The New York Jets (5-6) and Miami Dolphins (5-6) are right in the muck of the AFC playoff picture and will face off at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.
The Miami Dolphins’ defense has 14 interceptions this season tied for 6th in the NFL. The Jets and quarterback Geno Smith have struggled turning the ball over since the bye week. In the past two weeks, Smith has seven turnovers and zero touchdowns.
Head coach Rex Ryan has said Smith gives the Jets the best chance to win,but you have to think going into this crucial must-win game against Miami that Smith will be on a short leash. If Smith is turning the ball over and not executing drives, he may not make it to the second half.
The Jets also have to do a better job of protecting Smith. Smith has been sacked seven times in the past two games and is definitely part of the cause of his bad decision making which has lead to interceptions. The Jets have to hope they can be more physical then the Dolphins up front and get their running game back on track. The Jets have not had a 100-yard rusher in their two game losing streak.
For the Jets defense, I expect the same thing every week. Play tough, physical football and make enough plays to give the Jets a chance to win the game if they can execute on offense. The Dolphins have struggled to run the ball and are without three starting offensive linemen. I expect Muhammad Wilkerson and company to dominate the line of scrimmage and create havoc on second year quarterback Ryan Tannehill. If the defense can create some turnovers it’ll relieve some stress off of the offense.
Gang Green and Rex Ryan have their backs up against the wall. A loss this week and the Jets can start waving goodbye to their playoff hopes and Rex Ryan may be headed out the door. This week is a must win and Geno Smith needs to take the next step as a young quarterback and give his team a chance to win. He is the X factor for the Jets and has been all year. If he protects the football and can string together some drives, the Jets defense will do enough to win the game.
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