New York

Lousy Jets Looking to Spoil Surprising Dolphins

The Dolphins come to MetLife Stadium Saturday night with everything to play for. Their opponent, meanwhile, is playing for pride. Oh yeah, and a chance to knock a reviled rival down a huge peg in the playoff hunt. 

The Jets have a great opportunity to play spoiler on Saturday night, as a win for the home team would deal a harsh blow to Miami’s playoff hopes. 

The fact that the Dolphins are within striking distance is a shock to many who watched them take on Gang Green just six weeks ago. Back then, Miami was just fighting to get to .500 after mirroring the Jets’ 1-4 start. 

How things have changed, though, as the Dolphins have won seven of their last eight. But how different are they really? Everything but their record says they’re a mediocre team (I know, I know, you are what your record ... I can’t bare to say it again). They’ve even scored less points than they’ve given up on the season. Miami is eking out one W after the next -- all but one of their wins this year have come by no more than seven points. 

But if it takes a lot of luck to keep winning the tight ones, the argument can also be made that Miami has made its own luck under rookie head coach Adam Gase. In their last eight contests, the Fish have forced more than twice as many turnovers as they’ve surrendered. 

Fifth-year QB Ryan Tannehill has been playing some of the best ball of his career, while sudden star RB Jay Ajayi continues to crank out yards on the ground. The Dolphins’ defense, meanwhile, has yielded more than 25 points just once in the past two months. 

Alas, Tannehill won’t be on the field this weekend after suffering a knee injury last Sunday vs. Arizona. In his place is 10-year vet Matt Moore, who’s basically been glued to the bench since the Dolphins drafted Tannehill back in 2012. 

Moore has a decent amount of experience as a starting signal-caller, unlike the Jets’ own QB. Second-year pro Bryce Petty is making his third career start against Miami, extending his audition to be New York’s quarterback of the future. Petty has been erratic so far, but he finished strong last week vs. the admittedly awful 49ers, and has shown signs of promise. 

A solid effort won’t save the Jets' season, but it would certainly bolster Petty’s chances to get the starting nod next year. Let’s face it -- nothing can salvage the sorry 2016 campaign. But successfully playing the spoiler role against the hated Dolphins would surely make the franchise and its fans feel a whole lot better about things.

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