After narrowly escaping the StubHub center with a victory over the newly located Los Angeles Chargers, the Dolphins head north to take on the rival Jets.
While the ‘Fins are the more talented and experienced team, anything can happen on the road against division rivals.
Dolphins Run Game Vs. Jets Run D
2016 was breakout year for Jay Ajayi, as he rushed for a career high 1,272 yards and 8 touchdowns in only 12 games as a starter. Ajayi and the Dolphins success was directly correlated, as the team went 6-0 in games which Ajayi ran for 75 yards or more.
Despite his stellar performance, skeptics questioned whether Ajayi could duplicate his breakout performance. His performance in week 2 silenced critics as he toted the rock 28 times for 122 yards, helping Miami win their opening game.
Ajayi and the offensive line have an excellent chance to repeat their week two performance, as they face a Jets defense ranked 30th against the run. If the Dolphins running game can set the tempo once again they will wear out the Jets defense and allow Jay Cutler to spread the ball to the team’s talented receivers, making them hard to stop.
Jets O-Line Vs. Dolphins Pass Rush
Let’s face it, the Dolphins secondary isn’t exactly the legion of boom. For the team to have any measure of success against the pass rushers need to make an impact. Last week against the Bolts this was not the case, the pass rush forced minimal pressure on Philip Rivers, enabling him to sit comfortably in the pocket and pick apart the ‘Fins porous secondary.
While Josh McCown is no Rivers, the Jets likely need to lean on their passing game to supplement a running game that ranks 22nd in yards per game. If Cameron Wake and company can pressure McCown and force him into errant throws it will alleviate pressure on the secondary.
Matchup to Watch:
Devante Parker Vs. Justin Burris and Morris Claiborne
Devante Parker has burst onto the scene in 2017 as Jay Cutler’s preferred deep threat. The Jets thus far have deployed one of the worst starting cornerback tandems in the league with Burris and Claiborne. At 6’3”, Parker towers over the 5’11” Claiborne and 5’9” Skrine. Look for Gase and Cutler to take advantage of any 1-on-1 opportunities Parker gets against either of the two.
After many, including myself, predicted 2017 to be his breakout year, Parker got off to a good start last week catching 4 balls for 85 yards. Parker should continue to build off his solid week 2 outing against the Jets underwhelming secondary.