On Sunday, the NY Jets have a date with the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. This game, although still early in the season, could have massive playoff implications, and if the Jets can walk away with the victory, this will put them in an excellent spot moving forward.
With Miami Dolphins QB1 Tua Tagovailoa remaining on the sideline this week, the Jets could try to capitalize and even walk away with the win. The Dolphins, who are currently tied for first place with the Bills in the AFC East, have a lot on the line.
However, so do the Jets.
If the Jets hope to be a contender later in the year, this is one game they must win. Here are three keys to a Jets victory against the Dolphins in Week 5.
3. The NY Jets secondary needs to step up
There's no better way to put it. The performance of the Jets' secondary could make or break this game. The Jets' secondary will be going up against two of the top wide receivers in the NFL today in Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.
Last week was a step in the right direction for the Jets' secondary. Although they faced a poor Pittsburgh offense, the Jets were able to walk away with four interceptions, and only allowed 204 passing yards. Lamarcus Joyner and Jordan Whitehead each played their best game of the season.
While Bridgewater is a more-than-competent backup, he's far from a world-beater. D.J. Reed and Sauce Gardner have been lights out recently, and now more than ever, the Jets will need them to lock down Miami's two biggest weapons.
2. The NY Jets must pressure Teddy Bridgewater
This is about as important as the previous key. The Dolphins' offensive line is much improved, and this could prove to be a big issue for the Jets.
Last week the Dolphins' offensive line allowed only one sack and stood strong for most of the game. If the Miami offensive line can buy Bridgewater time, it increases the chances that someone like Hill can get loose down the field.
This could prove to be a problem for the Jets if they don't find a way to get to Bridgewater quickly. Hill is one of, if not the, fastest player in the NFL today, and not many people can keep up with him.
If Bridgewater can buy some time, Hill could run rampant on the Jets' secondary. Last week, Hill picked up 160 yards on 10 receptions and was targeted 14 times.
In Week 4, New York had three sacks on the Pittsburgh quarterbacks, and on the year have a respectable 29% pressure rate. Although the Jets haven't blitzed much, this is one of those games where they may very well have to.
1. Return of the Zach: Part II
Zach Wilson made his long-awaited return last week against the Steelers. It wasn't pretty in the slightest, but the Jets got the job done and came out of Pittsburgh with the win.
Wilson threw for one touchdown and 252 yards while completing 50 percent of his passes. Wilson did also throw two interceptions, but he came through clutch when his team needed him in the fourth quarter.
He will be going against a very banged-up Dolphins secondary. Xavien Howard, the Dolphins' top corner, left the game last week after suffering a groin injury. Howard has battled injuries this season which could open the door for someone like Elijah Moore or Garrett Wilson to have a big day.
Overall, the Jets' wide receivers must get open. If the Jets are able to come away with the victory, it will be in large part due to the performance of the team's wide receivers. Garrett Wilson, Elijah Moore, and Corey Davis will lead the Jets receiver group and hopefully lead the team to victory.
This game is absolutely winnable for the Jets. With Tua Tagovailoa out, the Jets could capitalize on this and come away with the win. It won't be easy in the slightest, but if the Jets are able to achieve these three keys, they will put themselves in a great position to score the victory.