The last time the Miami Dolphins clashed with the New York Jets in Week 6 of the 2020 NFL season, the Dolphins came home with a 24-0 victory and a new starting quarterback. And in the month that has passed since these two teams last faced each other, plenty as changed. The Jets have returned some players from injury while losing others and the same can be said for the Miami Dolphins. But perhaps the biggest shift for both teams is as the quarterback position. Tua Tagovailoa took 5 snaps against the Jets in Week 6 before being named the starting quarterback for the Dolphins — and we now have a four game sample size of what the rookie does and doesn’t do well.
Meanwhile, for the Jets, QB Sam Darnold is expected to return for this game, meaning neither team is going to have the same starting quarterback as what they had just a month ago when these teams clashed.
What will that mean for the matchup? For one, we should expect a closer contest than a 24-point shutout, which is what we saw last time. But the Dolphins defense still matches up very well against a punchless Jets offense from a personnel perspective — Miami can blanked the Jets receivers and the Dolphins will gladly welcome back DL Christian Wilkins from a two-week stay on the reserve/COVID-19 list as they look to put the screws on the opposing run game. With OT George Fant trending towards missing this game for the Jets, Miami has an even bigger advantage up front.
Offensively for Miami, the Dolphins must quickly find some resolutions to what the Denver Broncos put on tape in Week 11 against him — Miami struggled to move the ball with consistency against a strong game plan from Vic Fangio. The good news for Miami? The Broncos’ game plan worked in large part because of their two remaining elite defensive talents: FS Justin Simmons and DE Bradley Chubb. The Jets have no one near that caliber on their defensive depth chart (although DL Quinnen Williams has all the physical gifts needed to get there one day).
It all adds up to an odd combination. Familiar foes with significant new layers despite just a 6-week layoff between games. That’s life in the NFL, though; it comes as you fast and changes in a hurry.
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