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NY Jets vs. Miami Dolphins, Week 11 preview: Joe Flacco takes a turn

Michael Carter, Myles Gaskin, New York Jets, Miami Dolphins
Michael Carter, Myles Gaskin, New York Jets, Miami Dolphins, Jet X Graphic, Getty Images

Joe Flacco takes his turn as the New York Jets quarterback with the Miami Dolphins coming to town.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ—When the music stops, somebody has to drop. The rules of musical chairs are simple, yet the results are wildly unpredictable.

New York Jets fans should know this well. First, it was Zach Wilson with all of his rookie hope. After a promising August and Week 1 in Carolina (when given a chance, especially in the second half), the BYU product has struggled.

Then, it was Mike White’s time to shine. The unbelievable 400-yard performance in the win over the Cincinnati Bengals was followed by an injury in Indianapolis and a tough one against the Buffalo Bills last week.

Now, in a shocker, Joe Flacco gets the nod against the 3-7 Miami Dolphins in Week 11.

Jets vs. Dolphins game info

  • New York Jets (2-7)
  • Miami Dolphins (3-7)
  • NFL, Week 11, Sunday, Nov. 21, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
  • MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
New York Jets, Miami Dolphins, 2021, Week 11 Preview
New York Jets, Miami Dolphins, 2021, Week 11 Preview, Jet X Graphic, Getty Images

After winning 10 games last year, Brian Flores’s team has been a disappointment in 2021. Miami even beat the New England Patriots in Week 1 of this season, a 17-16 defensive struggle. But they then lost their next seven.

After the seventh-straight loss—an awful outing against the Bills—the Phins have taken their last two (knocking off the Houston Texans in Week 9 and then upsetting Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday Night Football, 22-10).

For the Jets, the story has remained the same. Aside from surprising wins against two pretty tough opponents, the Tennessee Titans and Cincinnati Bengals, nearly every other defeat has come in a crushing way.

Robert Saleh’s defense has now given up 40-plus points in each of its last four games, including 54 to the Patriots four weeks ago.

Jets vs. Dolphins history

  • The all-time series is tied: 55-55-1

Unlike the Jets’ all-time deficit to the Patriots and Bills, this one is an even split. New York’s all-time greatest rival (and yes, the Dolphins still remain the Jets’ most hated AFC East rival in spite of the Bill Belichick evil empire up north), is currently in a dead heat with Gotham Green.

Interestingly, the Jets have given way just a bit over the last several years.

Miami has won the last two games, six of the last seven, and eight of the last 10 meetings. The last matchup featured a Dolphins’ 20-3 victory in late November of last season. Former Jet Ryan Fitzpatrick thew for 257 yards and two touchdowns in the victory at MetLife Stadium.

Jets vs. Dolphins odds (FanDuel Sportsbook)

  • Spread: Jets +3.5 (-110), Dolphins -3.5 (-110)
  • Moneyline: Jets +154, Dolphins -184
  • Over/Under: 44.5 (O: -110, U: -110)

Do my eyes deceive me or are the Jets actually not a double-digit underdog? While I await my optometrist to get back to me, we’ll operate under the assumption that the Jets are only a 3.5-point underdog.

It makes sense. Although the Jets are home, which is usually worth three points in its own right, Miami is coming in hot, having won its last two games.

Yet again, the smart online sports bettor will stay far away from betting with or against the Jets—although the latter is usually much more fruitful.

Jets vs. Dolphins injury report

New York Jets, Miami Dolphins, 2021, Week 11, Injury Report
New York Jets, Miami Dolphins, 2021, Week 11, Injury Report, New York Jets Communications

New York Jets

  • Zach Wilson (Knee): Doubtful
  • Nathan Shepherd (Knee): Questionable
  • Alijah Vera-Tucker (Knee): Questionable

Save for the numerous names in injured reserve, the Jets enter this one relatively healthy. Wilson is expected to miss the game, as White should serve as the No. 2 behind Flacco.

Nathan Shepherd is questionable, as is Alijah Vera-Tucker, whose presence is desperately needed against an aggressive Dolphins defense.

Miami Dolphins

  • Andrew Van Ginkel (Back): Questionable
  • Christian Wilkins (Quad): Questionable

Despite a hefty injury report that features DNPs and LPs, the Dolphins come into the contest with a semi-healthy roster as well.

Linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel is questionable with a back as is talented youngster Christian Wilkins (quad).

New York Jets’ keys to victory

Ride Michael Carter

Rookie running back Michael Carter has been a nice story this season. Miami’s passing defense has been much worse than their rushing defense—a 28th ranking in yards allowed per game as opposed to 15th—but this kid can do it all.

Carter can both tote the rock from the backfield and catch it when necessary. Each week, his vision improves and his comfortability at this level becomes more evident.

Mike LaFleur and company should lean heavily on the North Carolina product with Flacco shaking the rust off in this AFC East showdown.

Do your job defensively

Accountability feels like an issue right now, especially defensively. Jets defenders are playing hero ball: They’re trying to do too much on each play while not focusing on their own individual reads and responsibilities.

How Saleh and his coaching staff will get through to their young players and have them flip the script so suddenly remains a mystery. But it remains the key in this defensive unit turning things around this season.

Jets vs. Dolphins prediction

  • New York Jets 20, Miami Dolphins 30

Although Flacco should find some success offensively, there’s just no way anybody could trust the Jets’ defense right now. The unit is playing atrocious defense, and even with a mediocre offense coming to town, Jeff Ulbrich’s boys are in prove-it mode.

Tua Tagovailoa shouldn’t light the world on fire, but he should find enough downfield room to get his team over 30 points against the NFL’s worst defense.

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