Week 15: Jacksonville Jaguars At Miami Dolphins
- QuarterbackChad Henne can throw the ball well as long as he gets half-decent protection from his offensive line. While Henne has been an upgrade, the Jaguars rank 31st in overall offense so it’s not like he is making a huge difference for this struggling team. Henne has an 8-5 TD-interception ratio and has a strong arm, but accuracy is not always a given.The Dolphins have been struggling badly and Ryan Tannehill is having a tough time after a solid start. Tannehill has a great relationship with Miami offensive coordinator Mike Sherman and has a good understanding of the game for a rookie, but his execution has been ordinary in recent weeks. He needs to show some improvement over the last three games of the season.
- OffenseThe Jaguars have struggled on the offensive end all season and key injuries have been a big part of their problems. Maurice Jones-Drew (foot) has played just six games. Leading receiver Cecil Shorts (concussion) could not play in Week 14 vs. the Jets. If he can come back for this game, he gives Henne who can make key yards after the catch.The Dolphins don’t have a lot of talented skill-position players. They have been counting on Reggie Bush to give them explosiveness out of the running back position, but he does not play hard enough on an every-week basis. Brian Hartline has gotten everything he can out of his ability. He should be a No. 2 or 3 receiver, but he is the best the Dolphins have.
- DefenseThe Jaguars are struggling to make plays at key moments and that’s why they are losing so regularly. Middle linebacker Paul Posluszny is one of the few players on the team who can help turn a game in the Jaguars’ favor. He leads the team in tackles, he has three interceptions and 10 passes defensed. Outside linebacker Russell Allen can go sideline-to-sideline to make plays.The Dolphins play hard on the defensive end and held the 49ers in check for a large portion of the game. Defensive end Cameron Wake is one of the best unknown players in the league. He has 14.0 sacks and can turn on the speed when coming around the corner. Linebacker Karlos Dansby is an excellent tackler who directs his teammates on the field.
- Special TeamsThe Jaguars struggle to hold down opponents on punt and kickoff returns. Opponents are outgaining them by more than 6.0 yards per kickoff return. Josh Scobee has been very solid as a kicker, making 21-of-23 FG attempts this season.The Dolphins work a lot harder on special teams than the Jaguars and that could give them a big edge in this game. The Dolphins are outgaining opponents on kickoff returns and Marcus Thigpen has the speed to bring a kickoff back for a score at any time. Dan Carpenter is an ordinary kicker who has made just 1-of-4 attempts of 50 yards or more.
The Dolphins are not a good team by any stretch, but rookie head coach has gotten them to hustle and focus on their individual assignments. That means they should play hard in the final three games of the season. The Jaguars don’t play as hard every week. Give the home team an edge in this game.