New York Jets (1-6) at Miami Dolphins (0-7)
Remember when the Jets beat the Cowboys a few weeks ago? At the time, it looked like the Jets were turning a corner, beating a quality team in quarterback Sam Darnold’s return from illness, but instead it looks like one of those results that won’t make any sense when we go back and look at the season (remember the Bears beating the Vikings week 4?). In two games since, the Jets have lost by a combined 47 points to the Patriots and Jaguars.
In four games started by Sam Darnold this season, the Jets have just a 30.97% first down rate and a -4.92% first down rate differential, which would rank 30th and 28th respectively over the course of the full season. Darnold is hardly the problem though, as they had a pathetic 18.01% first down rate in the 3 games he was out. Outside of running back Le’Veon Bell, the Jets don’t have a single above average starter on their entire offense and their defense isn’t nearly good enough to keep them in games, especially without injured linebacker CJ Mosley. Overall they rank just 30th in my roster rankings, ahead of only the league’s remaining two winless teams, the Bengals and the Dolphins.
The Jets get to face those winless Dolphins this week, but they might not have as easy of a time with them as the Dolphins’ other opponents have. The Jets are favored by just 3 points, giving the Dolphins their highest expected odds of winning a game all season. This line shifted from 6.5 on the early line last week and normally I like to fade significant week-to-week line movements, but I have this line calculated at exactly -3.
The Dolphins have given much better effort in recent weeks, as they try to avoid a winless season for pride purposes, and they are a better team with veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick under center as well. It wouldn’t be a surprise at all to see them pull this small upset. I’m taking the Jets for pick ‘em purposes because I’ve said I’m not taking Miami this year unless I have a good reason to (which I would have is this line was still 6+), but this is my lowest confidence pick of the week.
New York Jets 20 Miami Dolphins 17
Pick against the spread: NY Jets -3