5 Storylines to Watch: Jaguars vs. Dolphins
Will the Jacksonville Jaguars put everything together and find a way to win on the road against their in-state rivals, the Miami Dolphins this weekend from Hard Rock Stadium?
Coming off one of the worst losses of the season (this is getting repetitive) the Jacksonville Jaguars travel to Miami to take on the Dolphins.
"Per the team’s weekly game release, “Jacksonville is 1-1 all-time against the Dolphins in Miami, earning its 100th regular season victory in franchise history on Dec. 3, 2006 at the Dolphins.On Jan. 15, 2000, Jacksonville defeated Miami, 62-7, at home in the Divisional round, marking the most points scored in a single game, including the regular season and postseason, in franchise history.”"
With no playoff berth this season? Can Jacksonville play the spoiler role for a team that has an outside shot at making the AFC postseason? Fans of the Black and Teal so be cognizant of these storylines throughout the game.
100-Yard Rusher – The Jaguars are one of only two teams in the NFL without a 100-yard rusher this season.
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Obviously, running back Leonard Fournette’s injury is a reason to blame for that stat, but the Jaguars need to get back to their 2017 identity of ground and pound football.
The Dolphins allow the second-most rushing yards per game at 145.2, which bodes well for Fournette and company.
Offensive Inefficiencies – Since being announced the starter, Jaguars quarterback Cody Kessler and offensive coordinator Scott Milanovich have only formulated one scoring drive — which was in garbage time on Thursday Night Football.
The team’s offensive struggles can be traced to an unhealthy offensive line and lack of running game. Kessler and the Jaguars offense will have plenty of opportunities to score against the Dolphins’ third-worst defense, allowing 402.3 yards per game.
Per the Jaguars, Sunday’s game against the Redskins marked the second time in franchise history that the Jaguars had a wide receiver, running back, and quarterback each post a rush of at least 20 yards.
Also, per the game release, Jacksonville’s special teams unit has allowed an NFL low 17.7 yards on opponent kickoff returns and 4.0 yards on opponent punt returns. They rank 11th in team punt return average (10.0 yards per return) and eighth in field goal percentage (91.3 pct.).
Pro Bowl #2 for 2.0 – During the week, All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey was announced as a Pro Bowl starter, earning his second nod in three seasons.
Ramsey will be sharing the field with another spectacular cornerback in Xavien Howard.
Ramsey’s and the secondary’s matchup against one of the worst passing offenses, with a meager 189.5 passing yards per game, should be a fun one to watch.
Stay Healthy – The 2018 NFL season hasn’t been too kind to the Jaguars, with many starters going down.
With safety Ronnie Harrison being the latest victim of the injury bug, fans can only hope and pray that the rest of the team can remain healthy.
Draft Stock – Before kickoff, the team holds the fifth overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft, and while many hate the idea of tanking, it will be in the teams’ best interests to have the best pick possible come April.
Quarterback remains the team’s most pressing need. Trying to move into position to grab one of the top two signal callers must be a priority this offseason.
Whether that pick will be used on a quarterback or best available — there will be much debate on that — it’s a great position for one of the most talented teams in the NFL.