NY Jets have a chance to even the Dolphins series this Sunday

Robert Saleh vs Mike McDaniel has become a little rivalry
NY Jets, Robert Saleh
NY Jets, Robert Saleh / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the Jets season is still alive. I went from officially rooting for the team to tank for the first time in my life to now waiting with bated breath to see if the original QB1 of this season will indeed return to the field a mere three months after tearing his Achilles.

Last week’s win was fun (for 30 minutes), and New York is a pretty cool place to play because it gives people like Tommy DeVito and Zach Wilson a chance to be national stories despite being painfully subpar at their jobs.

Jets fans have gone from mock drafts to mapping out the path to the playoffs in just 30 minutes after the Jets put up 30 points against a very tough and hungry Texans team.

This week’s matchup is big regardless of standings and storyline threads, simply because it’s a divisional matchup between the Dolphins and the Jets.

While I usually don’t like pitting decades and decades of old beef onto a bunch of 20-somethings who were neither alive nor a fan of the teams they’re currently playing for (save for a few exceptions), these players have quickly already established a bit of a beef as the Robert Saleh and Mike McDaniel eras collide.

First off, the head coaches were coworkers who were both in the building when the San Francisco 49ers narrowly lost in the Super Bowl a few seasons ago.

Robert Saleh and Mike McDaniel know each other very well

They are very familiar with each other and their philosophies, and when Saleh became head coach of the Jets, he could’ve just as easily chosen ‘run game coordinator’ McDaniel as his Offensive Coordinator instead of the ‘passing game coordinator’ Mike LaFleur.

Isn’t that a fun ‘what if’ to play? I’d imagine the Jets’ offense wouldn’t have suffered the same depths if Saleh chose McDaniel.

But Saleh made his choice and the players have developed their own rivalry too. The Jets’ largest margin of victory last year was against the Dolphins, which remains the most points the Jets have scored in the Saleh era (40) and included several highlight plays such as Quinnen Williams stiff-arming Tyreek Hill like a toddler and Michael Carter copying the signature touchdown celebration of Jaylen Waddle.

This year, the NFL chose this rivalry to draw eyes to its first-ever Black Friday football game. Once Rodgers went down, this game appeared to be a chance for McDaniel to show Saleh who the ‘big brother’ of this rivalry is because it was the first matchup where his QB1 Tua Tagovailoa was healthy.

Tua had his worst game of the season at that point against the Jets. Had the Jets received any semblance of professional quarterback play that afternoon, it’s possible that the Jets would’ve been able to complete the upset.

Instead, now they look to split the series this year and build on the momentum of having their new largest margin of victory in the Saleh era (24), surpassing the aforementioned Dolphins game of last season (23).

The Dolphins are looking to get back on track after losing an embarrassing Monday Night Football game against the lowly Titans who were down by 14 with less than three minutes left.

Can the Jets keep the good time rolling? Can the Dolphins get that nasty taste of defeat out of their mouths? For the fourth consecutive time in this Saleh-McDaniel rivalry, a unique QB matchup will be taking place as these teams battle for supremacy. Can Wilson outduel Tagovailoa?