The New York Jets (0-2) will face the Miami Dolphins (1-0) at MetLife Stadium in their home-opener, and enter the portion of their schedule that will determine if they are legitimate contenders for 0-16.
Currently I view them as contenders for 1-3 wins depending how these next few weeks go, as the Jets they play Miami at MetLife Stadium (home opener) this Sunday, followed by Jacksonville at home, who will be coming off a trip to London without a bye (nice job with the one NFL schedule makers), followed by a game in Cleveland at ‘The Factory of Sadness’ which will be the 2017 ‘Toilet Bowl’.
This year is mostly about building and how players will develop and grow. So far, the defense has looked like a train going off the tracks and as if the players are out there on roller skates.
That is not to say they are not putting forth the effort at practice and in the film room, as all signs point to diligence during the week leading up to Sunday; the problem is that the roster is so young and devoid of true experience that guy often miss signals or are misaligned pre-snap.
I have often said I put a lot of that on the coaching staff to have the players ready pre-snap; I am not saying hold their hands, but the bottom line is that the front 7, supposed to be a strong point, has graded-out worse than the offense, an offense that was predicted to be one of the worst of all-time.
Ultimately, I believe that in the middle portion of the season, you will see some semblance of a defense start todevelop; remember, they are starting rookies or second-year players at both Safety spots, CB2, CB4, both outside LB Spots, Left ILB, and have other youngsters that slot into rotational roles.
Point being: this defense may be too inexperienced to mesh just yet.
Noteworthy: Jets RG Brian Winters is OUT with an abdominal injury suffered last week in Oakland, which is important because the Dolphins D-Line of Cam Wake and Ndamukong Suh….they’re coming.
Need us not forget the Wake-Suh sandwich suffered by Bryce Petty from last season.
Winters is a solid interior Lineman, but is not without his flaws; and I personally am not going to ‘wax-poetic’ about a guy that missed games last year for a self-inflicted concussion, sustained on a targeting/unnecessary roughness penalty, resulting in his ejection, while following a play up-field after the Jets had already completed a pass.
Outside of Winters and LG James Carpenter, the Jets O-Line is…suspect.
It sounds like OL Dakota Dozier, who filled in last week when Winters exited, will be the fill-in and Carpenter has full confidence, citing Dozier’s strength and familiarity with their system as positives.
Hot Take: With TE Austin Sefarian-Jenkins returning from suspension this week it will allow for the Jets to deploy some two-TE sets with he and TE Will Tye; they also announced they will be using a 3-man backfield (Matt Forte—Bilal Powell—Elijah McGuire), which is interesting when you consider the possibility of opening that up to a full-house, two-TE set.
I love my gadget-formations.
As for the actual game itself: the Jets die-hard inside of me says that this team, if it has any pride, will find some gusto and moxie for this rivalry game. Jets win 24-21 with Dolphins QB Jay Cutler throwing a late pick to seal it.
The football analyst in me? 34-21 Dolphins, who are a six-point favorite; and it could be even worse than that.