Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets (-3, 44)
Line: This is an early sell high spot on the Jets. They demolished the Lions on Monday Night Football, in front of national TV. They scored in every possible way and Sam Darnold looked like the real deal. However, it was a Lions team which didn’t look like an NFL team with an atrocious defense that lost their best two players (Ziggy Ansah & Darius Slay) during the game. The long touchdown pass to Robby Anderson should have been intercepted. The key reception by Quincy Enunwa on third down that set up a touchdown shouldn’t have been ruled a catch. After the game, Jets players admitted they knew which plays and routes the Lions were gonna run based on formations and Stafford’s hand signals. The Dolphins impressed me in their game against the Titans and they will be a different opponent than the Lions. My line for this game is Dolphins -2. Some shops opened this game at Miami PK/-1, before re-opening it at +3 after the Jets MNF game. Three points of value just because of one single score.
Situation: The Jets are flying high after a prime-time domination and will face the Dolphins on a short week. Slight advantage for Miami.
Matchup: We were expecting the Jets to orchestrate a couple scoring drives against a bad Lions defense. Detroit wasn’t able to challenge New York’s weak offensive line and after Ansah went out in the second quarter, OC Jeremy Bates and Sam Darnold had a field day. The Dolphins have a deeper pass rush and they also have a deeper secondary. They just need to get the pass rush on the field. They weren’t able to generate a consistent rush against a good Titans line, but they should have more success against the Jets. Bates will seek for mismatches in the horizontal passing game against a weak Dolphins linebacking corps and try to get Quincy Enunwa going out of the slot, who had the most snaps on MNF. Enunwa has shown incredible chemistry with Darnold. But the Dolphins actually have a very good matchup for slot receivers with rookie cornerback/safety hybrid Minkah Fitzpatrick. Minkah has already played decently against TEN and made some plays. Darnold – as good as he looked – is still a rookie who had turnover issues coming out of college. He showed that with the pick-six which was reckless. Against a potentially stronger pass rush combined with Minkah sitting on Quincy Enunwa and Xavien Howard on either Jermaine Kearse or Robby Anderson, I expect the Jets to struggle to move the ball consistently in this matchup. They won’t get blanketed and will get scoring opportunities, but it will be different from Monday.
The Dolphins actually impressed me. I expected Ryan Tannehill to show some rust in his first game back and he had two picks that can be applied to a lack of routine. Other than that, he looked sharp throughout the game, distributing the ball accurately across the field. The Fins scored 20 offensive points, but they should have scored 26 at least. They turned the ball over on downs inside the Titans’ red zone when Kenyon Drake didn’t catch a pass inbounds. Malcolm Butler picked rookie TE Mike Gesicki on a goal-line fade that Tannehill underthrew. Against the Fins, the Jets defense won’t recognize plays and routes based on formations and hand signals. Free safety Marcus Maye is still out which hurts the secondary. The challenging part on the Jets side will be getting enough pressure on Ryan Tannehill behind an offensive line without guard Josh Sitton and I doubt they will without a real outside rush. I see the Dolphins with a higher scoring ability and with less turnover risk. At +3, this is a great value after an overreaction.
The Pick: Miami Dolphins +3 +100 (LowVig, 09/11 10.10 AM EST)