Running back match-up
Over the past few weeks, both Jay Ajayi and Matt Forte have had some explosive performances. Ajayi became the fourth player to register two straight 200 rushing yard games, something that hasn't happened since 2002. Ajayi recorded three touchdowns between both games. With Arian Foster now out of commission, Ajayi has a solid future ahead of him, and he'll have a chance to continue his intense play against the Jets, though they rank first in defending the run.
Forte, meanwhile, has also erupted from the shadows. His last game with a touchdown came against the Bills, and he'd been quiet on offense until the Jets played the Ravens. Forte has scored three touchdowns combined since Week 7. Given he is healthy enough to play, he has a solid chance at continuing his onslaught against a Miami defense that has allowed 135.6 rushing yards per game.
These two backs will be a big pair to watch throughout the game. If Forte is unavailable, the Jets will use Bilal Powell as needed.
Will Marshall be relevant?
Brandon Marshall hasn't scored since playing the Steelers, and his touches have been in decline over the past few games. Miami has allowed 231.4 passing yards per game thus far, so Marshall can potentially see an uptick in targets and catches. On the other hand, Quincy Enunwa could continue to see a lot of targets that result in touchdowns. This shouldn't influence Marshall's value against Miami at an extreme level, but it's something to look out for.
The Jets' secondary has shown its weakness all season, and though Miami ranks 24th at passing, Ryan Tannehill could tear apart the Jets' secondary. his season high in passing yards is 387 against the Patriots. The Dolphins would go on to lose by only seven points. That being said, he could easily mimic that performance if the Jets' do not exhibit alertness on defense. The defensive line will have a lot on its shoulders, and the secondary will have to pick up the slack in the long ball.
With Muhammad Wilkerson currently on the injury report, the Jets should be worried that their defense won't be up to par. Darrelle Revis has shown regression, and with Buster Skrine potentially missing a game, there are even less players to back up the frontline. Tannehill should be confident in being able to take advantage of the Jets' porous defense on Sunday.
Neither team has a real upper hand, as they can both run, pass and score with ease.
Marshall and Enunwa should be targeted fairly often and are entirely capable of making big plays down the field.
Ajayi is the main guy to stop, and without his performance, the Miami passing offense will be relied upon heavily and could falter quickly.
With Ryan Fitzpatrick back in the mix, the Jets have what it takes for another win.
Prediction: New York Jets 28, Miami Dolphins 13