The first step to having a successful season in the standings of any sport is to win within your division. By routinely being better than the teams you’ll face the most, logically you will set yourself up for success if you can find ways to translate that divisional success into even .500 play outside the division. For the Miami Dolphins, divisional successes have been a mixed bag for the past several years.
The Dolphins have flourished against their rivals from the Big Apple — Miami is 6-4 against the Jets since the 2015 season and an even more impressive 6-2 against New York if you trace the matchup back to 2016 instead. And the latest matchup between the teams, a 22-21 New York Jets victory, was made possible by a baffling defensive pass interference call in the final minute to extend the Jets’ game-winning drive.
The Dolphins have had much success against New York as of late. And it should continue in 2020, too. But where will the Dolphins struggle the most against these Jets in 2020? Where do the Dolphins have the biggest match-up issue at hand? We can’t point to coaching, or can we point to quarterback play. The Dolphins have suffocated young QB Sam Darnold thus far into his pro career — and Miami’s defense got exponentially more ferocious in 2020.
The biggest matchup question mark for Miami against the Jets is how well the offensive line will gel against a team that offers some heavy hitters in the box and in the run game. If the Dolphins can’t run the ball with consistency, the Jets are only a few big plays away from forcing the Dolphins into a one dimensional attack — and there they can tee off on Miami’s young line. The Jets don’t boast a ton of impressive heat off the edge to rush the passer but the team can bring added bodied and play aggressive if they’re playing with a lead.