It’s more or less what you expected
If there’s one positive thing you can say about Sunday’s showdown between the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins, it’s that a quarterback matchup between an aging Joe Flacco and Skylar Thompson has been everything it was advertised and then some.
In each team’s respective regular season finale, with Miami still lingering in the AFC playoff hunt, the Jets and Dolphins have united for 251 yards of offense and 13 first downs in what’s become a 3-3 slog at Hard Rock Stadium.
- PASSING: Joe Flacco (8-14, 87 yards)
- RUSHING: Zonovan Knight (6 carries, 13 yards)
- RECEIVING: Garrett Wilson (2 rec., 41 yards)
- PASSING: Skylar Thompson (11-of-16, 98 yards)
- RUSHING: Jeff Wilson Jr. (8 carries, 40 yards)
- RECEIVING: Jaylen Waddle (3 rec., 33 yards)
It’s now clear why the Jets opted to make Joe Flacco a de facto sacrificial lamb in lieu of risking Zach Wilson to further harm: whereas the Jets have, whatever reason, future game plans with Wilson in tow, Flacco is simply there to run out the clock on the Jets’ season behind the team’s ninth different offensive line combination this season. Though he’s avoided any official sacks, Flacco has been knocked down on six occasions, with Jaelan Phillips alone responsible for three.
Play For a Purpose
The Jets are, alas, to almost every brand of meaningless football by this point but the bittersweet redemption is that they’re able to showcase their young talents. Most of them have risen to the occasion in an attempt to beautify the finale: Garrett Wilson put up a 36-yard reception that set up the Jets’ lone points so far, Sauce Gardner and Michael Carter II have held Miami’s weaponry in check and Micheal Clemons has a tackle for a loss. There are few reasons from a Jets fans perspective beyond masochistic affairs, but watching these young hopefuls for the last time until August might be sufficient enough.
Mann of the Hour
As the Jets prepare to ponder their special teams future, the oft-maligned Braden Mann might’ve been the Jets’ MVP in this first half. Two punts have averaged over 50 yards and both landed inside the 20. That’s the perfect defense for a seventh-round rookie quarterback in way over his head, as well as a downtrodden offense desperate for any kind of traction.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags