The Dolphins were set to host the Denver Broncos in week six, but due to positive COVID-19 tests around the league, Miami was one of eight teams to have games rescheduled after week five. With the changes, the Dolphins will welcome the New York Jets to Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday at 4 p.m. eastern.
Additionally, Miami will also be looking to head into their bye week, that is now during week seven instead of 11, with an even .500 record for the first time since 2018 (5-5).
Dolphins Defense Looking For Second Strong Defensive Showing in a Row
In last Sunday’s 43-17 stomping of the San Francisco 49ers the Dolphins took apart the 49er offense. They forced San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to take a seat at the half as the Miami defense was able to force two interceptions from Garoppolo and force three sacks. The defense will look to force more turnovers against the Jets who rank 29th in passing offense, 19th in rushing offense and dead last (32nd) in total offense.
However, the Dolphins will be without key starting defensive tackle Davon Godchaux who is now out for the year on injured reserve after having surgery on a torn bicep. Godchaux has only missed one game in his career and had 52 games under his belt with 42 starts.
Miami’s DT Jones Activated, Flacco to Start for New York
DT Benito Jones was promoted to the active roster in his place, and thankfully, Miami should have an easier time getting Jones and others into a new mix against a Jets team that will be without starting QB Sam Darnold. Backup Joe Flacco will start and will lead a depleted Jets offense that will start RB Frank Gore after Le’Veon Bell was released and use wide receiver Jamison Crowder as their top receiving option.
“We’re really focused on the Jets and we try to keep those long-term thoughts and where people think we’re supposed to be, where we think we’re supposed to be, to a minimum and just try to focus on getting one win this week,” safety Bobby McCain said. “We communicate a lot. We communicate well with each other. I try to make sure everybody’s on the same page. We all try to make sure we’re in the same – in the right calls, so we can execute the right plan.”
Dolphins, Jets Could Be Without Key Players Sunday
Additionally, offensive tackle Mekhi Becton is doubtful and offensive lineman Alex Lewis and WR Breshad Perriman are questionable for the game for the Jets’ offense. For Miami, linebacker Kyle Van Noy and defensive end Shaq Lawson are both questionable as well.
Miami Has Another Chance to Showcase Offense
The Dolphins took a commanding 30-7 lead into the half in their last contest and should be able to get up on New York early against the Jets’ porous defense if they played as they did last week. New York ranks 26th in the pass defense, 23rd in run defense and 30th overall in total defense. Miami heads into the matchup with the 11th ranked passing offense behind QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and 18th in rushing offense behind RB Myles Gaskin, giving them the 10th ranked team-offense after five weeks.
Gaskin Solidifies Starting Job
Gaskin should be able to have another strong rushing game and lead Miami in rushing. It’s unclear whether the Dolphins will again make RB Jordan Howard, who has really only operated as the goal-line back, a healthy inactive again as they did last week. That earned Gaskin more red zone touches, pushed RB Matt Breida into the backup and pass-catching back role and moved Howard to the No. 3 back.
Parker, Williams, Gesicki: Could Be in for Big Games
It’s also possible WRs DeVante Parker and Preston Williams could find the open space on this lacking defense, as both are capable of and have shown not only their separation strengths, but contested catch skills as well. Tight end Mike Gesicki also has to potential to get in on the action as well will a less than 100-percent TE Durham Smythe.
The Dolphins also lead the AFC East in point differential at plus-23, ahead of the New England Patriots’ plus-five, the Buffalo Bills’ minus-three and the Jets’ minus-86.
Brian Flores Not Counting New York Out
Despite New York being winless so far on the season, Miami head coach Brian Flores said he isn’t overlooking a team based on what’s perceived about them and hinting at Miami’s upset of the Super Bowl runner-up from just last week.
“This is the National Football League, every team has good players. On any given Sunday, any team can beat any other team,” Flores said. “Whether the team’s undefeated, has won four out of five or hasn’t won any games. There is a competitive nature to these games that when you’re on the field and you see these guys compete, you understand what that is. I’m not taking anyone lightly.”
Kayla Morton contributed to this article.