The Jaguars take on the Dolphins on Thursday night at TIAA Bank Field. With a short week of preparation, I don't expect to see a ton of new wrinkles from Jacksonville, but this is a Jay Gruden offense, so there will always be at least a couple of new looks.
But the Jaguars don't need to reinvent the wheel to score on the Dolphins in week three. This is a Miami defense that has allowed the third-most yards in football and is coming off a game in which they surrendered 31 points on their home turf.
The Jaguars should start out with a healthy dose of James Robinson on the ground. The Dolphins weren't super interested in tackling Devin Singletary and Zack Moss early on in week two, and the Jaguars should test their physicality often. Robinson is excellent when it comes to making the first guy miss and accelerating through the hole, which should strain the Dolphins' front seven. He's averaged over five yards per carry to this point in the season and should continue to rack up yards in this one. Establishing a strong running game against this defense should be doable, as they've surrendered 164 yards per game on the ground so far.
Playing off the run game with play-action passes should work against Brian Flores' heavy man coverage scheme. Rub routes, crossers, and combination routes should be employed by Gruden and company. Continuing to use some pre-snap motion will also give Gardner Minshew a mental advantage before the ball is even snapped. Pretty much any time the Jaguars get one-on-one coverage, they should be able to take advantage. The Dolphins will likely be without their top coverage corner, Byron Jones, who is dealing with a groin/achilles injury. The Jaguars' wideouts have been very difficult for opposing secondaries to keep up within 2020, and that should continue in week three. As long as teams keep keying on DJ Chark, guys like Laviska Shenault and Keelan Cole will feast. Playing against the Titans in week two, Gardner Minshew should be comfortable against some of the different looks and blitzes that Miami will employ. Now, Brian Flores comes from the Bill Belicheck school of coaching, so he might not be afraid to radically change what types of coverages he's running. But it'd be a tough task on a short week.
The Jaguars will need to limit their turnover worthy plays to make sure they're not giving the Dolphins a leg up.
The Jaguars are favored in this one, and for good reason, but in the NFL there are no gimmes. The Jaguars need to execute for 60 minutes. Jay Gruden has done a fantastic job of setting plays up as the game develops, but a fast start would do wonders for this young team. They nearly went down 14-0 in week one, and they did fall into a 14-0 hole in week two, so sustaining some drives early on and not making critical penalties and turnovers will be key.
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