Throughout the season, NewYorkJets.com reporters Eric Allen, Ethan Greenberg, Olivia Landis and Randy Lange will each give their predictions to a series of questions regarding this year’s Jets.
Today’s question: Which Jets offensive playmaker is poised to break out vs. Dolphins?
EA: I’ll take Sam Darnold with the caveat that I truly believe Robby Anderson and Le’Veon Bell will both post impressive numbers as well. After enduring the most difficult two-game stretch of his pro career, Darnold has talked about going out there and having fun and playing fast. It’s natural for a young quarterback to try to make something out of nothing and press at times and we’ve seen that recently from the 22-year-old. That final interception last week in Jacksonville summed up everything that’s been going on with the offense of late. Darnold, who had taken a beaten for more than three quarters, tried to get everything on a second-and-24 play to Vyncint Smith but instead was picked off by veteran cornerback A.J. Bouye. As we heard earlier this week from Jets GM Joe Douglas, the Green & White believe they have their franchise signal-caller in Darnold, who as he said has a “warrior mentality.” After eight turnovers and nine sacks in two weeks, I see Darnold the fighter getting in a groove against a defense than ranks 30th overall (414 Yds/G) and 32nd in scoring (34 Pts/G). At the Same Hard Rock Stadium where Darnold scuffled through a four-interception and four-sack effort last season in Week 9, I wouldn’t be surprised if he has one of the better outings of his young career.
EG: Let’s go with the Florida kid Robby Anderson. You know Anderson would like to perform in front of family and friends. Through seven games this season, the fourth-year pro has only registered more than 50 yards in Week 2 vs. CLE (4-81) and Week 6 vs. DAL (5-125). The Dolphins rank No. 20 in the NFL in pass defense, allowing an average of 253.6 yard per game and placed CB Xavien Howard on injured reserve earlier this week. Miami is banged up in the secondary and its allowed 31 plays of at least 20 yards this season, which is tied for 24th in the NFL. Earlier this week, Anderson said “it means the world to me” to remain with the Green & White because “I still have the opportunity to fulfill my commitment.” There’s still a lot of football to be played in 2019 and I think Anderson will show out in his home state.
RL: Why not Le'Veon Bell? He, HC Adam Gase and the Jets have been talking about getting him the ball this week so it's on everyone's minds. He remains hard-charging and focused during games but has yet to "ring the Bell" as he did with Pittsburgh. And along comes Miami's run defense. The Dolphins are 31st in the NFL in rushing yards allowed/game (160.4) and 27th in yards allowed/carry (4.82). Mark Ingram and the Ravens rolled for 265 rush yards in the 'Fins' opener, Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys for 235 in Week 3, James Conner and the Steelers for 158 last Thursday. And now on the Tifway 419 Bermuda Grass of Hard Rock Stadium, it's Bell's, his blockers', and the Jets offense's time to try to cut a green rug and put their stamp on a game.