Sunday, December 29, 2013

Week 17 picks: Jets at Dolphins

Publisher Nick St. Denis, associate editor Dan Begnoche and senior contributor Sean Donovan pick the New York Jets' season finale trip to Miami to face the playoff-hopeful Dolphins.

Nick's take:
The more Chris Ivory gets the ball, the better he gets. The veteran Jets tailback has eclipsed the 100-yard mark in games in which he's gotten at least 20 carries, and he's broken open a few big ones along the way. Gang Green should ride him against Miami, as the Dolphins' edge rushers will be rearing to go. The Dolphins, meanwhile, will attack the weakness that is the Jets' defensive perimeter. New York should stifle the run just fine but must hold up at cornerback, something that's been an issue all season long.
Prediction: Jets 20, Dolphins 17

Sean's take:
Miami matches up well defensively with New York, as the Jets lack the weapons to exploit the Dolphins' weaknesses at linebacker and safety. The Jets will need to lead with the run game and find ways to mitigate the Dolphins' pass rush, which totaled four sacks in the first matchup. Offensively, expect the Dolphins' gameplan to be centered around attacking the Jets' secondary, particularly on the outside, with receivers Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline.
Prediction: Dolphins 21, Jets 20

Dan's take:
With Gang Green's trip down to South Florida potentially Rex Ryan's last as head coach, this game will be an emotional battle right from the start. Expect the Jets' defensive front to be active early and often, while Ryan Tannehill will be aiming to exploit an ailing New York secondary as much as his offensive line allows. Both teams were able to get their run games going in Week 13, though it'll be the signal-caller who can convert in the red zone that will be the difference maker here. Despite the 'Fins having playoff implications on the line, a "win one for the Gipper" mentality carries a Jets squad to a strong finish against a divisional foe and a .500 record to close out the year.
Prediction: Jets 17, Dolphins 13