season, only managed 32 yards on the ground in the Bengals game, but he was only given 10 carries after falling behind early on. He also caught four passes for 35 yards. Robby Anderson was Darnold’s leading target, catching seven passes for 101 yards.
On the season, Darnold has completed 63.0 percent of his passes for 2,154 yards and 13 touchdowns, but he has also thrown 10 interceptions. Bell is averaging just 3.2 yards per carry but leads the team with 589 rushing yards and three touchdowns, while Jamison Crowder leads the team with 57 receptions and 588 yards with three touchdowns.
Miami has also been one of the more successful teams in the NFL over the past five weeks, and the wins it has are a bit more impressive. The Dolphins knocked off the Jets for their first win of the season by a score of 26-18, then earned wins at Indianapolis, 16-12, before knocking off Philadelphia at home, 37-31. One of Miami’s losses was a 37-20 defeat against the surprising Buffalo Bills, and the other was a 41-24 loss at Cleveland.
The Dolphins trailed Philadelphia 21-14 at the half but closed the game by outscoring the Eagles 23-10 in the second half to secure the win. Ryan Fitzpatrick had a huge game, completing 27 of his 39 passes for 365 yards and three touchdowns with one interception. DeVante Parker caught seven of those passes for 159 yards and two touchdowns while Mike Gesicki also caught five passes for 79 yards and one touchdown. As it has been for much of the past month or so, the ground game was non-existent against the Eagles with Patrick Laird carrying the ball 10 times for five yards.
The trends give nothing away in this game. Miami is 6-6 against the spread this year while the Jets are 5-7. Miami is 3-2 against the spread as an away team while the Jets are 3-3 as a home team. Both teams have had six of their games go over the total, while six have gone under. Both teams rank in the bottom four in the NFL in offensive scoring and in the bottom three in offensive yards per game.
So this game is just going to take some common sense and that common sense is that the Jets are not 7.5 points better than Miami. Remember that it was just five weeks ago that Miami knocked off the Jets 26-18, and the Dolphins have won four in a row overall against New York. Last time out, the Jets did not show an ability to stop Fitzpatrick, who completed 24-of-36 passes for 288 yards and three touchdowns. And even though the Jets are 3-1 in their last four games, the Dolphins wins have been against better competition.
The Jets might pull out a win at home, but they won’t win by more than a touchdown. Take the Dolphins and watch Fitzpatrick eat up the Jets defense once again.