The Miami Dolphins swept the season series with the New York Jets last year and look to continue the streak with a power running game led by Jay Ajayi when the two teams meet in New Jersey on Sunday. Ajayi rushed for 122 yards in the Dolphins’ season-opening win against San Diego and is poised for another big game against the Jets, who rank last in the NFL against the rush, allowing a whopping 185 yards per game.
New Jets CEO Christopher Johnson tried to dispel the notion that his team isn’t actually trying to win this season in order to gain the top pick in next year’s draft. “We definitely are not tanking.” Johnson told reporters during the week while adding that he is excited about the future, yet realistic about the present. The time is now for Miami, which opened the season with a 19-17 win over the Chargers aided by a missed field goal in the game’s final seconds. Jay Cutler, who was on the Jets’ radar after they released Ryan Fitzpatrick in the offseason, made his Miami debut against Los Angeles by throwing for 230 yards and a touchdown.
TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Dolphins -6. O/U: 42.
ABOUT THE DOLPHINS (1-0): Cutler finished 24-of-33 passing without a turnover and Cody Parkey hit his fourth field goal from 54 yards with 1:05 to play to lift the Dolphins to the road win last week. Miami will play without star linebacker Lawrence Timmons, who was suspended indefinitely by the team after failing to show up for Sunday’s game due to undisclosed “personal reasons.” Wide receiver Jarvis Landry, who despite battling a knee issue, was in sync with Cutler, hauling in 13 of his 15 targets on the day -- which was tops in the league last week.
ABOUT THE JETS (0-2): New York was hammered at Oakland 45-20 last week, surrendering 180 yards on the ground on 27 carries. The Jets were incensed by Raiders running back Marshall Lynch, who was seen dancing on the sidelines in the second half, but linebacker Jordan Jenkins blamed his own team for its shortcomings. “That’s football. When you perform like that, when you beat a team out like they did to us, you got to celebrate. It (stinks) being on the losing end of it. But that’s football,” Jenkins said. Jermaine Kearse was the lone offensive star for New York, hauling in two touchdown passes from Josh McCown.
1. Timmons had made 101 consecutive starts for the Dolphins and will be replaced by Rey Maualuga, who the team signed in August.
2. Ajayi rushed for 162 yards on 43 carries with one touchdown against the Jets last season.
3. The Jets had high aspirations for running back Bilal Powell heading into the season but the seven-year pro has just 35 yards on 13 carries after two games.
PREDICTION: Dolphins 30, Jets 14