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Jets-Dolphins Part II: The Storylines

Posted Oct 18, 2017

Jets Look to Climb Above .500, Even Their Mark Inside the Division


Trying to Make Some Noise
The Jets insist they won’t get caught looking behind them. Despite a spirited effort against the Patriots, the Green & White saw their three-game win streak come to an end with a 24-17 loss. They aren’t a group who takes consolation in close calls and they are tired of talking about controversial reviews. Focused on becoming more than a team playing good football in spurts, they’ll look to secure their fourth victory in five contests Sunday in Miami.

“Playoff talk, for me, is not valid at all,” said head coach Todd Bowles. “We’re just trying to beat Miami next week.”

Trust in Todd
In Bowles, the Jets have a steady commander who has helped foster a healthy chemistry in the locker room based on accountability. While external expectations for his club where low in the offseason, Bowles stated that he wasn’t afraid of the unknown. His group believes they should win and that was evident Sunday in a locker room full of players who fully expected to take down the Patriots.

“I think he has the ability to stand up in front of these guys and to basically tell them how it is,” said TheMMQB.com’s Peter King of Bowles during a recent appearance on the Jets Official Podcast Network. “And everybody trusts him.”

Kearse’s Contribution
After being acquired in a trade from Seattle, WR Jermaine Kearse has started six games and leads his new team with 299 yards receiving and three scoring receptions. Accustomed to winning, the 27-year-old Kearse has fit in seamlessly with a young group. (It doesn’t hurt that QB Josh McCown has been extremely accurate, completing 70.1% of his passes.)

I liked how they took into account what kind of leader Jermaine Kearse was in Seattle,” said The MMQB.com’s Albert Breer. “Not only are you getting production from him, but you’re putting him into the locker room and he’s one of the older guys. He’s really kind of a guy that the offensive players can look up to and emulate.”


Secondary Stepping Up
The Jets were one play shy from shutting the Dolphins out in their first meeting as Jay Cutler’s 3-yard scoring pass to WR DeVante Parker prevented a whitewash. Cutler, who led four second half scoring drives against the Falcons, hasn’t experienced consistent success with his new club as Miami ranks No. 32 in scoring (12.2 Pts/G), total offense (242.8 Yds/G) and passing (155.4 Yds/G). The veteran signal caller will encounter a Jets defense that ranks T6 in opposition completion percentage (59.0), No. 8 in opponent passer rating (81.7) and No. 7 in yards per attempt (6.44).

Comfortable in Tight Quarters
Since last September, the Dolphins have been involved in 11 games decided by seven points or fewer and they’ve won each of those contests. The Jets didn’t keep in close in Week 3, dismantling Miami 20-6 while holding talented RB Jay Ajayi to 16 yards on 11 carries. But the Dolphins may have found their mojo last week in Atlanta, overcoming a 17-point deficit to overtake the defending NFC Champions. The ‘Phins have been stingy on defense, ranking third in scoring (16.8 Pts/G), fourth against the rush (80.4 Yds/G) and fifth in third-down efficiency (34.5%).

Hot & Humid
While cool fall temperatures have hit northern New Jersey, the Jets will encounter the South Florida heat this weekend. The early Sunday forecast at Hard Rock Stadium calls for a high of 85 degrees with humidity close to 80%.

 


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