By Abraham Gutierrez
Coming off their first win of the season, the (1-6) Jacksonville Jaguars hope some home cooking will keep the momentum going when the (3-3) Miami Dolphins invade EverBank Field for a 2014 NFL Week 8 clash. Opening kickoff is scheduled for Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. ET and it will be broadcast live on CBS Sports.READ MORE: ‘I Have Goose Bumps’: Zoo Miami's Ron Magil On 'Rita' Laying 2nd Egg On Live Bald Eagle Cam
With Miami’s win over the Chicago Bears, Joe Philbin & Co. sit in third place in the AFC East, trailing the second-place (4-2) Buffalo Bills and the division-leading (5-2) New England Patriots. Meanwhile, this has been another forgettable year for the Jags, as they’ll start Week 8 sitting at the cellar of the AFC South.
In his second year as Jacksonville’s head coach, Gus Bradley will find that his seat might be getting a little warm. The Jaguars rank among the worst teams in the league, on both sides of the football, and seemingly in every statistical category.
Jaguars on Offense
Under the tutelage of offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch, Jacksonville ranks dead last in the league in points per game (15.0 ppg), its penultimate in the NFL in total yards (296.6 typg), their running game is antepenultimate (86.0 rypg), and their bright spot is its passing game (210 pypg), which is good enough for 27th in the National Football League.
The signal-caller for this team is 22-year-old Blake Bortles, who’s 114-for-174 in pass attempts for 1163 yards, five touchdowns and a whopping 10 interceptions. The rookie out of Central Florida has a quarterback rating of 70.2 and has 143 yards on 21 carries.
Former Michigan Wolverines quarterback Denard Robinson is the team’s leading rusher with 221 yards on 50 carries and a score. In his second year, the 22-year-old Deerfield Beach, Florida native has also caught 11 passes for a total of 37 yards.
The Jaguars receiving corps features a pair of solid wide outs in Allen Robinson (34 receptions, 371 yards, TD) and Allen Hurns (19 receptions, 305 yards, 3 TDs), as well as tight end Clay Harbor (20 receptions, 217 yards, TD).
Jaguars on DefenseREAD MORE: Boca Raton Man Faces Charges In Fatal Crash That Killed Homestead Mom, Daughter On Thanksgiving Eve
Much like their offense, Jax’s defensive play has also left a lot to be desired in 2014. Defensive coordinator Bob Babich has had a very tough time stopping anybody this season, and the numbers tell a very compelling story.
Jacksonville’s “D” starts Week 8 ranked 30th in passing yards (280.1 pypg), 28th in total yards (390.4 typg), 27th in points per game (27.3 ppg) and they do a decent job at bottling up opposing running backs, as they rank 15th versus the run (110.3 rypg).
Middle linebacker Paul Posluszny is Jacksonville’s biggest defensive weapon, as he’s third in the NFL in tackles with 69 (47 solo), to go along with his two sacks. The Dolphins will have to be very careful when guarding the edges, as Jacksonville’s defensive ends Chris Clemons (four sacks) and Andre Branch (three sacks) could make life very difficult for Ryan Tannehill and Miami’s rushing attack.
Dolphins vs. Jaguars Head-to-Head
Historically, these intrastate rivals have only met a total of six times. The series is tied at 3-3-0, making this game the rubber match. In those six contests, Miami has scored 100 points, while Jacksonville has tallied 137 big ones.
The last time they met dates back to the 2012 NFL season, when the Dolphins prevailed at home by a final score of 24-3. The Fins have also won two straight decisions and are 3-1 in their last four games played.
According to NFL oddsmakers, the Dolphins come into this game as six-point favorites, despite being on the road. It’s also worth noting that the OVER/UNDER is set at a combined total of 44 points.
For more Dolphins news and updates, visit Dolphins Central.MORE NEWS: Kyle Lowry Scores 19 Points, Heat Beat Bulls 107-104
Abe Gutierrez is a criminal justice admin whose love for sports led him to become a writer and editor. His expertise make him a valued addition to Examiner.com and its partners. His work can be found on Examiner.com. .