By Abraham Gutierrez
Two teams seemingly headed in opposite directions collide at historic Wembley Stadium in London, England in Week 4 of the 2015 season, as the National Football League celebrates the ninth edition of the NFL International Series. This will also be the first time that an intradivisional clash takes place across the pond, as the (1-2) Miami Dolphins and the (2-1) New York Jets both reside in the ultra-competitive AFC East.
Opening kickoff for this exciting affair is scheduled for Sunday (Oct. 4) morning at 9:30 a.m. ET and it will be broadcast live on CBS Sports. The Dolphins start Week 4 sitting at the cellar of the division, while the Jets’ hot start has Gang Green knotted up in the No. 2 hole with the (2-1) Buffalo Bills.
Jets 2015 NFL Season Record
Under a new, inexperienced head coach, New York went into the 2015 NFL season with more questions than answers following the end of the Rex Ryan era. Nevertheless, it took first-year skipper Todd Bowles no time to get acclimated with the highest level of American Football in the world.
Announcing his arrival right out of the gate, Bowles’ squad dominated its first two opponents by getting off to a perfect 2-0 start. First up, Gang Green took care of business on the road against the Cleveland Browns, 31-10, in the opener, and followed that effort with a brilliant 20-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts last Monday night in primetime.
After a short week, however, the Jets suffered their first loss of the young season, as 2015 NFL matchmakers did them no favors pinning them up against the best up-tempo offense in all of professional football. The result was a 17-24 defeat at the hands of Philadelphia, in a game in which New York shot itself in the foot by coughing the ball up four times compared to the Eagles’ lone turnover.
Jets On Offense
Under offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, Gang Green starts Week 4 ranked 17th in the NFL in points per game (22.7), 18th in both passing (232.7) and rushing (100.7), and 21st in total yards per game (333.3). Gailey’s offensive scheme is categorized as a “spread offense,” which is quite a contrast from Rex Ryan’s signature “ground-and-pound” attack.
This pass-heavy offense is a zone-based scheme that’s sure to test Miami’s secondary, as the Fins will have to contend with at least three wide receivers seemingly on every down. Nevertheless, this could be a blessing in disguise for a Dolphins defense that starts Week 4 ranked in antepenultimate place in the NFL against the rush (145 rushing yards per game).
Jets On Defense
On the defensive side of the football is where this team shines brightest, which makes this a nightmare matchup for Miami’s fragile offensive line. Under defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers, the Jets “D” ranks No. 1 in the NFL in points per game (13.7), fourth in both, total yards (298.3) and passing yards allowed (191.7), and 18th at defending the run (106.7).
Rodgers employs a 3-4 (base) defensive scheme with multiple fronts, and is no stranger to the Miami Dolphins organization. From 2008-2014, the 46-year-old from Humboldt, Tennessee served as the Fins’ defensive line coach. In his stint with the Dolphins, Rodgers produced a fierce Miami defense along with three Pro Bowlers in defensive tackles, Randy Starks and Paul Soliai, and of course, defensive end Cameron Wake.
Jets Players To Watch
Offensively, the Jets player to watch is also very familiar with the Dolphins, as Brandon Marshall battles his former team. In his 10th season out of Central Florida, the 6-foot-4, 230-pound wideout ranks 10th in the league in receiving yards with 272 on 23 grabs and three scores. There’s no question he will be a focal point in Gailey’s offensive gameplan in Week 4, especially against a Dolphins’ defense that finds itself on the ropes in the early going.
On defense, the Jets have one of the best secondaries in the National Football League. Anchored by the two-headed monster known as cornerbacks Antonio Cromartie and Darrelle Revis, Ryan Tannehill will be wise to stay away from the sidelines and focus more on the middle of the field. Cromartie, who’s been bitten by the injury bug in the early going, comes in with four tackles, while “Revis Island” has nine tackles to his name along with a pick.
Jets vs Dolphins 2015 NFL Week 4 Odds
If NFL Week 4 oddsmakers are on their game, this will be a dogfight between two AFC East rivals that despise one another. The latest NFL point spreads indicate that the New York Jets [-2½] will be betting favorites by less than a field goal over the Miami Dolphins [+2½], and the OVER/UNDER for this contest is set at a combined total of 41 points.
Abe Gutierrez’s (Twitter: @GutierrezAbe) passion led him to ditch law school journey in order to launch his own publishing company. His expertise make him a valued addition to Examiner.com, AXS.com and the CBS-Sports family. Some of his work can be found on CBS-Miami (Dolphins), CBS-LosAngeles (Chargers), CBS-BayArea (Raiders), CBS-NewYork (NY Jets), CBS-TampaBay (Buccaneers), AXS.com, Examiner.com and other online publications.