Thursday, September 24, 2020, TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, Florida, 8:20 p.m. ET
Dolphins at Jaguars Betting Preview: Dolphins (+2.5/+110), Jaguars (-2.5/-130)
Ryan Fitzpatrick is still serving as the starting quarterback but badly needs a win to keep the chants for rookie Tua Tagovailoa from getting louder. An 0-2 start puts Fitzpatrick in must-win mode even though he was solid with 328 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in Sunday’s 31-28 loss to the Buffalo Bills. However, the residue of three interceptions in the season-opening loss to the New England Patriots still hangs over him.
Second-year running back Myles Gaskin averaged 6.6 yards per carry (seven carries, 46 yards against Buffalo) to pump a little life into the running game. Gaskin and Matt Breida will again split carries. Third-year tight end Mike Gesicki was superb against the Bills and set career highs of eight receptions and 130 yards while also scoring a touchdown.
The Miami defense has yet to record an interception and has just two sacks while ranking 30th in total defense (440.5 yards per game) and 29th against the run (164.0). Inside linebacker Jerome Baker is off to a good start with 22 tackles and one forced fumble. Cornerback Brandon Jones (groin) left the Buffalo game in the first quarter and is in jeopardy of missing this contest.
The Jaguars are showing punch on offense and emerging quarterback Gardner Minshew II has thrown three touchdowns passes in each of the first two games. Minshew is completing 75.4 percent of his passes for 512 yards and six touchdowns while being intercepted twice. Jacksonville is averaging 28.5 points per game and has been superb in the red zone with six touchdowns in seven opportunities.
Leonard Fournette has quickly been forgotten with undrafted rookie James Robinson looking like a sure 1,000-yard back. Robinson rushed for 102 yards and a touchdown in Sunday’s 33-30 loss to the Tennessee Titans and has 164 overall, the most through two games in Jaguars’ history.
The Jacksonville defense limited defending NFL rushing champ Derrick Henry to 3.4 yards per carry and 84 total rushing yards but allowed Ryan Tannehill to throw four touchdown passes. Linebacker Myles Jack has been all over the field with 22 tackles while cornerback CJ Henderson and safety Andrew Wingard have interceptions.
Dolphins at Jaguars Betting Pick for Week 2
Jacksonville is displaying surprising signs that it might contend for an AFC wild-card spot. Few people were expecting that before the season but Minshew’s continued progress and Robinson’s stunning rise have perked up the offense.
The Dolphins are still building in Brian Flores’ second season as coach and don’t figure to be part of the AFC East race. But they certainly don’t want to start 0-3 with their next two opponents setting up this way: Home against the Seattle Seahawks and road versus the San Francisco 49ers.
It’s always hard to tell which team will be fresher during a short week. However, the homefield advantage should come in handy with the Jaguars showing second-half toughness en route to winning the contest.
Dolphins at Jaguars Betting Pick:
Jaguars 31, Dolphins 23
Dolphins at Jaguars Best Bet for Week 2
Minshew won’t throw three touchdowns passes every game but that strong red-zone performance is a sign that the club won’t be quick to settle for field goals.
Fitzpatrick will be looking to dip into the “FitzMagic” stash to help keep the scoreboard working overtime.
Dolphins at Jaguars Best Bet: OVER 47 (-120)
–Field Level Media