The Miami Dolphins visit the Jacksonville Jaguars today. The Fins enter this game at .500 and are looking at a possible winning streak. With head coach Joe Philbin getting his squad in gear last week on the road against the Chicago Bears, Philbin challenged his team to get on a roll now. Philbin warned his team to not overlook the Jaguars who are coming off of their first victory of the year and upset of the Cleveland Brows. The perfect trap game, the Fins need to be on point to return to Miami victorious, a few things will have to take place on the field though for that victory to transpire, leading me to this weeks 6 pack of key match-ups.
Match up 1: Dolphins Pass Rush vs. Blake Bortles
The Miami Dolphins are facing a rookie quarterback with immense talent. Bortles though has been turnover prone in his rookie year and some of it can be attributed to how many inexperienced players he plays with. The Miami Dolphins need to bring the heat against the rookie and creating pressure with their down linemen will be the key. When playing a rookie for the first time, the defense should throw as many exotic look as they can at Bortles in order to confuse him on a regular basis. Jacksonville’s offensive line is not that great, so the Dolphins should be feasting in the backfield today.
Match up 2: Charles Clay vs. Telvin Smith
Rookie Telvin Smith is coming off of his best game as a pro, earning AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors for forcing a fumble and intercepting a pass last week versus the Browns. Built slight for a linebacker and looking more like a safety, Smith utilizes his speed and diagnoses skills to be in position to succeed. Figure him to be matched up Clay, who is coming off of his best game of the season. Clay looks to be finally getting healthy and becoming capable of making impact like he did last year when he was one the best tight ends in the league. His return to form will be a huge boost to this offense.
Match up 3: Dolphins Pass Protection vs. Jaguars Pass Rush
Tannehill is going to need time to throw the football. Even though the offensive line is immensely better than last year, giving up 4 sacks last week was not acceptable. The Dolphins are facing a defense that ranks second in the league in sacks, believe that their head coach with Seattle roots will be mixing up his pressure packages and bringing the heat against a Dolphins o-line that struggles with blitzes from time to time.
Match up 4: Dolphins Running Game vs. Jaguars Front Seven
The Jaguars lost their best linebacker for the season last week when Paul Posluszny went down with injury. The Jags, while they are athletic up front haven’t been necessarily that good versus the run. Now without their middle linebacker to clean up their messes in gap assignment, look for the Dolphins to establish their running game and pound the Jags into submission. Lamar Miller has been very solid this year but it’s time for him to have a break out game.
Match up 5: Dolphins Special Teams vs. Jaguars Special Teams
The Dolphins special teams have been a scary roller coaster ride. They have yet to put together a solid all around game, the kicking game has been suspect with Brandon Fields shanking punts and Caleb Sturgis missing field goals like nobody’s business. Jarvis Landry has been great on kick off returns but below average on punt returns, it’d be nice to see him develop to the point that he is impressive handling both duties. The Jags play hard and surprise teams with their special teams play, the Dolphins can’t ignore this phase of the game.
Match up 6: Dolphins Receivers vs. Jaguars Defensive Backs
This is the perfect game for the Dolphins to generate some big plays in the passing game, while the Jags defenders have some talent, they are vastly inexperienced and the Dolphins receivers should be able to have their way with them. MIke Wallace has been really god this season, catching passes in traffic, breaking tackles after the catch and overall paying with a high intensity, it’d be nice to see the Dolphins work him a little more down filed for the big play. With inexperienced corners on the boundary, this game sets up well for the technician Brain Hartline, his route running will be on display today as you see him work the young guys with his craftiness as a route runner.
Look for the Dolphins to win their second game in a row and get on roll! Fins Up!