Thrust into the starting role as the savior of the New York Jets, the career of Sam Darnold started with a thud, but his first game ended with a bang. On his very first NFL pass, the No. 3 overall pick was pick-sixed and visions of former first-round failures Richard Todd and Ken O’Brien came to mind. By the end of the night fans were planning the parade route through Manhattan after the Jets upended the Lions. Things are a bit calmer in South Beach where the Miami Dolphins welcomed back Ryan Tannehill, who delivered a win in his first real action in 637 days. The two AFC East rivals get together in Week 2.
This contest in Week 2 of the regular season will go down Sunday, September 16, 2018, at 1 p.m. ET at MetLife Stadium.
NFL Opening Odds at BookMaker.eu
Miami Dolphins OFF
New York Jets OFF
Over/Under (Check Back Later)
The spread and total have yet to hit the board since the Jets participated in a Monday night game. We’re still trying to figure teams out in the early season and these two were close in rankings during the preseason. The Jets will likely be favored by the value of home field advantage when the line does surface.
DeVante Parker – Without one of his top receiving threats, Tannehill was able to spread the ball around evenly among the best options available. Five players accounted for 19 of the 20 receptions with Parker’s replacement Jakeem Grant catching five passes on seven targets but only for 38 yards. Aided by a 75-yard touchdown reception from Kenny Stills that bloated the numbers, the Fins averaged 11 yards per reception. Parker is the threat opposite Stills that could make the passing game hum, but he’s expected to miss at least one more game with a broken finger.
Matchup to Watch
Making Matthew Stafford look silly, the Jets pounded the Lions on Monday night in a game where the defense was the star but Darnold got all the attention. The Jets weren’t credited with a sack, but that was fine with them. They pressured Stafford into four interceptions and knocked him out of the game with a double-whammy blow in the fourth quarter. Along with whether Darnold would start the regular season opener, the biggest question for the Jets involved their defense. Is the line able to generate a pass rush? Can the linebackers cover in the flat? Those were answered emphatically on Monday.
The Jets will get a new test on Sunday when the Dolphins come to town. Tannehill had a victorious return and the Fins have a balanced attack that produced 342 yards and 27 points against Tennessee. Tannehill was accurate in his return, completing 20 of 28 for 230 yards with a pair of scores and the ground game added 120 yards with Frank Gore going for 61.
31 – The Jets scored a team record 31 third quarter points on Monday night and came within a field goal of matching their record for most points in any quarter. The total was more than 25 teams produced for an entire game in Week 1. Every phase has to chip in to amass a number like that and Jets got contributions from everywhere.
There was a Darnold touchdown pass and a 62-yard scamper by Isaiah Crowell. Darron Lee had a pick-six and Andre Roberts scooted 78-yards with a punt return. Jason Myers also chipped in with a field goal as the Jets broke away from a 17-17 tie.
Free ATS Pick
You have to like the performance of the Jets in their dominant win over the Lions. But temper the excitement just a bit since it is only one game. Darnold could have crumbled after tossing a pick-six on this first NFL throw, but he bounced back and had a nice debut throwing for 198 yards and a pair of scores while completing 76 percent of his passes. But the rookie got plenty of help and we don’t know how he’ll stand up in a close game.
And this one figures to be much closer since it is the NFL and rarely does a team considered to be in the middle of the pack string together several blowouts. Tannehill was sharp in his first regular season game in nearly two years and the Fins have changed their culture with roster adjustments. But the Jets will be geeked up for their home opener after an impressive win.
NFL Betting Odds: Jets 26, Dolphins 22
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