There’s absolutely no sugarcoating it; the New York Jets defense is a sieve. The unit has given up 175 points in its last three games and it probably could have been 200 if any of the Jets opponents kept their foot on the gas throughout. The Jets haven’t been able to stop the pass. The Jets haven’t been able to stop the run. They’ve looked completely lost in every phase no matter what Jeff Ulbrich says.
With a struggling defense and Joe Flacco set to make his 2021 Jets debut, where are the key matchups? Let’s take a look.
RT Morgan Moses vs DE Emmanuel Ogbah: Ogbah has been one of the Dolphins top performers in 2021 and has managed to rack up five sacks in 10 games (7 starts) thus far. He’ll challenge Morgan Moses on the right side where the veteran tackle has been good but not great for Gang Green.
CB Michael Carter II vs TE Mike Gesicki: The Dolphins love to move Gesicki around and line him up in the slot. If the Jets stick their top slot guy in Carter on the 6′ 6” Gesicki, things could get ugly in a hurry. In fact, there’s not a safety on the roster who is likely to give Gesicki much of a hard time either. It could be a big day for the pending free agent.
DT Quinnen Williams vs LG Austin Jackson: Drafted in the first round to play left tackle, Jackson has been a huge bust for the Dolphins thus far and found himself kicked inside to guard. Meanwhile, despite getting little help from the secondary, Quinnen Williams has picked up 5 sacks and 5 tackles for loss on the season. Working against Jackson, Williams will hope to help the Jets defense get on track in all phases.
WR Elijah Moore vs CB Byron Jones: Moore has been hot of late, finding the end zone four times over the past four weeks and will likely draw plenty of Jones. The Dolphins added the former Dallas Cowboys defender last off-season to play alongside Xavien Howard in the Dolphins secondary. Jones has the speed to keep up with Moore on the deep stuff, but can he match his quickness underneath?
RB Michael Carter vs LB Andrew Van Ginkel: Van Ginkel is listed as questionable for Sunday’s contest but could still suit up and give it a go. If he does, Carter will be a mismatch for the ‘backer who has been far from stellar in coverage this season while the Jets have ramped up their targets for Carter in recent weeks. This could be a mismatch to exploit for Joe Flacco.
QB Joe Flacco vs DC Josh Boyer: Not a player vs player matchup but an important one. This is Flacco’s first start since coming over to the Jets a few weeks ago. He’ll have far more to work with on offense than he did last year with Gang Green and Boyer will likely throw the kitchen sink at Flacco to take advantage of any rust or lack of time with the Jets play book.
Dolphins win this one but having one of the worst pass blocking O-lines in the NFL allows the Jets to hold an opponent under 45 points for just the second time in their last five games. Jeff Ulbrich touts unit’s improvement following 37-20 loss.