Momentum Gap Exists Between the Grounded Jets and the Resurgent Dolphins This Week

Kristian Dyer

Like the New York Jets, the Miami Dolphins don’t have much to play for. Unlike the Jets, the Dolphins are coming into Week 13 off a big win and with some momentum. Two teams with bad records, but one seems to be trending up. 

The other is the Jets (4-8). 

That, despite their similar records, gives the sense that the Dolphins (3-9) are closing out the season on a high note, having won three of their last five games. And while the Jets came into Week 12 with three straight wins, any sense that the team had turned around evaporated with Sunday’s 22-6 loss at the Cincinnati Bengals. Whether right or wrong, that is certainly the case. 

The Jets season feels down and dour after Sunday. Miami however is lifted from their big win in Week 12. 

When asked if his team was playing with house money or with nothing to lose, Dolphins head coach Brian Flores didn’t necessarily want to focus on that aspect. The Dolphins beat the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, the catalyst of that game was a goal line trick play by Miami. 

“Aggressive, we’re going to play to win. If we feel there is a place we think we can gain an advantage, we’re going to do that. I think every team does that,” Flores said on Thursday during his daily press conference at the Dolphins facility. 

“As for playing with house money, I mean I guess you can say that. But we’re going to play to win. Play to win. If there’s something we like, something we think we can make a play on we’re going to try to do that. We got a group of guys in there who practice hard and compete. You don’t win games on trick plays in this league. That’s not how it works. You need to execute on a play-to-play basis and play consistently. And we need to do that.” 

That sense doesn’t exist with the Jets right now, the victim of their own extended run of recent success. 

That three-game winning streak showed that the Jets are capable of more than their record has shown. The hope was that the winning streak, including a beatdown of the Oakland Raiders, would be a springboard for the Jets to turn the proverbial corner. 

It also doesn’t help the caliber of losses the Jets have had. Their Week 9 loss to the Dolphins, who were then 0-7 and now the Bengals (1-11 after beating the Jets) underscored how the team has been underwhelming at points this season. 

It isn’t fair to say that the Jets season was lost or unexpected. A high number of injuries and just weird circumstances have conspired this year. Plus integrating a first-year head coach and a general manager who joined the Jets after the NFL Draft was always going to make this an unusual year for the organization. 

But at the end of the day, the Jets are what their record shows. They also are in rebuild mode. Bad losses happen to teams like the Jets who are far from a finished product and roster. 

The enthusiasm gap though for this game is clear. Winning last week charged up the Dolphins. The Jets performance in Cincinnati, however, changed the feel of this final quarter of the season. 

now. We’re kind of hyper-focused on the now and getting ourselves better.”