Miami Escapes Jacksonville With Win: 3 Things We Learned
Welcome to the growing years of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
It is hard to look at a stat sheet, see a team with more yardage on offense and a 100-yard rusher, a good defense and still lose a contest like the Jaguars did on Sunday. Instead of this being a game to grow on after winning its first game of the season, Jacksonville laid an egg in the middle of EverBank Field on Sunday in the 27-13 loss to Miami.
The Dolphis did not look much better, but still got the important victory.
Coming off a 27-14 win at Chicago, Miami was overwhelmingly flat in its second straight road game and looked nothing like a potential playoff team facing a rebuilding squad filled with rookies and second-year players.
"We didn't perform up to our standards in any phase of the game offensively," Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill said, according to the Associated Press. "Defense played well. Defense made plays. I'm not happy about how we played offensively. It has to be better. We have to get this corrected."
The Dolphins (4-3) opened with three three-and-out possessions and gave up huge yardage to Jacksonville. But they led 7-0 after Delmas' 81-yard interception return in the second quarter, and 17-3 following Brent Grimes' 22-yarder in the third.
"I'm killing us," Bortles said. "I've got to try to eliminate different things and get better."
In this case, he may have been right.
The loss sets the Jaguars back to 1-7 on the year while Miami is marching forward toward a potential playoff berth.
Here is what we learned from Sunday’s action.
THE PRESSURE MOUNTS
When the Dolphins sent five or more pass rushers Sunday, Blake Bortles was sacked three times and threw two interceptions that were returned for touchdowns. Bortles is the second quarterback since the start of last season to throw two pick-sixes in a game (Geno Smith vs. Bengals, 2013 Week 8). Oh, and by the way, the Jaguars travel to Cincinnati this week.
THE SAME ROOKIE MISTAKES
According to Michael DiRocco of ESPN.COM, we have seen this before. For the first time since he took the field for the second half of the team's loss against Indianapolis in Week 3, Bortles looked a bit rattled. Until he went 5-for-6 in a meaningless fourth quarter, Bortles had completed only 13 of 28 passes for 140 yards. He had air-mailed a pass over a wide-open Denard Robinson, threw a couple passes behind Allen Robinson, and short-armed another on what would have led to a first down.
Those mistakes are killing drives and limiting the Jaguars’ scoring opportunities.
Denard Robinson has gained 100-yards rushing in back-to-back games. He's the first Jaguars player to do so since 2011, when Maurice Jones-Drew went 3-straight games with 100-yards rushing.
By contrast, Lamar Miller had a season-low 2 rushes for 8 yards in the first half with 1 yard after contact. The Dolphins utilized him more after halftime, with 12 rushes for 70 yards (32 after contact). Miller's second-half rushing opened up play action for Ryan Tannehill, who was 7-of-10 with a touchdown and interception on play-action passes (1-of-4 in the first half).