Why the Dolphins Will Win, Why They Will Lose, And What's Actually Going to Happen

Alain Poupart

The Miami Dolphins will be facing the New York Jets on Sunday in the first of three games affected by the NFL's schedule changes resulting from positive COVID-19 tests with the New England Patriots.

The Dolphins are coming off an impressive 43-17 victory against the San Francisco 49ers last weekend, while the Jets dropped to 0-5 on the season with a 30-10 loss against the Arizona Cardinals.

Here are different ways this game could play out:

The Dolphins will win because ...

-- The Jets are the Jets and, well, they're bad.

-- The Jets not only released veteran running back Le'Veon Bell, but they more than likely also will be without quarterback Sam Darnold.

-- Oh, and the Jets also might be without their first-round pick, starting left tackle Mekhi Becton, who already might be their best offensive lineman.

-- The Dolphins offense will pick up where it left off against the 49ers against a defense that's not quite as good as that of San Francisco.

-- Ryan Fitzpatrick will continue to quiet the Tua talk with another big performance and again will make sure to focus on wide receiver Preston Williams and tight end Mike Gesicki.

-- This is the week the Dolphins running game breaks out, with Myles Gaskin and company wanting to show everybody that the team needed really needed Bell.

-- After getting five sacks against the 49ers, the Dolphins match that total against the rather immobile Joe Flacco.

-- Xavien Howard extends his streak of games with an interception to four when Flacco tries to test him.

-- Kicker Jason Sanders has another five field-goal game and continues to be perfect on the season. OK, not five field goals, but he again doesn't miss.

The Dolphins will lose because ...

-- The Flacco factor. The veteran QB somehow finds a way to improve to 7-0 against the Dolphins after six victories against them with the Baltimore Ravens.

-- The Dolphins come out flat against a really bad team, let the Jets hang around and lose in the final minute.

-- Running back La'Mical Perine gets revenge on the Dolphins for releasing his cousin Samaje in the offseason, has a big game and scores a couple of touchdowns.

-- The Jets run defense shuts down the Dolphins run game and forces a couple of Fitzpatrick interceptions.

What actually will happen ...

For the first time all season, it was a loss here in terms of predicting the Dolphins because we did not see the victory at San Francisco coming — and certainly not in the dominating fashion it happened.

The Dolphins were 9.5-point favorites as of mid-Saturday afternoon according to Bovada, the first time since 2018 they are favored and the first time since 2016 they're favored by at least a touchdown.

So this clearly is new territory for them under head coach Brian Flores.

Based on his no-nonsense approach, we don't get the feeling the Dolphins are as susceptible to playing down to the competition as they were, say, under their previous head coach.

Oh, and on the topic of that previous head coach, we're just not getting the feeling that the Jets are really going to rally around Adam Gase and come up with an inspired effort the way the Dolphins did when they defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 6 of the 2016 season because, well, there have been no signs of it coming.

The Dolphins are a better team than the Jets right now on every level, and a loss in this game would be as deflating as the big win at San Francisco was energizing.

But the feeling here is the Dolphins will be in control from start to finish on their way to evening their record at 3-3.

Dolphins 27, Jets 13

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