Miami Dolphins (5-6) at New York Jets (5-6)
The Jets snapped their streak of alternating wins and losses by losing in Baltimore last week and now sit at 5-6. Geno Smith seems to have hit a rookie wall, completing 25 of 64 (39.1%) for 345 yards (5.39 YPA), no touchdowns, and 5 interceptions over the past 3 weeks. So they suck and should be avoided at all costs right? Well that seems to be what the public thinks as they want no part of the Jets as favorites, making the Dolphins a public underdog.
Well, there’s some truth to that. Geno Smith is easily playing like a bottom-3 quarterback right now and the Jets actually have the 2nd worst point differential in the NFL at -101, only better than Jacksonville. They are moving the chains at a mere 66% rate, as opposed to 71% for their opponents, which ranks 27th in the NFL. However, the Dolphins might actually be worse. They are moving the chains at a 70% rate, thanks to large part to a dysfunctional (in more ways than one) offensive line. Defensively, they are allowing opponents to move the chains at a 76% rate, as their retooled defense has not lived up to expectations.
That’s 30th in the NFL and suggests that the Jets should actually be favored by more than two points. They still have a phenomenal defensive line with 3 players who are all deserving of Pro-Bowl consideration (Damon Harrison, Sheldon Richardson, Muhammad Wilkerson). They can overwhelm the weakness of the Dolphins, their offensive line, and force the Dolphins’ offense down to the level of the Jets’ offense.
I also like how the Jets have dealt with adversity and the public and the media thinking they’re terrible over the past 2 years. This could be a real statement game for them as they seek to stay alive in the playoff race. The Jets have also been better at home this season, going 4-1 including wins over New Orleans and New England, as opposed to 1-4 on the road, where they’ve dropped their last two. Geno Smith’s quarterback rating is close to 20 points higher at home than on the road, but the Jets could win this game even if he doesn’t play well. Teams are more than just quarterbacks, especially this one. Smith completed just 8 passes in their win over the Saints. I’m taking the Jets and fading the public underdog as long as this line is 3 or lower, but I’m not that confident.
New York Jets 13 Miami Dolphins 10
Pick against spread: NY Jets -2