Jags-Dolphins: Five Things to Watch For
- October 13, 2021
The Jags take a trip overseas for the first time this year, heading to London to face the Dolphins in Week 6. Winning hasn’t come easily for these two Florida teams this year, sporting a combined 1-9 record and each coming off a blowout loss. Which team makes the first step toward turning their season around? These are five things to keep an eye on Sunday morning.
Will Tua Tagovailoa be under center for the Dolphins? Tua returns from IR this week after suffering fractured ribs in Week 2 against Buffalo. He has practiced this week but the team has yet to declare him the Week 6 starter. Tua hasn’t been nearly the player he was expected to be coming out of Alabama, but this offense is still much harder to defend with him at the helm rather than Jacoby Brissett. Keep an eye on updates as the end of the week nears, but considering there are no setbacks in practice we should see the lefty out there on offense.
Can the Jaguars improve in the kicking game? In one of the crazier storylines of the season, Jacksonville has yet to make a field goal in any of their five games. A struggling Josh Lambo was replaced by former UCF kicker Matthew Wright, only to find that the problem still remained. Although missing out on three points isn’t ever the end of the world, it’s the nature of such a disappointing end to a drive that can deflate a team and kill momentum as the game goes on. This needs to be a priority right now.
Will Jacksonville continue to lean on James Robinson? The emergence of James Robinson has been one of the few bright spots of the last few weeks. After being an afterthought the first few games of the season, the offense has begun to rely on the second year back. He’s responded with his best three games of the season, including a 149 yard rushing performance a week ago. Facing a Miami defense that allows a weekly average of 133.6 yards on the ground, it’d be wise for Jacksonville to stick to the same formula.
Can the Jags offense convert near the goal line? The whole situation has a lot of different factors to it. Fourth and goal is often a situation where the offense just takes the three points. Three points have been anything but a given this year for the Jags. That as well as a winless record makes touchdowns of the utmost importance. Although they scored once on 4th and goal last week against Tennessee, they were stuffed in the same situation later in the game. A failed 4th and goal attempt against Cincinnati the week prior gave the Bengals momentum going into the second half. If the Jags are going to start winning games, they need to get six points when they’re down around the end zone.
How much will morale play a factor? For Jacksonville, an 0-5 start to the season shouldn’t be shocking considering the youth and inexperience of the team. For a Miami team that had playoff aspirations coming into the season, 1-4 is hardly the start they were looking for. Will they be hungry to prove they still belong, or will they look like a team that has checked out early? These teams are heading in opposite directions, as the Jags have been getting closer to winning games as the season has gone on, while Week 1 was the best Miami looked all year.
A change of scenery may serve these teams well, especially the Jags, who have won three London games in the last seven years. Don’t forget to set your clocks to 9:30 AM Eastern to catch the early start of Week 6 action.
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