Dolphins will beat Jets in London


The Miami Dolphins will beat the New York Jets in London this week. It’s a bold prediction I know but the truth is the Dolphins not only play well overseas but they play much better when their backs are against the wall. Their backs are indeed against the wall.

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Should the Dolphins come out flat against their division rivals it will be another long day, morning for the Dolphins. As of today there is no talk of Joe Philbin losing his job if the Dolphins lose. Stephen Ross is being quiet regarding the status of his head coach heading into the bye week. This despite the constant barrage of summations being made by just about every Dolphins beat writer and national writer.

There is no mistaking the fact that Joe Philbin is sitting squarely on the hot seat and if the Dolphins do in fact lose, which they won’t, more talk of his dismissal will arise. It’s going to be a long season should the Dolphins fail to make this game a “W”.

The Jets are favored by 1.5 points heading into the week and it’s the first time this season the Dolphins have been the underdog. Perhaps this small slap in the face will wake this team up. Dolphins players are still supporting their coaching staff but make no mistake, internally things are starting to get hot and a bad loss now could start the pot boiling.

The Dolphins do not match well against a very competent and strong defense but offensively the Jets are ailing. Eric Decker is likely to not play and running back Chris Ivory is banged up and could see limited snaps. Calling the line signals, Ryan Fitzpatrick has not looked good this season and the Dolphins could find themselves in a position to finally start taking the ball away. Fitzpatrick holds the ball way too long and doesn’t avoid pressure well. This will be a key to the game.

Pressure is important and something the Dolphins defensive line has yet to accomplish. Earl Mitchell has not looked good and while Ndamukong Suh saw two and three man blocking teams the Jets will likely take him on with one or two offensive lineman. The Jets have a very good offensive line and probably are just a tad bit lower than the Bills who kept the Dolphins defenders confused and out of the back-field.

So why am I predicting a victory with so much negativity surrounding the game? It’s because the Dolphins are one of those teams over the last four years that win when no one really expects them to. They tend to do just enough to keep things going. Joe Philbin seems to find a way to keep the team at .500 and that’s exactly where I suspect the Dolphins will be after Sunday.

Ryan Tannehill has a poor game last week but I believe that was far more a result of the offensive line than anything he did. Three interceptions were ugly but one was a bobbled catchable pass by Jarvis Landry and the other two were under significant pressure. I believe we will see more read options this week and I also believe that Bill Lazor will use more roll out passing for Tannehill to beat the pressure.

And Ryan Tannehill does well when he moves around.

The Jets defensive corners are some of the best in the league but even the best can be beat with the right play calling. De’Vante Parker I believe will be targeted more often. The Dolphins need his size and Parker can use that size at the yard marker to get first downs. Jarvis Landry is by far Tannehill’s favorite target and will likely see another 8-10 catches this week. Landry was off his game last week but no one prepares harder than he does and you can bet there will not be a repeat from him.

The other option on the outside is Rishard Matthews and Matthews is not likely to see himself as open this week as he has been in the last three games. The Jets will likely be able to cover Matthews one one one with no safety support so if the Dolphins play their scheme right, Kenny Stills should be inserted for four man receiver sets and he can clear out the safety to allow tight end Jordan Cameron to run behind the linebackers.

Miami coaching staff must make the right decisions this week. There is no question that they have yet to do so. The decision last week to deactivate Jordan Phillips was a huge error and can’t be repeated and the lack of depth on the offensive line is not a reason to keep Billy Turner on the sidelines either. More importantly they need to move Brice McCain back to the slot corner position and let Jamar Taylor cover the edge.

McCain has struggled on the edge this season and his only highlight was the game sealing interception in week one.

It’s my opinion that the Dolphins players realize that they are the ones who have to take the game into their own hands and can’t rely solely on the coaches decisions. Execution is key but so is calling the right schemes and offensive plays. The players are frustrated as much with themselves as with the team as a whole and I believe this is the week that they step and get physical. Something they have failed to do thus far.

My predictions are simple. The Dolphins offense will do enough to win the game and will score 24 points. Three touchdowns and one field goal. The Dolphins defense facing a suspect offense outside of the offensive line will play far more physical forcing Fitzpatrick to make mistakes and I think they keep the Jets out of the end zone.

Final score, the Dolphins 24 the Jets 12.

There, that’s my optimism for the week.