Florham Park, NJ – The Jets are preparing to play the Dolphins this Sunday, and after Monday night’s win, the Jets are as ready as ever to see a divisional opponent. The Dolphins are fresh off a win against Tennessee, but Marcus Mariota was injured in the third quarter, and the Titans secondary had a pitiful performance. Unfortunately for the Dolphins, they also lost pro-bowl guard Josh Sitton for the season, a big blow to their revamped offensive line.
“Josh Sitton is very good, big, strong, he moves piles,” Todd Bowles said. “He was a good addition for them, but Larsen is starting. He played in Arizona, he’s a center/guard combo, and a strong guy too.”
Ted Larsen has been a starter for most of his career, but is a considerable downgrade from Sitton. While the Jets pass rush was something that concerned fans before the season started, they should be able to get it going Sunday against the Fish. The concern existed mostly because of the lack of a big name pass-rusher, but the Jets proved on Monday night that they are capable of getting to the quarterback without Khalil Mack. While the Jets defense didn’t record a sack, they were in Matthew Stafford’s face a lot and caused a pick-six.
The defensive line ran a rotation on Monday night, keeping fresh legs on the field for most of the game. Despite Steve McLendon’s tremendous impact in shutting down the Lions run game, he was only on the field for 30% of snaps. Leonard Williams had the most snaps and was on the field for 66% of the game. He was the only defensive lineman to play more than half the game. Henry Anderson was the second most utilized defensive lineman at 49%, but he was the hot hand. Nathan Shepherd had very little impact in his first game, but it would be a surprise if he didn’t improve in the coming weeks.
Darron Lee had his best game in a Jet uniform on Monday, picking off two passes and returning one to the house, and was the highest graded defensive player from week one according to Pro Football Focus. He’ll be another beneficiary of the absence of Sitton, and they should look to incorporate Lee more into the pass rush this week. Frankie Luvu and Brandon Copeland also had good debuts, and are certainly hungry for their first sacks.
The Jets defense should be able to take advantage of a semi-decimated Dolphins offensive line, with Laremy Tunsil and Ja’Wuan James also nursing hamstring injuries. The Dolphins offense, when healthy is still below average, and the Jets defense looked elite last week, even though it was week one. Although all signs are pointing to a Jets win, maybe even in dominating fashion, this would not be the first time they dropped a game they shouldn’t have to the Miami Dolphins. The only hope the Dolphins have is if the Jets offense struggles, but if you believe in the law of averages, the Jets are due for some.