Oh, how wonderful it is to say, “the Jets looked good!” After a rough first pass, Sam Darnold and the Jets systematically dismantled the Lions at Ford Field. Not only did Darnold look poised, but the entire team seemed to be in sync on both sides of the ball. Of course, there are going to be a few mistakes, but for the most part, each man did his job, and he did it well. A 48-17 road-win is the proof.
Now the Jets get to play in front of the home crowd. It is the division rival, Miami Dolphins who have to fly into hostile territory. The point spread originally opened as a pick’em, but after the NY Jets cohesive Week 1 performance, the line has already moved in favor of the Jets, who are now 3-point favorites. Remember to shop and compare sportsbooks. Free plays and bonuses can make a big difference when starting off the season, Bookmaker currently has the line at 3 and you can review their site here.
I have talked a lot about improvements to the Jets defense in the past, especially regarding the secondary. Well, those improvements were put into the limelight in Week 1, with Darron Lee getting two INTs, Jamal Adams getting a pick, and Trumaine Johnson snagging a pass as well. And this was against one of the most efficient passers in the league. Stafford has had seven consecutive 4000-yard+ seasons.
Sorry, Ryan Tannehill, but you are no Stafford, and there is a good chance that the Jets secondary is going to eat you alive. Speaking of second opportunities, the Dolphins got a couple from an injured Marcus Mariota, and that is likely the only reason for consecutive picks, a banged up throwing arm. That said, Tannehill threw a couple of INTs with a perfectly healthy hand and elbow, so I have a lot of faith that the Jets are going to get two or three off him.
Based off of the depth chart before Week 1, the Jets were pessimistically rated as having the 24th ranked defense and 28th ranked offense. Meanwhile, the Fins sat at the No. 16 defense and No. 25 offense. Well, the Jets “28th-ranked” defense made the Lions 12th ranked offense look silly … so we can thumb our noses at that. According to Team Rankings, the Dolphins are now the 28th overall team in the NFL, and the Jets climb to No. 24. But there is chemistry with this Jets squad, and as they roll on and win the next two games, I have a feeling that they will be given a little more credit.
The statistical matchup between these two teams is pretty tight. At a glance, the teams performed identically. Both the Dolphins and the Jets moved the ball for 5.9 yards per play. The Jets defense allowed 5.1 yards per play, while the Dolphins we just a 10th of a yard better at 5.0 yards per play. But here is where we see how much more efficient the Jets were. Sam Darnold helped the Jets to convert on 3rd down 42.86% of the time vs. Tannehill’s 20.00%. Their Red Zone scoring was also, better at 25% versus the Dolphins 20%. Overall this led to the Jets scoring at a rate of .814 points per play versus the Dolphins’ 0.466.
Defensively, the Jets were much better at stopping 3rd down conversions and didn’t give up a Red Zone score at all. The Fins were only 50% in the RZ, while the Jets maintained a 0.00% RZ shutout. And they held the Lions 3rd down conversion rate to just 23.08%. The Fins let the Titans convert at a rate of 42.86%.
These numbers right here are what tell me that the Jets will both win and cover. The Dolphins are not producing when it matters, and even though they slipped by with a win over the Titans, they are not getting stops when they matter most. Conversely, this is exactly what the boys from East Rutherford are doing.
Week 2 prediction: The line is only 3-points, but the Jets win by a touchdown or more. In fact, this could end up a Secret-Cove-type event where Dolphins get brutally slaughtered.