New York Jets (2-1) at Miami Dolphins (1-2) in London
The Dolphins fell flat on their face in their home opener last week, losing 41-14 to the Buffalo Bills. The Dolphins, for some reason, haven’t had much of a homefield advantage in recent years, going 13-12, getting outscored by an average of 0.04 points per game, at home, while going 12-15, getting outscored by an average of 2.08 points per game, on the road, since 2012, the start of the Ryan Tannehill/Joe Philbin era. Maybe that’s why they’ve agreed to give up one of their Miami games to play a game in London as the “home team” this week. They played in London as the road team last year and blew the Raiders out by the score of 38-14. I think having that experience of travelling across the ocean to play in London, which the Jets don’t really have, gives them an advantage.
The Dolphins have been the biggest disappointment in the league, in my opinion. They were arguably the best non-playoff team in the league last season, finishing 10th in rate of moving the chains differential. I thought they improved on the offensive line, improved in the receiving corps, and improved on defense, thanks to the massive addition of Ndamukong Suh, this off-season. They still had some issues at guard, cornerback, and safety, but I thought they could be a top-5 team. That hasn’t happened, as they are coming off of an embarrassing home loss and are 1-2, ranking 24th in rate of moving the chains differential, despite an easy schedule.
The Dolphins might not ever reach their potential until they get rid of Joe Philbin and this coaching staff and, if that’s true, it’s important that they get rid of them soon, to save this season. With 9 players scheduled to take up a combined 101 million on their 2016 cap, this team went all in on this season and will be in salary cap hell for a few off-seasons afterwards as a result. They need to get results on the field as soon as possible. I still think they’re talented enough to turn it around though and I like their chances as 2 point underdogs here against the Jets. The Dolphins were in a very similar situation last year going into this game and turned their season around.
The Jets have had a solid start to their season going 2-1 and ranking 4th in rate of moving the chains differential, after ranking 28th a season ago. I do think they’re an improved team, thanks to several off-season additions, including Darrelle Revis and Brandon Marshall, but also Ryan Fitzpatrick. Ryan Fitzpatrick has continued to play solidly, as he did in Tennessee in 2013 and Houston in 2014, and might be the best quarterback they’ve had since Chad Pennington was healthy. They’re also getting Eric Decker and Chris Ivory back this week, after neither played last week with injuries in their first loss of the season. I still think the Dolphins are more talented, despite what the first 3 weeks have shown, and I like them in this spot, so they should be able to cover, but I’m not confident, especially with left tackle Branden Albert once again out with a hamstring problem.
Miami Dolphins 20 New York Jets 17 Upset Pick +105
Pick against the spread: NY Jets +2