Sunday, December 1, 2013

Week 13 picks: Dolphins at Jets

Publisher Nick St. Denis, associate editor Dan Begnoche and senior contributor Sean Donovan pick the AFC East battle between the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins.

Sean's take:
In the race for the final AFC Wildcard spot that no one seems to want to win, this is essentially an elimination game. The Jets are reeling, with injuries and inconsistent quarterback play putting their season on the ropes. The Dolphins are having their own struggles, but are currently better on both sides of the ball and despite last week's loss, appear to be close to clicking on offense. Rex Ryan's gameplan is doomed once again by his team's mental errors and turnovers, and the loss shifts the focus to the offseason and the coach's job security.
Prediction: Dolphins 24, Jets 10

Nick's take:
Both teams’ strengths line up with the other’s weakness. The Jets have the best run defense in the league, and the Dolphins can’t run the ball. Jets quarterback Geno Smith has made a bad habit of turning the ball over, while Miami’s secondary is one of the most opportunistic in the league. Overall, the stakes (the loser is all but eliminated from playoff contention) and familiarity between these teams actually makes this one an underrated matchup. My gut tells me the Jets rebound, granted, my gut has been wrong regarding the Jets most of the season.
Prediction: Jets 20, Dolphins 17

Dan's take:
Smith has looked like a true rookie the past couple of games, turning the ball over far too many times and doing little to help out his defense, which has continued to keep the team in games. Gang Green will try to keep the defensive effort going against a Miami team that's struggled to put points on the board itself but improved of late. Both teams are dealing with injuries in the running game, which will be a key area for both units. Look for Miami to commit one or two fewer mistakes on the road, but it won't yield a run-away game by any stretch.  
Prediction: Dolphins 23, Jets 16