Dolphins linebacker Bradley Chubb eager to face Jets after ‘fizzling' the past few games

MIAMI GARDENS — He cost the Dolphins a first-round draft pick.

His resume includes a trip to the Pro Bowl.

But linebacker Bradley Chubb hasn’t been playing lately at the level he expects and he’s not shy about saying so. He said Thursday he has been “fizzling” since getting off to a good start after his trade from Denver to Miami.

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Dolphins linebacker Bradley Chubb (2) and Christian Wilkins sack Jacoby Brissett of the Browns.
Dolphins linebacker Bradley Chubb (2) and Christian Wilkins sack Jacoby Brissett of the Browns.

Chubb said it’s important for him to make an impact Sunday against the visiting New York Jets in the regular-season finale. He wants to remind everyone of the player he’s expected to be.

“It’s huge, man,” Chubb said. “For me personally, like just coming in and all the expectations coming in and starting off hot and kind of fizzling away, in my opinion," Chubb said. "That’s how I felt like I’ve been — not being the best I can be throughout these past, what, three or four games. Not being able to go last week.

“So my mind is all about just being the best I can be.”

Chubb totaled 2.5 sacks in his first three games with the Dolphins but hasn’t had one in the three games he has played since. He has five quarterback hits and four total tackles in that span. For a player who once had 12 sacks in a season and has three seasons with 7.5 or more sacks, the past few weeks represent a drought.

Chubb is working through hand and ankle injuries in an effort to face the Jets after missing the Patriots game last weekend. He described how he felt Thursday as both "good" and "comfortable," adding, "The goal is to play."

Chubb finds it ironic that the Dolphins’ playoff fate revolves in part around beating the Jets because he knew his career in Denver was winding down after a 16-9 loss to the Jets on Oct. 23.

“Right after the game I started bawling, crying, because my future in Denver was undecided,” Chubb said. “I didn’t know anything. I kept hearing trade talks. Going to the next week, my head’s all messed up.”

He played for the Broncos in a 21-17 victory in Jacksonville, then was headed a bit farther south.

“I’m here and we’re all in a predicament and everybody’s scrambling around, trying to figure out where we’re going to go as a team, as the Miami Dolphins,” Chubb said. “And what better team to do it against than the Jets, the team I had trouble with, the same ones that we lost to early in the season? So it’s just funny how God works.”

There’s more to making the playoffs than beating the Jets. Unless the NFL changes its playoff format in light of the Bills-Bengals stoppage Monday night, the Dolphins also need the Bills to beat the Patriots. Many Dolphins, including coach Mike McDaniel, say they want no part of scoreboard-watching. Special teams coordinator Danny Crossman even said he won’t check scores on his phone out of fear of getting fined.

Chubb has a different philosophy.

“I look at the scoreboard every game, just checking out what’s going on around the league,” he said. “Just try not to be so stuffy. And it’s a game at the end of the day. It’s not like we’re so locked in and we’ve got to be robots out there.

“I’ll check the scoreboard to see what’s going on, but I’m not going to let it affect our play, how I go out there. And I know the guys around me, they’ll do the same. We check it, we look at it, but it’s not distracting.”

This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Dolphins LB Bradley Chubb hopes to face Jets and stop ‘fizzling'