Week 6 Game of the Week: Miami Dolphins vs Jacksonville Jaguars
Photo credit: Miami Dolphins
The Ninety-Nine Yards team are back with us here at Belushi’s for week five of NFL action. Our contributor this week is Adam Barton, a Baltimore Ravens fan since 2008, buzzing after the Ravens lucky escape versus the Colts.
The NFL is in town for one more week with Dolphins facing off against the Jaguars, it has to be game of the week for week 6. While the NFL's most frequent Floridian derby may appear to be the stoppable force meeting a movable object, there is a lot to play for and plenty of talking points to fill the Tottenham Hotspur stadium concourse.
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GUESS WHO’S BACK
After four losses on the bounce, Miami expects to have Tua Tagovailoa available to lead the offence. At the very least, it will be a welcome morale boost. What’s more, Tua should bring a boost to the stats as well and not a moment too soon. Miami are 31st in yards per game, 30th in passing yards and 31st in points, with just 79 over five games. With second string QB Jacoby Brissett under centre, you would expect a team to rely on the run. Sadly, the Dolphins have the fewest rushing yards of anyone, with 70.4 yards each game. In fact, their leading rusher has topped 30 yards just twice and 50 yards only once.
HOW THE TEAMS ARE SHAPING UP
The Dolphins started with an impressive division win against the Patriots. Since then, tight defeats to the Raiders in overtime and the Colts were bookended by blowouts against Super Bowl-contending Bills and Bucs.
The clock is very much on in Miami for a number of reasons. Short term, at 1-4 the Dolphins are getting close to last chance saloon in the AFC. Even with the extra game this season, they are two games back in the wildcard race already. Longer term, the Dolphins will be looking to decide on Tua’s future. With a potentially high pick next year, pressure will be on to find their next franchise quarterback. The same too could be said for Head Coach Zac Taylor – head coaches haven’t always left London unscathed.
Regardless of who is under centre, the Dolphins will look to their skill position players to step up, with DeVante Parker and Myles Gaskin shouldering a lot of the load. First round rookie Jaylen Waddle has had a solid start with 231 yards and a touchdown so far.
Miami will also be looking to add to their six turnovers so far this season, Xavien Howard has been the pick of the bunch with 19 tackles, a forced fumble, fumble recovery and an interception.
As for London’s own Jaguars, they are struggling to get started. A new era under college legend Urban Meyer is still searching for its first win and the Jags are looking to end a 20-game losing streak.
The Texans edged out Jacksonville in week one before Arizona and Denver took the spoils on their trip to Duval County. The Bengals left it late to snatch a 24-21 win on Thursday Night Football in week four and the Titans controlled their division rivals in week five, running out 37-19 winners, as the Jags faced issues on the field and off it.
For the third time, after Jared Goff and Myles Garrett, London will see a rookie first overall pick in action. Trevor Lawrence has been developing well with 1,146 yards, 6 TDs and a completion percentage of 59.4%. The offensive line has protected the rookie well, allowing just eight sacks – fifth best in the NFL. However, Lawrence has thrown eight interceptions as he adjusts to NFL defences – more than anyone bar fellow rookie Zach Wilson.
Despite losing Travis Etienne in the preseason, Jacksonville has the sixth most rushing yards through five games at 129.4/game, particularly impressive given that they have been trailing regularly. James Robinson accounts for over half of the yards on the ground, with 387 of the team’s 647 yards. He has four TDs already too.
On defence, the Jags have created a mean second level, with Myles Jack, Josh Allen and K’Lavon Chaisson all adding considerable talent, though they will need to add to their eight sacks as a team on Sunday. One real bright spot has been Jamal Agnew on returns. He has 250 yards returning kick-offs, including a 102-yard return for a touchdown. That was outdone only by his 109-yard field goal return against the Cardinals. Watch out for him to make a big play on special teams on Sunday.
THE FINAL WORD
If nothing else, look set for a close battle with plenty to play for at Tottenham Stadium on Sunday. Both teams have so far struggled to move the ball while also being porous on defence. Something's got to give.
Look for the Jags to use their impressive running game to control the clock and limit possessions. That just might work against a Dolphins team who struggle to stop the run.
While both teams have allowed more points than anyone bar Kansas City and Washington, expect a close game as two of the bottom five scoring teams face off in the battle for Florida pride.
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