Last week the Miami Dolphins went into the game against the New York Jets favored to win. The team showed up physically, but after their first defensive series they checked out for the day mentally.
For some reason Josh McCown and his no-name group of receivers were able to carve up the Dolphins secondary all day. If it wasn’t for a late touchdown pass from Jay Cutler to DeVante Parker, Miami would have been shut out for the first time since 2013.
Perhaps some of this malaise could be due to all of the stress the team has endured. Key injuries in preseason and the postponement of their first game due to Hurricane Irma may have affected the team more than we know.
Miami must put the Jets game behind them and that will be no easy task against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. The Dolphins have yet to play a true home game and after this contest will be the most traveled team in the NFL by far, logging over 15,000 miles.
The Dolphins defense will be put to the test and must be able to get off of the field on third down, although the Jets were only 4-13 on third down last week they held the ball 13 minutes more than Miami. The Jets were able to move the ball consistently and keep Miami’s offense on the sideline.
Jay Ajayi has to bounce back from last week’s game where he was held to only 16 yards, when Jay Cutler has your longest rush (9) you know it was a terrible day on the ground. Miami mustered just 30 yards rushing and that led to Jay Cutler forcing the issue as Miami became one dimensional. He must also have a better game taking care of the football and cannot give the Saints offense a short field. Luckily for Miami the Saints defense continues to be the weakness of the team, and Miami should be able to run the ball effectively and keep themselves in manageable down and distance situations. A low scoring game should favor the Dolphins, but if it turns into a shootout they could be in trouble.