Thu, 02 Dec 2021

Final analysis: The experts on Dolphins-Jaguars

Jaguars
17 Oct 2021, 04:06 GMT+10

Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars - jaguars.com

JACKSONVILLE - Each week during the 2021 season, Jaguars experts - Rick Ballou, Tony Boselli, Frank Frangie, Jeff Lageman, Brent Martineau, John Oehser, Brian Sexton, J.P. Shadrick and Ashlyn Sullivan - will break down the following day's Jaguars matchup.

Up this week:

The Miami Dolphins at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, England.

Brian Sexton, jaguars.com senior correspondent

The Jaguars will win if: They hide the holes in their secondary. Nickel corner Chris Claybrooks struggled last week; wherever he went is where the Tennessee Titans wanted to throw. Defensive coordinator Joe Cullen, defensive backs coach Chris Ash and veteran NFL defensive mind Bob Sutton need to dig deep this week and find a combination of players/play calls to fill gaps - and give the Jaguars a chance to get off the field on third down. When the Titans or Cincinnati Bengals or Arizona Cardinals needed a conversion in recent weeks, they exploited the secondary. The Jaguars must cover it up on Sunday or whomever the quarterback is for Miami will make them pay.

The Dolphins will win if: They take the ball away. The Jaguars are minus-10 in turnover ratio, which is the worst in the NFL - as is their one takeaway. Last year the Dolphins led the league with 29 takeaways, which was a big reason they won 10 games. You don't have to follow complicated math to figure out how Dolphins Head Coach Brian Flores is thinking this week.

As Sexton sees it: This is the Jaguars' best chance to end the 20-game losing streak ... for a while. The schedule turns ugly after London with a trip to Seattle followed by the Buffalo Bills, Indianapolis Colts, San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, Los Angeles Rams and Titans again. They need this one against a struggling Dolphins team, so they don't have to play desperate in November. I think they find a way to get this one from their running game, but London is a huge challenge.

John Oehser, jaguars.com senior writer

The Jaguars will win if: They score 28 points. The Jaguars have yet to score more than 21 points in a game this season - this in a league in which the top 22 scoring teams average at least that many. It's tough to compete in the NFL these days if you can't consistently score in the mid-20s. And the Jaguars must force turnovers. They have one takeaway this season. It's very hard to win in the NFL without disrupting offenses enough to force one a game.

The Dolphins will win if: They play better defensively than they have in recent weeks. The Dolphins were an aggressive, turnover-forcing team as they won 10 games last season. They have allowed 35, 31, 27 and 45 points in four losses this season. The Jaguars for the Dolphins represent a chance to get healthy defensively. If they do, they will win.

As Oehser sees it: This is a chance for the Jaguars to get their first victory under Head Coach Urban Meyer. The Dolphins are struggling defensively, and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is playing for the first time in four weeks ... so yes, there's a chance for the Jaguars. But they still must close a game. That means getting good pressure on the quarterback and forcing turnovers. Until they prove they can do that in a big moment, it's difficult to predict victory.

Brent Martineau, Action Sports Jax Sports Director

The Jaguars will win if: They win the turnover battle and running back James Robinson touches the ball 22 times or more. Obviously, the turnovers are a problem. That must be fixed, mostly forcing them. Robinson has been terrific, but the Jaguars still need to get him the ball more. He's the best player on the team so feed him more.

The Dolphins will win if: They slow Robinson and convert third downs. Miami is not dynamic on offense, but getting off the field has been tough for the Jaguars' defense. If the Dolphins sustain drives and slow Robinson, that's the formula for victory.

As Martineau sees it: I'm probably crazy, but I have a good feeling here. I don't think London favors either team, but I think the Jaguars feel better about themselves than the Dolphins do right now. That's odd, but the Buccaneers just whooped Miami 45-17. I failed against Houston and Cincinnati, but here it is, friends: Lawrence's first win, 27-23.

J.P. Shadrick, jaguars.com senior reporter

The Jaguars will win if: They keep the game within reach to stay with Robinson on offense. Last week, the Jaguars trailed by three possessions after the opening Titans drive of the second half and had to get away from the running game. Keep it going on the ground to help balance it out for quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who continues to play better.

The Dolphins will win if: They give Tagovailoa time to throw and keep him protected coming off an injury to his ribs. The Jaguars' pass rush last week sacked Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill three times with eight quarterback hits. They need more and need to turn up the heat on Tagovailoa, because when he has time he has offensive weapons to work with like wide receiver Jaylen Waddle and tight end Mike Gesicki.

As Shadrick sees it: Back to London for the eighth time for the Jaguars. As an organization, the Jaguars know the logistics behind the trip - the travel, the hotel, everything on the ground in the United Kingdom. Both teams need this game in a big way: the Dolphins are 1-4 and the Jaguars are 0-5. This feels like the Jaguars' opportunity to snap the skid and put that storyline away - and go into the bye week with a better feeling.

