Dolphins, Jets look to start season 2-0
Welcome to the Dolphins-Jets rivalry, Sam Darnold.
New York’s rookie quarterback will be under center and in the spotlight for the latest matchup of AFC East enemies Sunday at MetLife Stadium, with a 2-0 start to the season on the line.
It might not sound like much, but consider this: The Dolphins haven’t opened with two wins since 2013, when they started 3-0. Meanwhile, the Jets haven’t been 2-0 since Todd Bowles’ first year as coach in 2015.
“All division games have that extra buzz around them, but I feel like when we play the Jets, it’s always turned up just a little bit more,” Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill said. “I don’t know what makes it that way or
why it’s that way. Maybe it’s just the competitiveness of the games, but there always is an energy that goes with playing against the Jets.”
New York leads the alltime series 54-50-1, but Miami has won three of the last four meetings.
Weird things also tend to happen when these teams square off. The muddy AFC championship game won by the Dolphins during the 1982 postseason. The backand-forth air show by Dan Marino and Ken O’Brien in 1986. Marino’s fake spike in 1994. The Monday night “miracle” comeback by the
Jets in 2000.
And, that’s just to name a few.
“I definitely have the feel, with them and the Patriots,” Miami wide receiver Jakeem Grant said. “I feel like it is a rivalry game.”
Darnold will get to experience it for the first time while also making his regular-season debut in front of the home crowd. The No. 3 overall draft pick got off to a rough start last Monday night at Detroit with his first pass intercepted and returned for a touchdown, but bounced back to have a solid night and lead New York to a 48-17 rout .
The 21-year-old Darnold finished 16 of 21 for 198 yards and two touchdowns, showing glimpses of what
made him so coveted leading up to the draft.
“I feel like I live my whole life to play football and it’s awesome to just be able to do that for a living,” Darnold said. “I’m embracing it every single day.”
Tannehill knows the feeling. After sitting out last season because of a knee injury, the Dolphins QB was back last week for the first time since 2016 and came out a winner after a 27-20 victory over Tennessee .
That came in the longest NFL game since the 1970 merger, outlasting the Titans in 7 hours, 8 minutes, including 3:59 in multiple weather delays .
“It was wild,” Tannehill said, “but I’m really proud of our guys the way we responded.”
Here are some other things to know as the Dolphins and Jets renew their rivalry:
The Jets set a franchise record with 48 points on the road, and their defense played a big part.
New York had five interceptions against the Lions , including two by linebacker Darron Lee and one each by safety Jamal Adams and cornerbacks Morris Claiborne and Trumaine Johnson. Lee returned the first of his picks 36 yards for a touchdown, the Jets’ first defensive score since 2013 — a span of 73 games that was the longest such drought in NFL history.