Dolphins vs. Jets
Which WRs Will Play in Week 2?
WR DeVante Parker practiced in full for the first time since the preseason in preparation for Week 2, all while the oft-injured WR Danny Amendola missed at least one practice during the week. In the case of Amendola, it sounds like Head Coach Adam Gase is going to give his regular veterans days off all throughout the season. What this means is that whatever it is that we learned last week (which wasn’t a lot thanks to the conditions of the game) probably won’t hold true for this week. In theory, DeVante Parker is the #1 Wide Receiver for the Dolphins aerial attack; however, Parker has never blossomed into the threat that he was expected to after being chosen with the 14th pick in the 2015 draft. The silver lining for Parker is that QB Ryan Tannehill is back under center, after missing all of last season. Parker will be contending with WR Kenny Stills for the majority of the throws to the outside, though I would actually expect to see either WRs Albert Wilson or Danny Amendola have good days against the Jets. On the Jets side of the ball, they will likely be short starting safety Marcus Maye and will be missing starting outside linebacker Josh Martin, which could open up plays in the middle of the field. Based on their usage last week, I’d put my money on Albert Wilson showing up on the boxscore quite a bit, since it seems like Gase wants to use him in a variety of formations and positions.
How will snap counts and touches break down between Drake and Gore?
In Week 1, RBs Kenyan Drake and Frank Gore showed a 65/35 split on carries. Also in Week 1, the snap count between both backs was 74/29, which indicates that Drake is definitely seeing the lion’s share of the work. Add into that, the aforementioned absence of OLB Josh Martin for the Jets, it’s conceivable that Drake will see more success running to the outside and may see some more designed pass plays over the middle of the field. Frank Gore had a great game with the ball in Week 1, plowing through some wide open holes to the tune of 9 carries for 61 yards. Going into the season, the Titans were expected to have a good run defense, but that wasn’t apparent in Week 1. The Jets are also considered to have a good run defense, so it remains to be seen if Gore will have the same quality holes he did last week.
Will the Dolphins be quite as surprised about the Jets as the Lions seem to be?
The New York Jets surprised the Detroit Lions, and the entire NFL, by scoring 48 points in Week 1. Aside from a pick-6 to start the night, rookie QB Sam Darnold was very efficient in blowing out Detroit. Unfortunately for the Jets, the secret is out now, and the Dolphins have had a whole week to digest all of the game film. On top of that, the Dolphins were pinged for 20 points last week, but most of that (17 points to be exact), came in the 4th quarter of a sloppy game.
The Sam Darnold era is underway in New York, and so far so good. Opening pick-6 aside, Darnold certainly held his own this past Monday night in Detroit against the Lions. However, the true standout of the game had to be the New York Jets defense. Creating five turnovers – one of which by LB Darron Lee went for the units first defensive score since 2013 – ‘New Jack City’ and company have played themselves into streamer discussion in this Sunday’s home opener against the Dolphins. They will look to keep that momentum and pressure QB Ryan Tannehill (2.0 as per his knee brace), and limit RBs Kenyan Drake and Frank Gore on the ground.
Which WR deserves a start?
WR Quincy Enunwa was a hot waiver add this week after his Week 1 performance; 6 receptions on 10 targets for 63 yards and a score. The target count is what’s to like most here. Enunwa has proved to be a reliable receiver, especially on third down, due to his ability to rack up YAC numbers. With that said, I would look for him to be the better option this week over WR Robby Anderson. This isn’t to downplay Anderson though. I would expect him to be involved more this week, which won’t be hard to surpass considering he was targeted only once in Detroit (and wound up scoring on the grab). It’s just that I believe the Jets will want to protect Darnold at all costs from himself, and so we may see some limitations on the deep ball as he eases into this starting role, and that’s where Anderson is most effective.
Not to be overlooked, but it’s diligent to keep an eye on WRs Terrelle Pryor Sr. and Jermaine Kearse, who could be making his season debut coming off abdominal surgery, and see how they both fair in the pass game.
How about RB?
Both RBs Isaiah Crowell and Bilal Powell were featured Week 1, and the two found success in their own rights. Crowell scored twice and racked up 102 yards rushing. Powell only 60 yards, but on 12 attempts, so an average of 5 yards per carry can be deemed solid. I would look for the two to be shifted in and out, with the edge to Crowell against a Miami team that let up 116 yards on the ground against the Titans to start their season.