The Jaguars defeated the Dolphins 23 to 20 at EverBank last week. It was their first home win in September since 2011. A whole lot was different about the team that played on Sunday. Miami was in playoff contention last year and are projected to do the same this season. So, what happened? Here’s what went differently.
The Offense and Big Plays
Blake Bortles was three for three on throws over 30 yards down the field, all to Allen Robinson. This is why he was so hyped during the offseason.
Robinson finished with 155 yards and two touchdowns in a performance we hadn’t seen matched since Blackmon. All it takes is two or three big plays a game to open up an offense and all three of the big catches set up points.
Because the offense scored a touchdown on the first possession, they were able to establish a steady running game. Yeldon’s 25 carries for 70 yards doesn’t look amazing, but it was against a stout D-line often with little room to work with. Playing from behind against the Panthers, he was only able to get 12 carries. Besides two straight drops from rookie Rashad Greene, the receivers didn’t have any, which was a big theme from week one. The second half only had one scoring possession, but it was the game-winning field goal. The Jags had already produced more yards in the first half than all of the Carolina game. Bortles was not sacked for the first time in his career. The O-line was also able to hold what was supposed to be a potent D-line at bay.
Rookie kicker Jason Meyers redeemed himself after a rough week one. He hit both PATs and was three for three on field goals, including this 58-yard one at the end of the half — the second longest in franchise history.
Rashad Greene also added a pretty 24-yard punt return and Nick Marshall had a huge hit to stop a Dolphins return before it started. The unit was a difference maker.
The defense was very solid for a second straight week, even with Tannehill throwing for 359 yards. The biggest factor was that they made big plays down the stretch in the fourth quarter. In previous games, they might have finally given up a long drive, like last week, because how much they were on the field. This week with the offense functioning it was a different story. Jared Odrick took over the Dolphins second to last possession, with a strip sack and a batted ball on two straight plays. That would set Bortles and the offense up with great field possession leading to the game winner. After the first drive of the second half, they shut the Dolphins down.
Next week, the Jags will travel to New England to take on Brady and the Patriots.