When the New York Jets played the Miami Dolphins in Week 13, they turned in one of their worst offensive performances of the season. The Jets could only muster 177 yards of offense in the 23-3 loss, turning the ball over three times, giving up four sacks and going just 2 for 12 on third down conversions. The Jets averaged a pathetic 3.3 yards per play in that contest, and they never threatened the Dolphins’ defense.
Geno Smith was benched at halftime in that game, and he had one of his worst games as a pro, completing just 4/10 passes for 29 yards and an interception. After that game, calls for Matt Simms to replace Smith as the starting quarterback were louder than ever, and the Jets were seen as a team that was regressing to the disaster everyone expected them to be in the preseason.
However, the Jets stuck with Smith, and the offense has gotten much better over the last three games. The Jets have gone 2-1 in those games, averaging 357 total yards and 27 points per game with just two total turnovers. This is the type of progress the Jets had hoped to see much earlier from the offense, but it is better late than never. Now the Jets face a rematch with the Dolphins, and the offensive is looking for redemption.
The Dolphins have a “bend but don’t break” type of defense, as they are ranked 20th in the NFL in total yards allowed, but 8th in points allowed. They were dominant in their first meeting with the Jets, and they have the benefit of home field advantage this time around. The Dolphins are also desperate for a win as they try to earn the sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC, so they should be at the top of their game.
In order for the Jets to win, the offense has to continue to improve. Chris Ivory has become the workhorse back the Jets were hoping he’d be when they traded for him, and expect him to get the ball quite a bit on Sunday. Smith has shown better decision making in the last few weeks, and he played his best game since Week 5 in last week’s win over the Cleveland Browns. The Jets cannot afford turnovers from Smith, and they would like to see him continue to be a dual threat quarterback.
If the Jets can continue their solid offensive play, then they certainly have the ability to beat the Dolphins. A win would put the Jets at 8-8 for the season, and it would give them something to build on as they head into the offseason. The offense has been the weak link of the Jets for three straight seasons, and it is the reason they missed the playoffs this season. However, they can get some redemption against the Dolphins and give the team some hope for the future with a strong finish to the season.