Frank Frangie, Radio Voice of the Jaguars

The Jaguars will win if: They manage the trip to London better than Miami. Although many of the players and coaches haven't made the trip, the organization knows it and has managed the trip often, which should help. They know what works and doesn't work with regard to travel plans, when to arrive, depart, etc. On the field, the Jaguars need to pound Robinson. They do it more often now, but really need to stick with it. This offense is at its best when Robinson is running effectively, play action is working and there is balance. Defensively, they must keep finding ways to rush the passer, a season-long weakness. Too many times the secondary has had to cover for way too long. And obviously they must solve the kicking problem.

The Dolphins will win if: They get Tagovailoa back and hit some explosive plays. And the Jags haven't been bad against the run. The Dolphins must regain some confidence after losing four in a row after winning the opener. Miami is better than it is playing, but need its starting quarterback on the field.

As Frangie sees it: This is a winnable game for the Jaguars. The Dolphins have lost four in a row and must manage a trip most haven't taken as a team. This should be a very close game.

Tony Boselli, Jaguars analyst and former Jaguars left tackle

The Jaguars will win if:The offense runs through Robinson and they win the turnover margin. Lawrence has played better each week, but this offense is still most effective when Robinson is getting the ball. Defensively they must take the ball away, and this is a great week to start. The Dolphins have an awful offensive line and Tagovailoa is coming back from broken ribs. Pressure him, make him uncomfortable and create turnovers.

The Dolphins will win if: The offensive line can give Tagovailoa time and the defense can make the Jaguars one-dimensional. The line has struggled this season, but this might be the game they give Tagovailoa time to operate and find guys like Gesicki and Waddle. The Jaguars' defensive line has struggled to get a rush; if that continues, the Dolphins have enough weapons to expose the Jaguars' secondary.

As Boselli sees it: The Jaguars will win the turnover battle for the first time this season, and will win their first game in over a year. Simply put: The Jags should win; they are the better team. I think the Jaguars' defense will hassle Taglovailoa all day, creating turnovers and additional opportunities for the offense to have its best day of 2021: Jaguars 31, Dolphins 24.

Jeff Lageman, Jaguars analyst and former Jaguars defensive end

The Jaguars will win if: They win the turnover battle. In five games this season, the Jaguars have yet to win the turnover battle - and on the season are at minus-10 turnover differential. They are tied with Kansas City having the most giveaways in the NFL with 11 and have the fewest takeaways in the NFL with only one. The only way you have a chance at winning at the NFL level is by taking care of the football on the offensive side and taking it away on the defensive side. It's always about the ball.

The Dolphins will win if: They get more production from what has been an ineffective running game. Miami hasn't done a very good job of running the football this year, which is very apparent from the NFL's worst ranking in yards rushing per game. This has added pressure to the quarterback position to perform at a higher level and the position hasn't been able to respond with either Tagovailoa or Jacoby Brissett.

As Lageman sees it: This is a game that the Jaguars have a great opportunity to win and break the losing streak. The Dolphins are struggling in many categories - and overall as a team. If Tagovailoa is able to return from the broken ribs to play, it is anybody's guess as to how effective he will be. He really didn't show that he can change a game consistently prior to the injury and it would be surprising if he could after. Lawrence hasn't been spectacular, but we have seen steady improvement and some "WOW" moments. If he can continue to improve and protect the ball - and the Jags defense can clean up some mental errors and find a couple takeaways - this team will have a celebratory trip home from London and an enjoyable BYE week.

Rick Ballou, Jaguars sideline reporter

The Jaguars will win if: If they can get an early lead, by running the football. Robinson had at least 22 or more carries four times last year; his high this year is 18. Miami has a poor run defense. The Jaguars should continuously run the ball right at the Dolphins.

The Dolphins will win if: They benefit from turnovers. The Dolphins struggle on offense and must capitalize on Jacksonville mistakes to win the game. Gesicki will be a big weapon as well, as the Jaguars have struggled in pass coverage.

As Ballou sees it: The Jaguars will play their best game of the season. Robinson will rush for more than 100 yards and the Jaguars will finally make a big play on defense. The 20-game losing streak will end as the Jaguars head to the break.

Ashlyn Sullivan, team reporter

The Jaguars will win if: They don't make dumb mistakes. The turnover margin must be positive, penalties must be low and plays must be made when your number is called. On paper, this looks like a favorable matchup for the Jaguars; the Dolphins are 24th in the NFL against the run and are on a four-game losing streak. The Jaguars can win this game; they just must get everything right.

The Dolphins will win if: Tagovailoa comes back fully healthy and finds that connection with Waddle. Head Coach Urban Meyer spoke this week about the explosive speed Waddle shows; the Jaguars secondary will have to play tight coverage to limit the explosive plays Waddle is capable of. The Dolphins won in Week 1, the only game this season in which Tua played the entire game. This will be a big game for a struggling Jaguars secondary.

As Sullivan sees it: This will be a really close game, I do not see either team blowing out the other one. Whoever makes the fewest mistakes will win. Turnovers are crucial for the Jaguars; they are not good enough to give the ball away and overcome defending extra possessions. Lawrence must protect the ball and the Jaguars' secondary must change opportunities into turnovers for Jacksonville to win.

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