The NFL returns to London’s Wembley Stadium with an intriguing game when the Miami Dolphins faces off with the New York Jets. European fans will get a live glimpse at two AFC East rivals in an important Week 4 game in which the winner will either gain some separation in the standings or make things closer. It is a must-win for both the Dolphins and Jets and a valid reason why it would be good to get up at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time to watch it.
Miami Dolphins’ coach Joe Philbin needs a victory in the worst way. With a 1-2 start in the young NFL season, he finds himself on the hot seat. Too much talent is on this Dolphins team that went out and spent big bucks on defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. At the time of the signing, Suh was the top-ranked free agent on the market.
Ndamukong Suh was just part of a busy offseason for the Miami Dolphins. Signing quarterback Ryan Tannehill to an extension, while finding complimentary pieces on the offensive side of the ball, was the focus of the team.
Every AFC East team spent time and money for upgrades. The Miami Dolphins, as well as the New York Jets, are trying to shrink the gap between their teams and the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. With the obvious roster upgrades, beginning the season 1-2 is unacceptable. If the Dolphins were to lose to the Jets, Coach Philbin could find himself out of a job with a bye week approaching.
The Miami Dolphins have come out of the gate struggling on both sides of the field.
Ryan Tannehill has not lived up to his expectations yet. Many of his issues are tied to the fact that Miami does not run the football well, and the lack of separation that his receivers are getting.
Suh’s addition was supposed to aid a pass rush. His signing has backfired thus far. While he cannot take the full blame for the Dolphins’ 26th ranked defense, he affects the number of sacks that Miami has, or do not have.
Miami is one of two teams; the San Diego Chargers are the other team with just one registered sack.
Ndamukong Suh has never been recognized as a sack leader. He is a disruptive force, who opens up opportunities for his teammates to get to opposing quarterbacks. Fans cannot witness his value if the Dolphins are not getting sacks. In order to win in London they will have to get to the Jets’ Ryan Fitzpatrick.
The problem for the Dolphins is that the New York Jets need a victory just as badly. Another conundrum for Miami is that Fitzpatrick has only been sacked twice this year, according to Pro–Football-Reference.
Victory will go to the team that controls the line of scrimmage.
Sacks have not come easy for the New York Jets either. They have only gotten to the quarterback four times. Their 2-1 record is a testament to their ability to run the football and the stacked defensive secondary.
Last week’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles showed how lost the Jets can be if those two elements are taken out of the equation. During the first half against the Eagles, the New York Jets did not seem prepared. One play in particular highlighted the fact that they were not focused.
While trying to evade a group tackle, wide receiver Brandon Marshall attempted to flip the football (courtesy of Fox Sports) to a teammate nearby. The play resulted in a drive-ending fumble, which Philadelphia recovered and maintained the momentum.
Marshall told CBS Sports that he “wanted to crawl under the bench” after his lateral attempt.
The loss prevented the Jets from going 3-0. Few people thought that they would be entering the game against Miami at 2-1, let alone undefeated. Nobody expected the New York Jets to be this good, this soon. A win will put them at 3-1 going into the bye week, with a beatable Washington football team awaiting them.
A win is of most importance to both the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets.
How the New England Patriots have played this season, there are people who have begun bringing up the possibility of another undefeated record. That makes the Miami Dolphins versus New York Jets a must-win.
Each team has to keep up the pace with the Patriots if they have desires of a playoff berth.
Not only are both the Dolphins and Jets looking to stay close to New England, but the Buffalo Bills are vastly improved, with an offense that stacks up to their defensive pedigree.
The Miami Dolphins versus New York Jets matchup is one of the more attractive games to be played at one of London’s most famous stadiums. It is an evenly matched game on paper for once, with enough interest to warrant tuning in at an earlier than usual 9:30 a.m. east coast start.
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images Sport)