You read that right. Can the Jaguars offense stop the Dolphins defense? It’s a serious question that is in no way meant to be tongue in cheek. The Jaguars defense is horrendous. It is expected that the opposition will score early, often, and throughout the entire game. But can the Jaguars offense do double duty and stop the Dolphins defense? It will be curious to see.
The first thing that should be thought about for the game against the Dolphins is stopping the pass rush. The Jaguars enter Sunday’s game with a quarterback who is sacked on 9% of his drop-backs. The Dolphins have a pleasant 37 sacks on the season with defensive end Cameron Wake accounting for 14 of those. The Dolphins have been getting consistent pressure on good teams and bad teams, and the Jaguars offensive line is most certainly bad. With guard Mike Brewster on injured reserve, the team is once again altering the starting lineup. This does not bode well for the offense.
The Dolphins defense is also pretty good at stopping the pass. The unit is ranked eighth in passing touchdowns allowed and 19th overall. Sure, those aren’t league leading numbers, but they are more than enough to limit the anemic offense of the Jaguars. This defense will be able to rush the passer with impunity, knowing that they won’t be under much threat from the Jaguar passing attack. In fact, on 11.7% of passing plays, the Dolphins can expect a positive play for themselves (either in the form of a sack or an interception).
So, can the Jaguars up their game and overcome their 11.7% of passing plays that will probably (if we believe their average) result in good things for the Dolphins? For that, we’ll have to look at the running game. While I don’t trust the passing game against this defense, I do have a bit of faith in the running offense behind Montell Owens. Owens has 120 yards, one touchdown, and a hefty 5.7 yard average this season. It may not be the numbers you want from your starting running back 14 weeks into the season, but it’s what the Jaguars have. The Dolphins may have a top 10 run defense, I have faith that Owens can keep his average up and wear down a defense that is allowing 3.9 yards per attempt. Even if his average dips a bit, I can’t see the Jaguars struggling more than they would if they were passing. 4+ yards per carry will be better than having a negative play every 10th play.
It’ll be difficult and most of this post is based on optimism, but what else do we have right now besides sorrow and optimism? It will be difficult, but if Owens stays on track and plays out of his mind, then maybe there is some potential there for the Jaguars.
– Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims