When people typically think of Thursday Night Football, they think of horrible matchups. Once in a while the NFL will put a solid matchup in the primetime slot on Thursday night, but teams like the Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars are what I think of when it comes to the first game of the week. The Dolphins and Jaguars will meet in a battle between the AFC East and AFC South.
It feels so long ago, but a lot of people had the Jaguars going to the Super Bowl in 2018. They were minutes away from beating the New England Patriots and going to the Super Bowl with Blake Bortles at the helm. Two years later, Bortles just found a new team because of an injury to the Broncos’ Drew Lock, and the Jaguars aren’t viewed as a playoff team.
That said, the Jaguars won Week 1 in an upset over the Colts, and then brought the Tennessee Titans to the wire on the road. Is Gardner Minshew a better quarterback than people are giving him credit for, myself included?
I hold that Minshew is a serviceable option that might not be able to put the Jags into Super Bowl territory, but perhaps if he has the defense that Bortles had two years ago. The defense carried Bortles and I think Minshew would need some help as well. The AFC is just too good to believe otherwise. We’re still waiting on the Tua Tagovailoa to begin in Miami. If the Dolphins think he’s ready to play, then they should put Ryan Fitzpatrick on the bench. There isn’t much upside to giving 37-year-old Fitzpatrick snaps.
Our props went really well on Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football, with a cumulative record of 6-1 at TheSportsGeek. Let’s aim to keep it rolling on Thursday. Head below for our free Miami Dolphins vs. Jacksonville Jaguars props picks for NFL Week 3.
South Beach or Duval County? 🌴 #TNF
— NFL (@NFL) September 24, 2020
Myles Gaskin Rushing Yards
Ryan Fitzaptrick hasn’t really done anything to lose his job as the starting quarterback, so onward they go with Fitzpatrick at the helm. He threw for 328 yards and 2 touchdowns against a good Buffalo defense last week. It was a nice response after Fitzpatrick looked rusty against the Patriots in Week 1. The future of this team is Tua, though. Or at least that’s the way the Dolphins are planning it.
Myles Gaskin has a chance of being a big part of the Dolphins’ offense as well. He was a workhorse at the University of Washington before being drafted in the seventh round of the 2019 draft. I was shocked that Gaskin dropped that far.
He was the focal point of the Washington offense, and from everything I witnessed, he was a tough hard runner that did everything asked of him. Gaskin was an All Pac-12 player three times, once on the first-team and twice on the second-team.
Gaskin played a reserve role last season in his rookie campaign, but the Dolphins want to feature him much more now. Through Week 2, Gaskin has a total of 216 rushing yards and 4.2 yards per carry in his career. He gained 40 yards on 9 carries against the Patriots in Week 1, and then 46 yards on 7 carries against the Titans. I think he has the potential for 40 or more yards tonight.
Keelan Cole Receptions
Gardner Minshew does not have the most elite weapons to work with on the Jaguars’ offense, but he’s making it work and spreading the ball around to guys that are taking on a bigger role. Minshew has thrown for 512 yards and 6 touchdowns with 2 interceptions. He connected with ten different receivers against the Colts, and then another ten against the Titans the following week.
Byron Jones has been ruled out for Thursday night, so that helps Minshew out some more in this one. Keelan Cole has developed into Minshew’s favorite target, and likely would have been watched closely by Jones. Cole, who is just one reception away from getting halfway to his 2019 total, has been the busiest wide receiver for the Jags. Cole has already been targeted 12 times by Minshew in 2020.
He hauled in all 5 receptions on 5 targets in Week 1 for 47 yards and a touchdown, and then caught 6 of 7 balls thrown his way the following week for 58 yards and another touchdown. In 2019, Cole was targeted 5 or more times in only 3 of 16 games. He’s been taking on more of a role this season and doing what’s asked of him. The total appears to be just a bit too short here. He should end the night with 4 or 5 receptions to put him OVER.
Tyler Eifert Receptions
Tyler Eifert isn’t on the IR? That’s something different in 2020. Eifert was a talented tight end in Cincinnati with the Bengals, but could never find a way to stay healthy. When Eifert is healthy he can be a big target. He’s only played in all 16 games once in his seven-year career. Eifert played in 15 games as a rookie in 2013, and then 16 in 2018. His best season was in 2015 when he hauled in 52 receptions for 615 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Eifert was rusty in Week 1 and looked out of sync with Minshew. However, that might have been expected for Eifert after playing in only two games last season and no preseason. He looked much better the following week, as Eifert caught a beautiful ball in a tight window to score 6 points for the Jags. Eifert concluded the game with 3 receptions for 36 yards and a touchdown.
That game should get Minshew and Eifert going. They couldn’t get into a rhythm in their first ever game together, but expect more out of them in the coming weeks. He and James O’Shaughnessy combine for a pretty nice safety valve for Minshew. I can see Eifert coming through with another decent game on Thursday night. Expect Minshew to hook up with Eifert at least 3 times on Thursday night.