It’s an all-Florida affair as an upstart Dolphins team heads to Jacksonville to do battle with the ‘in-transition’ Jaguars.
Week 1 started out shaky for a Miami squad that many have predicted big things for in 2015. They looked lost against a hapless Redskins team, but smartened up in the second half and squeaked out a narrow victory in the nation’s capital. Ryan Tannehill didn’t break out the way many had hoped for him and some doubts have seemed to creep in regarding Miami’s prospect this year.
For the Jaguars, they’re still most definitely a work in progress and remain a very young and inexperienced group. Blake Bortles wasn’t all that great in Week 1 vs. Carolina, and could likely struggle again vs. a very talented front for Miami. But this was supposed to be a step-forward in 2015 for the Jags and at home against an in-state rival, look for a motivated group to take the field tomorrow. This should be an intriguing affair as experts gage whether or not these Florida rivals are truly ready to take the next steps in their development. Read on below for a full game breakdown and an official pick for Dolphins/Jags on Sunday.
Dolphins vs. Jaguars Betting Odds:
Miami Dolphins -6.5 (-105)
@ Jacksonville Jaguars +6.5 (-115)
Over 41.5 (-110)
Under 41.5 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Dolphins vs. Jaguars Pick:
After sluggish Week 1 outings from both of these teams, you can bet some revamped focus needs to be in store for Week 2. Miami slept-walk throughout a close encounter with the Redskins and needed a fluke punt-return touchdown to emerge victorious. You can’t count on that happening weekly, and with the expectations placed on Miami in 2015, these types of games vs. the Jags are exactly the match-ups they should dominate. Whether they’re ready to or not remains to be seen.
Jacksonville too was eager to take the next step, but it just looked like more of the same from now sophomore Blake Bortles and Co. The blocking for Bortles was subpar and there wasn’t that much time for the play-caller to get the ball into the hands of some of his talented wide-outs. One area the Jags can exploit is running the football. Miami looked extremely vulnerable to defending Washington’s ground game and Alfred Morris, and could face similar problems with youngster T.J. Yeldon. The rookie showed a ton of promise last week and could be in store for a big game on Sunday. With a safety valve option available for Bortles, look for Jacksonville to have some solid options to move the chains against Miami.
One area for Jacksonville that really wasn’t much of a concern in 2015 was supposedly their defense. And though they showed some cracks last week, this remains a decent enough unit that it should really be able to keep their offense in football games. Tannehill seemed out of sync on offense against Washington, and the Jags should pose even more resistance. They are extremely proficient at stuffing the run, as was seen against Jonathan Stewart last Sunday.
Miami is fresh off getting outplayed by an atrocious Redskins team. They are looking ahead to two key divisional match-ups and are led by Joe Philbin, one of the game’s worst coaches. This is an overrated group that is fortunate to be 1-0 right now, and though I predict they should again squeak out a narrow win in Jacksonville, beating a stout Jags’ defense by more than seven points away from home seems like a tall task. Expect a more efficient outing from Bortles and the offense this week, and look for the Jags to cut out the careless turnovers and keep this ballgame close. This number has simply gotten out of control and even though it can be argued that these teams are in different talent classes, the Jags have the ability to keep things within striking distance on their home turf.
PICK = Jaguars +6.5 (-115)