New York Jets (2-1 SU, 2-1 ATS) vs. Miami Dolphins (1-2 SU, 1-2 ATS)
NFL Week 4
Date/Time: Sunday, October 4, 2015 at 9:30M EST
Where: Wembley Stadium, London, England
by Scott, NFL Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: NYJ -1/MIA +1
Over/Under Total: 41.5
The New York Jets and the Miami Dolphins make the trip to London on Sunday for an AFC East battle. The Dolphins split their first two games of the season, both of which occurred on the road. But on Sunday in their home opener, they got hammered 41-14 by the Bills and now make the long trip to England searching for answers as their season has gotten a bit sideways. The Jets also had a rough time of it on Sunday in a 24-17 loss to the Eagles. But at 2-1, they still have things to be hopeful for heading into week 4.
Sunday notwithstanding, the Jets have been a surprise this season. With a dominant week one win over the Browns, followed by a 20-7 road win over the Colts, the season started great for New York. After a loss on Sunday, they will be eager to recapture the winning feeling and go to 3-1. New head coach Todd Bowles has done what he did in Arizona and thats whip this defense into shape, allowing just 17 points in their first two games. And they were still good on Sunday, with a special teams snafu helping Philly put up points, as the defense again held firm, limiting Sam Bradford to a paltry 118 yards.
Bowles has a track record of extracting the maximum from his defense. With existing firepower on the defense and young players getting better, Bowles has a lot to work with and should continue whipping that side of the ball into shape. The return of corners Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie has seen the pass D improve. Second-year first-rounder Calvin Pryor has seen a marked improvement from last season. Lineman Leonard Williams will continue to grow in his rookie season. Through three games, theyve played really well and should continue with that form as they move forward.
Ryan Fitzpatrick as a starting quarterback is not ideal and his three picks on Sunday were worrisome. The Jets are hoping he doesnt go into one of those prolonged funks like what he experienced in Buffalo. But for the most part, hes been serviceable. Bilal Powell and Chris Ivory are producing decently out of the backfield. And despite an ill-advised lateral attempt on Sunday that proved to be costly, Brandon Marshall has already established himself in this offense and is having a lot of success through 3 games. With their defense doing most of the heavy lifting, the Jets offense needs to just keep the ship pointed forward. They dont have to be great. They just need to move the chains, sustain some drives, and put up points where they can, while allowing their D to dominate.
Its fair to say Miami has been a major disappointment. They won in week one, when a punt return by Jarvis Landry for a touchdown bailed them out against the Redskins. Since then, its been downhill for a Dolphins team that had big hopes entering 2015. It was hard perhaps for them to open the season with two road games. In week two, they fell to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the first real sign that Miami might be less than what many had forecasted. But in their home opener on Sunday, not many could have expected Buffalo to come in and blow them out of the water, 41-14. Thats pretty rough stuff.
Now on the heels of getting crushed in their home opener, they have to hop on a plane and go to London. They cant be feeling that great heading into week 4. Coach Joe Philbin is certainly a qualified football man. But for this to be happening in his 4th year at the helm is a troubling development. While he wasnt on the field on Sunday, it doesnt speak well of a coach when his team loses a divisional game in a home opener by 27 points. In the press, we will hear all the right things and the pre-packaged sound bytes, but you have to wonder whats going on in the heads of these players as they cross the pond.
Despite the agonizing past two weeks, Miami still has a chance to even the slate with a win here. One shouldnt expect them to fold in their tents and mentally check out just yet. But they are under-performing on both sides of the ball. Buffalo had their way with them on Sunday. And the week before that, they let Jacksonville march right down the field on a scoring drive that clinched the game late. In 3 games, theyve registered one lone sack. And the guys on the line who were going to be supposedly freed up with the addition of Ndamukong Suh have barely even been a factor.
Offensively, Miami seems almost stuck in permanent underachieving mode. They have a quarterback in Ryan Tannehill, a mid-pack NFL quarterback that they hitched their star to with a gigantic deal. Theyre locked in now. There is a disconnect with Tannehill when you look at his stats then actually watch him on the field for extended time. For the most part, the way he commandeers this offense lacks inspiration and drive. He seems immune to the element of urgency at times. While guys like RB Lamar Miller and ball-catchers Jarvis Landry, Jordan Cameron, and emergent Rishard Matthews are nice pieces to have, this offense lacks real consistent playmakers and game-changers.
It is possible that the Jets could down to earth a bit. Beating Cleveland and an off-key Indy team is nice, but not grounds for a parade. And Miami cant possibly be as bad as theyve looked in the past two weeks. This point spread is almost too tasty on behalf of the Jets. Its just that with the Jets, you sense a team doing the most with what they have, while Miami in underachieving with impunity. Form changes from week to week in this league, but the Jets just seem to have a better grip right now on what theyre trying to do.
Scott’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Im betting on the New York Jets minus one point plus the extra juice. Speaking of juice, get reduced juice on NFL game days every week of the season! The best bonus ever offered at 5Dimes.
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