Who saw that coming?
Even the most optimistic supporters of the New York Jets couldn’t honestly have expected Monday’s 48-17 throttling of the Detroit Lions in their season opener on the road. Foreseen or not, the convincing victory raises the bar for what this team can do in observers’ minds.
With the Miami Dolphins (1-0) coming Sunday afternoon to MetLife Stadium, the Jets are in prime position to remain unbeaten in the young season and earn a valuable win over an AFC East rival. Here’s how they can get the job done.
The Jets intercepted Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford four times in the opener — and added another after Matt Cassel came on for mop-up duty. That they created so many turnovers without a single sack illustrates the talent in their secondary, as well as underscores how poor their pass rush is right now.
Ryan Tannehill is coming off a two-INT week against the Tennessee Titans, who forced the turnovers despite just one sack of the Miami QB. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Gang Green’s secondary feasted on another veteran passer.
Sam Darnold’s first professional pass went for a touchdown — for the other team. The bulk of his other 20 throws, though, were pretty great.
The rookie showed supreme poise in moving on from the early miscue. He relied heavily on Quincy Enunwa (six receptions on 10 targets, 63 yards, 1 TD), and Terrelle Pryor and Robby Anderson caught all four of their combined targets for a cumulative 90 yards and a score.
Even though the Dolphins’ defense secured three picks last week, head coach Todd Bowles has to feel confident Darnold can make plays against a unit with few established playmakers.
Lee-ding the way
Darron Lee was maligned for much of his first two seasons since the Jets took him in the first round in 2016. That’s what makes his performance in Detroit — seven tackles, two interceptions, one touchdown — so surprising.
The inside linebacker might have been the MVP of the game. His was the type of performance that could be a turning point in his young career. He doesn’t need to pick off a pass, but the Jets would be thrilled if he finds himself in on even more tackles or breaking up Tannehill’s passes across the middle. Really, he’s got to show Monday was the real deal.
Jets 24, Dolphins 17