By Abraham Gutierrez
For the 105th time in their long history, the Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets will collide, this time in South Florida for the second and final time this season. The last time these intradivision rivals met, quarterback Josh McCown led the Jets to a 20-6 victory over the visiting Dolphins in Week 3. The win extended New York’s lead to 54-49-1 in their head-to-head series against Miami.
Jets 2017 NFL record: 3-3-0
Under head coach Todd Bowles, the Jets season got off to a dreadful start with lopsided beatings at the hands of the Buffalo Bills (21-12) and the Oakland Raiders (45-20). However, since then, New York has managed to win three of its next four games.
Last week, Gang Green had its three-game win streak snapped, dropping a close (24-17) decision against the defending champion New England Patriots. New York’s 3-3 record is good enough for last place in the AFC East, but if things continue the way they’ve gone, the division title may be up for grabs to any of the four teams in the hunt.
Jets on Offense
Entering his 16th season in the NFL, offensive coordinator John Morton is at the helm of New York’s offense. It has been an interesting year thus far, as the Jets rank 18th in rushing yards (105.2), 20th in yards (318.7), 22nd in passing yards (213.5), and 26th in points per game (18.2).
After a rough start to their season, this team has finally found an identity on the offensive side of the rock. Miami will have to contend with New York’s three-headed rushing attack spearheaded by Bilal Powell (if healthy), Elijah McGuire and Matt Forte.
Jets on Defense
Defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers enters his 15th year in the NFL. In his third season at the helm of the Jets defense, Rodgers’ unit ranks 14th in points (21.7), 15th in passing yards (219.2), 25th in total yards (358) and a disappointing 28th place in the league in rushing yards allowed per game (138.8).
Those types of numbers certainly play into Miami’s strength, which is the running game. Hoping to have an impact in this week’s game will be guys like inside linebacker Demario Davis, who leads the team in tackles with 53, and outside linebacker David Bass, who’s the locker room leader in the sacks department with 2.0.
Jets Players to Watch: Josh McCown, Terrence Brooks
Miami’s defense will have to do a better job of containing Jets quarterback Josh McCown if they want to even the season series at one win apiece. Even though he tends to fly under the radar in his 15th season out of Sam Houston State, he has the ability to rack up the yards in a hurry and move the chains, like Miami witnessed first hand in Week 3.
On the opposite side of the pigskin, Jay Cutler and the Miami offense will have to keep a close eye on strong safety Terrence Brooks. After starting the season off slow, the fourth-year man out of Florida State picked off Cutler twice in Week 3, earning AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors.
Following their stunning win over the Dirty Birds, the Fins are getting the nod against Gang Green in the betting department. According to NFL Week 7 point spreads, the Miami Dolphins (-3) opened up as favorites by a field goal over the visiting New York Jets (+3) in their head-to-head season finale. NFL Week 7 odds also indicate that the OVER/UNDER for Sunday’s clash is set at a combined total of 38½ points.