Nick Saban’s Dolphins hope to keep their slim postseason hopes alive and win a fourth consecutive game as they host the division rival New York Jets.
Seemingly out of the postseason hunt with a 3-7 record late last month, the Dolphins didn’t give up. Chambers has led them on a three-game win streak to pull within two games of the first-place New England Patriots in the AFC East.
Miami will know before this game if it even has a chance to catch the two-time defending Super Bowl champions. New England can wrap up the division title by beating Tampa Bay on Saturday.
Even if that happens, the Dolphins still have an outside shot at a wild-card spot, though Saban isn’t paying much attention to that race.
“Everybody wants to talk about the standings and how we can get in the playoffs,” Miami’s first-year coach said. “That’s not what we should be thinking about. … We need to establish in our division how we play and compete and what our identity is and how we can take care of business on a consistent basis.”
Ending a three-game losing streak to the archrival Jets would be another step in the right direction. Miami has totaled only 30 points during that skid, including a 17-7 loss on Sept. 18.
The Dolphins offense, though, has come alive recently with 80 points in three games since being shut out by Cleveland on Nov. 20.
Chambers has made a big difference, with 29 catches, 460 yards and three touchdowns during the win streak. His three consecutive 100-yard receiving games is one shy of the team record set by Irving Fryar in 1994.
“I am in a great rhythm right now,” said Chambers, who is 42 yards short of his first career 1,000-yard season. “I am seeing the field a lot better the last half of the season and the chemistry of the whole offense is starting to get better.”
The fifth-year pro did not have one 100-yard game during the first 10 games of the season.
Frerotte has gone back-to-back games without committing a turnover for the first time this season for Miami, which now seeks its longest win streak since a four-game run from Sept. 14-Oct. 12, 2003.
New York’s offense, meanwhile, is coming off arguably its best performance of the season despite Curtis Martin being out for the season with a knee injury.
The Jets snapped a seven-game losing streak, their longest since 1996, with a 26-10 victory over the Oakland Raiders last week.
The 26 points matched a season high and marked only the third time the Jets have scored 20 this season. The team is averaging a league-worst 13 points per game, which ranks second-worst in team history, ahead of only the 1976 team’s 12.1 average.
Rookie Cedric Houston replaced Martin and made his first career start, rushing for 74 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries.
“(Martin) just told me see what I see, get in there and run hard, don’t try to make too much of everything, just see the holes and just run,” said Houston, the Jets’ sixth-round pick.
The Jets snapped one losing streak last week and now hope to stop another. They are looking to avoid losing all of their road games in a season for the second time in franchise history. New York is 0-7 away from home, matching their 1964 AFL record, and hasn’t won on the road since Nov. 28, 2004, at Arizona.