NY Jets @ Miami (-1.0)
Power rankings: NY Jets 18, Miami 9
Spread update: This line has moved toward the model. The Dolphins are now 3 point favorites.
Keys to the game: QB Mike White (ribs) has been ruled out. Jets HC Robert Saleh has elected to go with 37 year old Joe Flacco, leaving 2021 2nd overall selection to be the backup. Flacco has 3 starts under his belt this season, where he's compiled a 58.2% completion percentage and gained just 5.7 yards per attempt, earning a 51.3 grade from PFF. With tackles Duane Brown (shoulder) and George Fant (knee) both out, the Jets will be starting one of the worst offensive lines in football. The key to the Dolphins defense (17th in DVOA/26th in EPA/play) is their pass rush. They have a slew of effective options, including DE Jaelan Phillips (63 pressures), DE Melvin Ingram III (34), DT Christian Wilkins (29), DT Zach Sieler (28), and DE Bradley Chubb (24). The Dolphins also blitz at a rate of 32.1%, 6th most in the league, and rank 6th in run defense DVOA. They'll have a massive advantage in the trenches and shouldn't have any issue consistently getting after Flacco. The weakness of the Dolphins defense is their secondary -- particularly if Xavien Howard (knee, questionable) cannot go. Between Garrett Wilson, Corey Davis, and Elijah Moore, the Jets receivers are certainly better then the Dolphins secondary. It'll come down to how well Flacco can play swarmed by a collection of Dolphins pass rushers.
Speaking of QB issues, both Tua Tagovailoa (concussion) and Teddy Bridgewater (knee/right finger) will miss on Sunday, leaving 7th round rookie Skylar Thompson to start against a Jets defense that ranks 6th in DVOA and 7th in EPA/play. Thompson has 83 dropbacks in his rookie season, and it's gone about as well as you'd expect from a 3rd string, 7th round rookie. Thompson is completing 54.1% of his passes while gaining 5.2 yards per attempt, good for a 52.0 grade from PFF. To make matters worse, the Dolphins will be without their best offensive lineman, LT Terron Armstead (toe/pec/knee/hip -- yes, all of those are listed on the official injury report). That will be a massive mismatch against a Jets pass rush that ranks 9th in pressure rate (23.7%) despite blitzing the least amount in the league (14.9%). DT Quinnen Williams has become one of the best interior pass rushers in the league this year and will wreak havoc against a very bad Dolphins line, especially LG Liam Eichenberg, who ranks 74th out of 79 qualifiers in PFF grades. The key to the Dolphins offense is the dynamic combination of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, but the Jets have an elite secondary themselves -- led by corners Saurce Gardner and DJ Reed. Despite all the QB injuries, the Dolphins are still 3rd in the league in passing offense DVOA, which speaks volumes to how effective Hill and Waddle are together. Thompson has about as difficult of a matchup as it gets, but the Dolphins offense is dynamic enough to out perform the struggling Jets offense.