The Miami Dolphins welcome division-rival New York today to face the winless Jets in their game before their bye. Miami is trying to get to .500 (3-3) for the first time in head coach Brian Flores’ Dolphins’ coaching era. In order for Miami to jump into its early bye with a win, it’ll have to elevate and keep an eye on these players:
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (Miami Dolphins)
Fitzpatrick has shown everyone time and time again that he can be very good and then very bad in games. When Fitzpatrick’s rolling it’s like magic, but when he struggles you want to turn your TV channel to something else. Through five games this season Fitzpatrick has produced quality numbers with a 7:5 touchdown to interception ratio and 1,344 yards. His QB rating of 83.2 also ranks fourth overall in the NFL. If Fitzpatrick can stay consistent like he did in Sunday’s win against the San Francisco 49ers, he’ll be able to pick a part a weak Jets secondary today.
LB Jerome Baker (Miami Dolphins)
Miami’s defense has seen quite the surprise out of the 2018-third-round draft pick from Ohio State through the first five games. Baker has been flying all around the field in every game, making sure the opposing offense knows that he is there to make life miserable. Through the first five games of the season Baker has registered 40 total tackles with 24 of them being solo. He also has two sacks and has forced one fumble. He’ll have a real chance on Sunday to take apart the Jets offense and put on a show against backup QB Joe Flacco and aging veteran running back Frank Gore.
WR Jamison Crowder (New York Jets)
The one thing that Jets fans have to look forward to is the continued emergence of WR Jamison Crowder. Crowder since coming over from the Washington Football Team has been a bright spot for New York and in last Sunday’s 30-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, Crowder caught 60-percent of Flacco’s passes. Out of the slot Crowder shines, and he has the opportunity to continue his double-digit target and catch rate against a banged up Miami inside corps. Against a less than optimal Cardinals defense, Crowder finished the game with eight receptions for 116 receiving yards and one receiving TD. He has the chance to do it again today, but will need his fellow WRs and run game to pick up if the New York offense is going to make any strides downfield.
WR Preston Williams (Miami Dolphins)
New York will likely focus its best defenders on No. 1 WR DeVante Parker, creating what could be a generous opportunity for WR Preston Williams. Williams was Miami’s leading receiver last week in San Francisco because of a similar game script and he finished with four receptions for 106 receiving yards and hauled in a 32 yard receiving TD across the middle of the field. Through the five games of the season Williams has caught 32 receptions for 428 receiving yards and two receiving TDs. The 428 yards is roughly the same Williams had through eight games of his rookie season before going on injured reserve with a torn ACL.
RB Frank Gore (New York Jets)
After releasing RB Le’Veon Bell the load of the run game will rely on future Hall of Famer Frank Gore. Gore has been a journeyman throughout his career, but he has always been consistent for each team he has played for and brought that veteran experience to the youth. Gore will most likely start for the team moving forward and has already provided 64 carries through five games for 204 rushing yards. He should see the most carries he has seen all season, even if New York rotates in some of its younger backs. Miami’s rush defense has been ugly this season and he could be sneaky today to help the Jets’ poor looking offense. Gore was also a Dolphin a few years back and knows a little bit about the defense coming into today’s game.
Kickoff in Hard Rock Stadium is at 4:05 eastern.