The 0-2 Jets prepare to take on the 1-0 Miami Dolphins in a MetLife home opener that many fans are just hoping won’t feature a majority of visiting fans. After being blown out 45-20 in falling to 0-2, some segments of the fan base have already had enough. That being said, there’s still football to be played, and for those tuning in, here’s what you may want to keep an eye on.
Who: NY Jets (0-2) vs Miami Dolphins (1-0)
When: Sunday at 1 pm
Where: Metlife Stadium
Point Spread: Jets +6
Jets head coach Todd Bowles string of head-scratching decisions continued last week when he appeared to be pleased with the effort of his defensive line after surrendering over 400 yards of offense without his defense registering a single sack. Bowles also continues to give Matt Forte a sizeable chunk of reps while also allowing Buster Skrine to get beat repeatedly by opposing receivers. Bowles’ most puzzling move last week was giving veteran receiver Jeremy Kerley 44 reps while essentially benching the impressive Ardarius Stewart who has looked good early on and should be part of the team’s long-term plans. Bowles future with the club may be a different story.
Adam Gase enters his second season having to work with veteran quarterback Jay Cutler after Ryan Tennehill suffered a season-ending injury in training camp. The Dolphins are off to a 1-0 start after being forced to use their bye week in week 1 due to hurricane Irma.
RG’s Brian Winters/Dakota Dozier vs Ndamukong Suh:
Bowles hasn’t ruled Winters out for this game, but he did miss a second consecutive day of practice on Thursday, which is never a good sign. If Winters goes, he’s unlikely to be 100%. If Dozier gets the nod after playing well last week, it’ll be his biggest test as a pro thus far. If it’s a dinged up Winters or an ineffective Dozier, it could be a big day for Suh disrupting both the run and the passing game for Josh McCown and the Jets.
Jets D-Line vs RB Jay Ajayi:
The Jets have been gashed by opposing running backs in each of the first two weeks of the season with the Bills and Raiders running it down their throats. Todd Bowles called out the D-line for their underwhelming week one performance against the Raiders but backed off of his criticism following an even worse showing in week two. If the Jets can’t slow Ajayi down and allow him to get to the second level, the Jets could be in trouble as inside linebackers Darron Lee and Demario Davis have been invisible thus far.
ILB Darron Lee vs. TE Julius Thomas:
During training camp, Lee talked about how things had “slowed down” for him in year two but that hasn’t been the case thus far. Lee has done little to inspire confidence in Jets fans in year two and Thomas could be a matchup nightmare if Lee doesn’t improve by leaps and bounds.
WR Robby Anderson vs. CB’s Xavien Howard/Byron Maxwell:
Robby Anderson has got to be fed up at this point. Watching film of the receiver on a weekly basis going back to his rookie season last year, all he does is get open and then ignored or overthrown. The Jets desperately need McCown to connect on a deep ball or two to get defenses to back off, so Anderson will be tested against Howard and Maxwell. With Howard being the more physical of the two, Maxwell may present Anderson more opportunities to make a play.
RB Elijah McGuire vs. Dolphins D-line
McGuire looked impressive in his rookie debut last week when he ran the ball six times for 49 yards (4.8 YPC). The Jets figure to have their hands full up front in facing the likes of Suh and Wake who are likely to move around in different looks. If McGuire can’t make the Dolphins’ linemen miss, he, along with Bilal Powell and Matt Forte, will have a hard time getting things moving on the ground.
Until the Jets can connect on a few deep balls to open things up, it’s hard to envision them being able to consistently put points on the board, and Todd Bowles’ defense cannot be trusted as of right now.
Dolphins 31 Jets 13