By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303
Week 3 of the NFL season starts with a Florida showdown. The 0-2 Miami Dolphins will visit the surprising 1-1 Jacksonville Jaguars, who many an NFL analyst believed would be vying for the number one pick in the upcoming 2021 NFL draft.
”I think every time we step out there, we’re always trying to prove what we are,” Quarterback Gardner Minshew said. ”But more than anything, we really don’t have to prove it to anybody else, we believe in our locker room. And as long as we have that and people in our locker room believe, then that’s our main concern.”
Minshew has gone for 49 of 65 passes with 512 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions through the teams first two games, and has a passer rating of 115.7.
Minshew will look to continue this success against a Dolphins defense that got destroyed last week The Miami defense handed Bills quarterback Josh Allen (417 yards with 4 touchdowns) a career day. With zero pass pressure what so ever from Miami’s defensive front, look for Minshew to take full advantage.
Since the departure of Jaguars disgruntled former first round pick, running back Leonard Fournette, the Jaguars have turned to undrafted rookie RB James Robinson. In a breakout game against the Tennessee Titans last week, Robinson rushed for 102 yards while scoring his first NFL touchdown.
Much of Robinson’s success is strongly due to a much improved Jaguars offensive line. Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone has to be pleased with the performance of his young offensive line, who will face a Dolphins defense that ranks near the bottom of the NFL. “Hopefully we can keep that consistency going,” coach Doug Marrone said. ”You have to be able to challenge people on the outside or in the middle of the field and right now we have guys playing at a high level.”
Defensively the Jaguars will face Dolphins journeyman quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. He has four wins against the Jaguars with four other teams. Jaguars will look to get some pressure on Fitzpatrick. That pressure will be key, according to Jaguars defensive end Josh Allen. Allen spoke to the media following the Titans’ loss. “We have to do better getting pressure on the quarterback.” He went as far as to blame himself and also challenging himself. Jaguars defense has only two sacks through two games.” Allen looks to change that Thursday night.
With both teams facing a short week, give the home team some advantage. Marrone on Monday spoke of the week’s challenges, saying the short week meant that Monday – a day typically spent reviewing the previous day’s game – essentially became a normal game-week Thursday.
Marrone said playing a home game Thursday is good because the away team must travel Wednesday afternoon and spend game day in a hotel.
“You always get a little bit of an advantage if you’re the home team,” he said. “I just think it’s a little bit less anxiety for a team to be home on a Thursday.”
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