Miami Dolphins vs. New York Jets Pick & Prediction DECEMBER 17th 2023


Zach Wilson’s short NFL career has been filled with miscues, depth chart shuffling and other lowlights amid heavy scrutiny that comes with underperforming relative to being selected No. 2 overall in the 2021 draft.

But Wilson is brimming with confidence this week as he leads the New York Jets into Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins at Miami Gardens, Fla.

Wilson returned to the starting role last week and had his best outing of the season. He completed 27 of 36 passes for 301 yards and two touchdowns in a 30-6 rout of the visiting Houston Texans.

It was a stellar performance as New York (5-8) put an end to a five-game losing streak.

“He has confidence in his ability, confidence in his teammates and confidence in the coaches,” Jets coach Robert Saleh said of Wilson’s chances to deliver another strong outing. “He has the ability to take a game over when he’s clicking. In my mind, he needs to have continued confidence and swag, and play with a let it rip mentality.”

Wilson didn’t play in New York’s 34-13 loss to the visiting Dolphins (9-4) on Nov. 24. That contest was the first of a two-game demotion for Wilson, with since-released journeyman Tim Boyle making the first of two starts.

Wilson, 25, was supposed to be a backup this season after the Jets obtained future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers in the offseason.

But Rodgers tore his Achilles on the fourth snap of the season and Wilson was thrust back into the lead role.

He has passed for 2,245 yards, eight touchdowns and seven interceptions this season. And the victory over the Texans marked the second time he had a QB rating of over 100 this season.

“From what I’ve seen, that’s the best he’s played,” veteran wideout Randall Cobb said of Wilson. “He just went out and played his brand of ball, without feeling constrained. The pressure he’s faced over the past two or three years — he just went out there and put it aside and played phenomenal.”

The Dolphins are coming off a 28-27 home loss to the Tennessee Titans, a searing setback in which they allowed 15 points in a 51-second span late in the fourth quarter to lose the contest.

“At the end of the day, it’s December football and no team is going to take their foot off the gas in the fourth quarter,” Dolphins linebacker Bradley Chubb said of the collapse. “We have to all be on one until that clock hits triple zero.”

The high-powered Miami offense that ranks No. 1 in total offense (423.6 yards per game) and No. 2 in scoring (31.6 points per game) was severely hampered by an ankle injury to star receiver Tyreek Hill (league-high 1,542 receiving yards).

Hill, who missed practice Wednesday, sat out the entire second quarter and parts of the first and third periods in the loss.

Meanwhile, the Dolphins’ offensive touchdown drives consisted of 7 and 12 yards due to Tennessee miscues. Their other touchdown came on Zach Sieler’s 5-yard interception return.

Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was sacked a season-worst five times while completing 23 of 33 passes for 240 yards.

“It’s the NFL, anything can happen,” said Tagovailoa, who leads the NFL with 3,697 passing yards. “We got to do a better job finishing the game with the time we had, while we had the ball.”

The Dolphins lost standout center Connor Williams (knee) for the season. Liam Eichenberg, who will fill in at center, missed Wednesday’s practice due to a calf injury.

Also missing practice were left tackle Terron Armstead (knee/ankle), guard Robert Hunt (hamstring), running back De’Von Achane (toe), cornerback Xavien Howard (hip) and safety DeShon Elliott (concussion/ribs).

For the Jets, defensive ends Solomon Thomas (knee) and John Franklin-Myers (ankle), offensive tackle Carter Warren (hip) and receiver Jason Brownlee (ankle) all missed practice.

Miami has won 10 of the past 12 meetings.

–Field Level Media

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