In a pivotal week 10 and week 12 matchup between two divisional teams, the Miami Dolphins will play in a home-and-home with the New York Jets.
Wilson, Crowder Looking to Solidify Themselves on Their Team
Wilson had a very quiet 2019 season for the Dolphins as he missed three games because of an injury and was still recovering from his 2018 season-ending injured reserve trip. He finished the season with 43 receptions for 351 yards and only added one receiving touchdown.
Crowder signed with the Jets after coming off of a four-year stint with the Washington Redskins. In his time in Washington he had 2,628 receiving yards on 221 receptions paired with 14 TDs. In his first season under his new team, with a new quarterback in Sam Darnold, Crowder finished with 78 receptions for 833 receiving yards and six TDs.
Wilson, Crowder Trending in Different Directions
After two injury-ridden seasons in Miami, Wilson restructured his contract and took a massive pay cut to remain with the Dolphins in 2020. It is unclear how Wilson will perform when the teams are allowed to resume offseason mandatory workouts, but it’s clear Wilson will be on the team’s opening day 55-man roster in a make or break season. Wilson can contribute to special teams as well, if asked upon, or can come in the field of play as a No. 3 WR (likely out of the slot).
Crowder on the other hand, quickly became one of Darnold’s favorite receivers. That should remain the case after New York lost WR Robby Anderson to the Carolina Panthers. Crowder is still slotted in the No. 2 slot however, and will spend a significant amount of time in the slot, after the team signed WR Breshad Perriman who is currently listed as the No. 1. Perriman could easily be downgraded as the season ensues however, as Crowder led the Jets with six receiving TDs last season even in the shadow of Anderson.
Two Bottom Feeders Hoping for More
The Dolphins will be looking for a successful 2020 campaign after struggling in 2019 with coming away with only five wins under their belt. With some hopeful draft picks taken in the 2020 NFL Draft, Miami should be going into the new season ready to compete. As for Wilson, he keeps some veteran experience on the roster and could use his previous experiences as an advantage to push for a solidified every-Sunday starting spot.
The Jets are coming off a third place, 7-9 season in which they finished just ahead of the Dolphins, failing to make the playoffs for the ninth season in a row. They also had a peculiar NFL Draft with trading away picks and not focusing on their largest positions of need. New York could be in for another stagnant, disappointing year.
Wilson, Crowder Facing Own Obstacles
While both teams have their own obstacles as a whole, both Wilson and Crowder have individual ones as well. The biggest obstacle standing in the way of Wilson is his own health. Throughout his career Wilson has only been able to sustain one full, healthy season. This came in 2016 as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs. While Wilson appeared in all 16 games, he started just five of them. In his six seasons in the NFL, Wilson has missed a total of 21 career games.
Crowder certainly doesn’t have the size for an elite receiver, but he does have a strong build. Crowder’s biggest need of improvement comes when facing the opposing team’s cornerbacks in press coverage. If Crowder can start beating his opposing coverage he’ll find himself on the end of more yards and scores, likely solidifying himself into the No. 1 WR mold.
Wilson Provides Versatility, Crowder Provides Trust
Wilson provides Miami help in many different places, where if needed, he can be called upon for special teams. This would be in addition to his regular contributions as a receiver.
Crowder brings trust to the team, more specifically Darnold, who is looking to throw to a true number one wideout. He can expose the Dolphins’ defense by staying consistent on the field and having good ball-handling skills out of the slot.
Crowder Makes More Dividends
So much can be taken away from this game as both receiving corps will be looking to have a good day and answer some of its many questions in that category. Crowder should come away with the bigger day against Wilson, mostly because he’ll likely be relied on more for New York. So far into the season, he will have developed a stronger rapport with Darnold and could already be in the No. 1 role.