FILE - In this Oct. 4, 2015, file photo, Miami Dolphins' Jarvis Landry breaks the challenge from New York Jets' Darrelle Revis during an NFL football game at Wembley stadium in London. Former LSU teammates Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry are two of the NFL's best young receivers, and they'll play each other for the first time Monday, Dec. 14, 2015, when the Giants visit the Dolphins. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland, File)

Joe Flacco’s First Start for the Jets

Sunday’s Miami Dolphins vs New York Jets game features two teams with similar records despite very different expectations. Miami has won two in a row after losing seven of their first eight to begin the year. Tua Tagovailoa appears to start Sunday after leading Miami to a huge upset over the Baltimore Ravens in Week 10.

The New York Jets have shown signs of progress this season. Joe Flacco, who the Jets acquired from the Philadelphia Eagles prior to the trade deadline, will get the start in his return to New York, since Zach Wilson is still out with injury. The Jets, which has the league’s worst defense, seeks to surpass its win total from last season with a win over Miami.

Joe Flacco vs. Dolphins Pressure and cover-0 defense

The Dolphins defense has been disappointing, but the pass rush has turned things up a notch. Miami has gotten pressure on 35% of opponent drop backs this season, the most in the NFL. Miami runs a lot of cover zero ( no safety, man on man), running it on 13% of defensive plays, which is also the highest in the league.

The Dolphins defense used cover-0 and high pressure rate to shut down Lamar Jackson in Week 10, running cover-0 33% of the defensive snaps in the win. This is the highest for any defense over the last five years. Over the last three weeks, the Dolphins have used cover-0 23% of the time, which is also the highest in the NFL.

Jets quarterback, Flacco, has seen cover-0 on just one snap this year and Jets quarterbacks have seen it on just eight total snaps. The Jets have allowed pressure on 38% of drop backs this season, which is the fourth-highest rate in the league. Miami has a clear advantage here unless Flacco can beat them over the top.

Dolphins offensive line vs. Jets pass rush

Miami’s offensive line has been one of the worst in the NFL this year, which has led to Tua Tagovailoa and Jacoby Brissett struggling to throw the football and have a clean pocket. The Dolphins are allowing pressure on a league-high 41% of drop backs this season and Dolphins quarterbacks have been pressured a league-high 182 times in 2021 — only having 2.36 seconds to throw. This is the third-worst in the NFL.

However, the Jets have the worst defense in the NFL and one of the worst pass rushes in the league. New York gets pressure on only 28% of drop backs,. The lack of a pass rush affects the secondary, as the Jets allow 8.5 yards per attempt, a 69% completion rate, and 13% of passes have over 20 air yards. All of these stats are one of the worst in the league.

 

What to Expect

The Jets are really missing Zach Wilson, whose development has been hindered by New York keeping him on the bench to recover from a PCL sprain. The Jets feel Flacco starting gives them a better chance against a Dolphins defense that wants to get after the quarterback and collapse the pocket quickly.
Miami is going to make life difficult for Flacco. the Jets will have their chances downfield, but they can’t stop anyone on the other side of the ball. This is a matchup which favors Miami, specifically since the Dolphins poor offensive line are facing a pass rush at their level.

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