By Abraham Gutierrez

Displaying a disturbing tendency to play down to the level of the competition, the Miami Dolphins escaped EverBank Stadium with a rather unceremonious (27-13) win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. In fact, if it weren’t for the Jags’ erroneous ways, Miami would be making the short trip down south under the .500 mark yet again. 

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Instead, the win enables the Fins to contend for an NFL playoff spot, and with some help, perhaps even aim for an AFC East title as the second half of the season wears on. With a record of 4-3, Miami remains in third place in the division, keeping pace with the (5-3) Buffalo Bills and the (6-2) New England Patriots, who were both winners in Week 8.  

Miami Dolphins Offense: C 

Judging by the final score, some may say: “Miami scored 27 points, why is the offense getting such a poor grade?” However, what numbers do not reflect is the fact that the Dolphins offense was not only atrocious at times, but it was also totally non-existent for the duration of the first half. 

It’s almost hard to believe that Joe Philbin’s club took a 10-3 lead at the break despite a miserable effort in first two quarters. At one point, the Jaguars offense had outgained Miami’s to the tune of 199-4, but trailed due to rookie quarterback Blake Bortles’ mishaps. 

Fortunately, Miami was able to pick things up after an “F” worthy first half, finishing with 17 first downs, 326 total yards and connecting on 5-for-12 on the always crucial third-down department. Because the Fins offense was able to salvage the ballgame in time, one certainly feels their effort is worthy of a passing grade.

Miami’s running backs certainly played a huge role in this win, as they accounted for 148 net yards. Running back Lamar Miller rushed for 78 yards on 14 carries, while Ryan Tannehill pitched with 48 yards on 5 attempts and Daniel Thomas tallied 18 yards on 4 touches. 

Miami Dolphins Quarterback: C- 

After looking like Aaron Rodgers against the Chicago Bears last week, Ryan Tannehill had the type of game that can only be described as lackluster. After pulling off a disappearing act heading into halftime, Tannehill did just enough to earn a less-than disastrous line. The former Texas A&M standout completed 16 of 29 pass attempts (55 percent) for 196 yards, a touchdown and an interception for a quarterback rating of 73.3. 

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Miami Dolphins Defense: A 

This week’s game ball should definitely be awarded to the Miami Dolphins defensive unit. Two “pick-6s” certainly help explain how this team was able to muster 27 points in such a poor offensive outing. 

Miami won the turnover battle 3-1, thanks in part to Brent Grimes interception return for a 22-yard score, and of course, Louis Delmas’ spectacular 81-yard pick that was returned to “The House”. 

The only reason why Miami’s “D” didn’t get an A+ for its stoic efforts is simply because they surrendered 377 total yards, out of which 176 came on the ground and 201 through the air. They also lost the time of possession battle 27:37 to 32:23 and allowed Jax to convert on 6-of-15 on third down. 

Miami Dolphins Special Teams: A+

Watching Miami’s special teams unit step up and pick up the offense was a breath of fresh air. With a blocked field goal, no fumbles on returns and an average of 51 yards per punt, this bunch did a great job of not letting the offensive woes affect them. 

Pro Bowler Brandon Fields was on his game, booting it away five times, including a pair of punts he carefully placed inside the Jaguars’ 20-yard line. Second-year kicker Caleb Sturgis was also perfect on the afternoon, tallying 9 points by going 2-for-2 on field goal attempts – including a long of 43 yards – as well as three point-after conversions.  

For more Dolphins news and updates, visit Dolphins Central.

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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. .