Professor Will's report card: Dolphins vs. Jaguars
Usually, a 14-point victory is positive sign in the NFL, but the circumstances in Jacksonville might have turned happiness into concern. The Dolphins offense accounted for only 7 points against a Jaguars defense that has given up over 33 points four times this season.
The offense started the game off flat and lacked any rhythm in the first half, recording only three total yards in the first quarter. The offensive line was partially to blame, giving up two sacks in the first two drives.
Although the Jaguars were without two of its starting defenders this week, the Dolphins opened up the game with three straight three-and-outs. Brian Hartline wasn't able to help much either, dropping two catches
As for Ryan Tannehill, after a stellar performance against the Chicago Bears last week, he was far from impressive this week. His one moment of glory came on a 95-yard touchdown drive, which started with a deep pass to Mike Wallace. However, he missed multiple easy passes throughout the game, including a would-be-touchdown to Charles Clay in the fourth quarter. He finished off the day going 16/29 for 196 yards one touchdown and an interception.
Offensive Coordinator Bill Lazor had a mental lapse in the fourth quarter as well. On first and goal, inside the 5-yard line, he called a questionable pass play that ended up in an interception.
Without the defensive touchdowns, this game could have easily been lost. Lazor and his group have a lot to work on before facing a good San Diego Chargers team next week.
Many will argue that this was one of the best defensive performances of the year. Granted, a Louis Delmas and Brent Grimes pick-6 is not a normality in the eyes of Dolphins fans. But today those fans need to look past the flashy turnovers and delve deep into how the game actually played out.
The defense was on the field most of the game. Denard Robinson rushed for almost 120 yards with 18 carries against one of the better defensive lines in the NFL. Luckily for the Dolphins, the Jaguars had far too many mental mistakes inside good field position, including an interception and fumble both at the hands of Blake Bortles.
On the other hand, the secondary had a great game aside from the late touchdown allowed to Allen Robinson. Brent Grimes, Cortland Finnegan, Reshad Jones and Louis Delmas all had standout performances.
The pressure on Bortles was helpful too. The rookie QB was sacked four times in the game, including a big blow from Reshad Jones on third down.
Special Teams: A
Brandon Fields seemed to have gotten out of his slump this week. His punts averaged 51 yards and he pinned the Jaguars twice inside their own 17-yard line. As for Caleb Sturgis, he delivered two field goals, which kept the game out of reach from the Jaguars.
Ex-Miami Hurricane Olivier Vernon started off his day the right way as well, blocking a Josh Scobee field goal in the first quarter.
The Jacksonville Pigeon made his NFL debut on Sunday. "El Pajaro," as his peers call him, refused to get out of the game and played both sides of the ball. He was on fumbles, interceptions, runs, passes and even the half time show. After the game "El Pajaro" thanked his mom, Big Bird, for allowing him to follow his dreams.
When he wasn't making plays, "El Pajaro" messed with the Jaguars mascot, because, like the rest of those who watched the game, he was quite bored. It is still unknown whether or not "El Pajaro" will remain with the Jaguars this season, but the young bird has developed a fan base that will surely fill up seats in Jacksonville.
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