Four Headlines Heading Into Jets vs Dolphins

After three straight home games, the New York Jets are back on the road to face the Miami Dolphins. For the Jets, they will look for back-to-back wins while Miami looks to bounce back. Today, let’s take a look at the biggest headlines heading into this matchup in The Magic City.

Four Headlines Heading Into Jets vs Dolphins

Can Zach Do It Again?

Did that happen? Yes, Jets fans, you were not dreaming that Zach Wilson went out and threw for over 300 yards and a win over the Houston Texans on Sunday. Wilson erased any questions about the reports that stated he was ‘reluctant’ to play again this season. This big performance won Wilson AFC Offensive Player of the Week. On the other side of town, Tommy DeVito took home the honors for the NFC.

All jokes aside, Sunday was a really impressive performance from Zach Wilson, easily the best of his career. In total, Wilson completed 75% of his passes for 301 yards and two touchdowns. It was just the third time in his young career that he threw for 300 yards, but it was only the first time that it led to a win. It was also the first time he threw for over 300 yards and no interceptions. However, the biggest question remains: Can he do it again versus Miami?

Throughout Wilson’s career, one of the biggest knocks has been his inability to put good performances together for long stretches. Previously this season, Wilson had a big game against the Kansas City Chiefs where he threw for 245 yards and two touchdowns. However, during the next six weeks, he only threw two touchdowns combined, which ultimately led to his benching in week 11 against the Buffalo Bills.

The most likely scenario is Wilson won’t return with the Jets next season. For him, that shouldn’t matter. It’s all about putting good film on tape over the next four games for the 31 other NFL teams to see. If he wants to feel good about himself going into the offseason, these performances must continue.

End The Streak

While the Jets recently have had no major issues beating Miami at home, they have had serious problems beating them on the road. The Jets have a record of 31-27 against the Dolphins at home. However, New York is just 25-31-1 on the road against Miami all-time, which isn’t pretty, and these recent years haven’t helped.

The last time the Jets beat the Dolphins in Miami was Week 17 of 2014, when Geno Smith and company came out victorious 37-24. Yes, you read that correctly, Geno Smith was the quarterback. Smith had a perfect 158.3 passer rating that day. However, since that game, the Jets have lost seven straight in The Magic City, and this week that needs to change.

In Week 12, Miami beat the Tim Boyle-led Jets 34-13 at MetLife Stadium, so the Jets will look to even up the season series. The last time New York beat Miami was last year at MetLife Stadium, scoring 40 points on their way to a 23-point win. Unfortunately, the Jets have had a lot of bad streaks over the years; this one, while not talked about much, needs to end on Sunday.

Pro Bowl Pushes

With December in full swing, everyone is doing their last-minute Christmas shopping while NFL teams make their final playoff pushes and individual players make their final case for the Pro Bowl Games. Despite a very bumpy season, the Jets have many well-deserving players who could and should be on their way to Orlando in February.

A lot of deserving players come on the defensive side of the ball, which is one of the best units in football. Players like Jermaine JohnsonBryce HuffQuinnen WilliamsC.J. MosleyQuincy WilliamsSauce GardnerD.J. Reed, and maybe the most underrated of them all, Michael Carter. All of these guys have made a strong case to make the Pro Bowl this season. Who will get in remains the question, but expect a few from this list to be on their way to Orlando.

Even in a historically bad offense, with four different quarterbacks seeing live play time, Garrett Wilson still finds ways to shine. This season, Wilson has 76 receptions for 853 yards, both of which lead the team. He is only 147 yards away from his second career 1,000-yard season in as many years. Not many receivers can do what Wilson has done with the hand he has been dealt.

Along with this, a few specialists could be on their way to the Pro Bowl Games. Kicker Greg Zuerlein currently has a career-high in field goal percentage at 96.4%, which is good for fifth in the NFL. Another guy with a big leg is punter Thomas Morstead. This season, Morstead has punted for the most yards in the NFL and has 28 punts downed inside the 20-yard-line, which ranks tied for second in the NFL.

Playoffs?!

Over the years, there have been many great press conference moments, such as Allen Iverson’s ‘practice’ rant and, in this case, Jim Mora’s ‘playoffs’ rant. After the Colts lost to the 49ers, 40-21, and dropped to 4-6, Jim Mora went on an epic rant when a reporter asked about the postseason. 

“What’s That? Ah Playoffs? Don’t talk about playoffs,” Mora said. “Are you kidding me? Playoffs? I just hope we can win a game!” 

For Jets fans, after one win, playoffs have been brought up once again.

According to the New York Times’ playoff predictor, right now, the Jets at 5-8 have a 1% chance of making the postseason. If the Jets win out and finish 9-8, their chances of making the postseason rise to 11%. Now, neither of these odds is great, but the possibility of winning this weekend against a division rival and Aaron Rodgers returning on Christmas Eve against the Washington Commanders is what gets fans excited.

There is no room for error, and the chances are slim to none, but in a season full of frustration and disbelief, even talking about the eight-letter word ‘playoffs’ is fun. As the late great Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.”

Main Image: © Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

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