NFL Week 5 Upset Alert: Jets Are Underdogs Against a Dolphins Squad With No Tua Tagovailoa

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The New York Jets are 2-2 after making their second comeback from a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter this season. The Miami Dolphins (3-1) lost their first game in Cincinnati and lost starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa for the time being after mismanaging his health with too much scrutiny.  

But with Teddy Bridgewater set to start, the Dolphins are still a 3.5-point favorite at many of the top-rated sportsbooks. Can the Jets sneak out another win and move into second place in the AFC East?  

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Miami Dolphins vs. New York Jets 

Sunday, October 09, 2022 – 01:00 PM EDT at MetLife Stadium

New York Jets Analysis After Week 4

Zach Wilson’s Return Sparks Jets in Pittsburgh 

The Jets were happy to see second-year quarterback Zach Wilson make his season debut in Pittsburgh last week. While Wilson caught a break in not having to face T.J. Watt, the Steelers applied plenty of pressure on him, which he showed great athleticism to evade and only took one sack on the road. 

Wilson also caught a touchdown pass on a perfect trick play, so the Jets seem to understand the kind of athlete they have at the position now that Joe Flacco is back on the bench. Wilson was able to engineer two touchdown drives in the fourth quarter to get the team the win

Last Time Wilson Faced the Dolphins

In his lone start against the Dolphins as a rookie in Miami last December, Wilson was nothing special with a modest 13-of-23 for 170 yards passing stat line. He rushed for a touchdown and did not throw an interception, but he also took 6 sacks and lost a fumble. The offense scored 17 points. 

But the Jets were up 17-7 early in that game, tied it at 24 late with a pick-six of Tagovailoa, then gave up the game-winning touchdown in a 31-24 loss. Wilson was unable to get a first down on his two drive opportunities when trailing 31-24. 

But that was his rookie year. Wilson looks a little more polished if Sunday in Pittsburgh is any indication, and the offense has improved with the draft selections of wide receiver Garrett Wilson and running back Breece Hall. It was Hall’s most impactful game as a runner on Sunday, getting double-digit carries for the first time this year and scoring the game-winning touchdown in the final seconds. 

Keys for a Jets' Victory

The Jets are still a serious work in progress and coming back from double-digit deficits in the fourth quarter is not a long-term recipe for success. But this team and particularly this offense is not the laughingstock it was in recent years. The Jets also lost both games to Miami by just a touchdown last year, so both games were close and competitive.  

Miami’s defense is currently allowing quarterbacks to complete 68.2% of their passes with 8 touchdowns and one interception. They also allow 8.1 yards per attempt, which ranks 30th in the league. Miami’s 4.3% sack rate is the sixth lowest in 2022, so this defense is not making things hard enough on opposing quarterbacks. 

Miami Dolphins Analysis After Week 4

Miami and Teddy Bridgewater Outlook 

The Dolphins have to prepare Teddy Bridgewater as their new starter this week as they are finally doing the right thing and giving Tagovailoa a week off to heal. Bridgewater came off the bench in Cincinnati and completed a very long pass to Tyreek Hill, which is a good sign for the offense if he has to play in this system and utilize the speed at receiver.

Bridgewater is notoriously conservative as a passer, but he had a decent showing on a short week and entering the game cold on an emotional night after Tua was sent to the hospital. 

But some of Bridgewater’s shortcomings and inexperience with the offense came back to haunt Miami at the worst moment on a potential game-winning drive in a 20-15 game. Bridgewater threw behind the spot of his receiver and it was intercepted with just over three minutes left. Bridgewater is now just 5-17 (.227) at fourth-quarter comeback opportunities in his career. Wilson is 2-3 (.400) for the Jets. 

Keys for a Dolphins' Victory

The Dolphins are still 29th in rushing yards and 28th in yards per carry, so the running game has yet to get on track. The Jets are only allowing 3.7 yards per carry, which ranks No. 6 among defenses. They have mostly contained the opponent’s running game outside of Cleveland’s dynamic duo of Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb. 

The Jets have allowed two 50-yard touchdown passes this season, though one was a short throw to Tyler Boyd with a lot of YAC after a blown tackle attempt at midfield. Still, the Jets will have to do their best with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. However, Waddle had zero receiving yards in the second half in Cincinnati and may have tweaked something. 

Thanks to getting 4 interceptions in Pittsburgh, the Jets are intercepting 5.0% of opponent passes, which ranks second in the league right now. Bridgewater only has nine starts with multiple interceptions in his career, but this is a game where the Jets need to get their mediocre pass rush going, especially if Bridgewater tries to hold the ball longer to hit those big plays to his wide receivers.  

Dolphins vs. Jets: Pick and Prediction 

Finally, we get to see the Jets play a team that’s not in the AFC North this year. The Jets were 1-5 ATS in division games last season, though Miami was the only team not to get any blowout wins over them. In fact, both matchups were tied in the fourth quarter and Miami’s biggest lead in either game was 10 points, which did not last for a full two minutes. 

The Jets are an improved team this year, and while the same can be said of Miami, Bridgewater is a downgrade at quarterback. He is 8-16 over his last 24 starts and cannot buy a close win. Since 2020, Bridgewater is 1-17 when his team allows more than 16 points. 

The Miami defense has only four takeaways, and three of those were in Week 1 against New England. Look for Wilson to protect the ball better, make some plays with his legs, and score enough points to get this upset for your NFL picks

NFL Pick: Jets (+145) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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