The 4-2 Dolphins are coming off a short week of preparation, and already Miami players are saying they’re “mopping” up since last Sunday’s heartbreaking loss to the Titans.
The Dolphins have made up for two disappointing starts with a solid start to the second half, and Miami has won their last three games. If the Dolphins want to stay in playoff contention, here are three keys to a win over the New York Jets:
1. Avoid turnovers
While it’s tempting to look at the Jets’ 17 turnovers and the Dolphins’ 10 for a statistical edge, we shouldn’t ignore the Jets’ last 10 games: 2-4. The Jets are 10th in turnover differential, or the second worst in the league. They want to win a game that will likely be decided by one turnover. If the Jets can’t avoid turnovers, they will not win the game.
2. Speed up the offense
There were reports of a few absences from the Dolphins’ backfield Sunday against the Titans. DeVante Parker did not practice all week, and Adam Gase told reporters Monday that wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson weren’t available, either. While the injuries are troubling, one factor against Miami is that they must slow down their offense because it tends to sputter when in rhythm. The Jets are currently 13th in the league in passing yards per game, but the Dolphins will need to force the Jets to pass.
3. Protect the quarterback
If a Dolphins offense missing Parker and Wilson is going to look to make up for lost time, it needs a playmaker at wide receiver to step up. It might come down to an arms race between Robby Anderson and Danny Amendola and whether they can put points on the board. If Miami fails to contain Anderson and get him in long scoring plays, Anderson could make this a game Miami can’t afford to lose.