The Miami Dolphins face a must-win game tonight in Jacksonville. Not only is the team 0-2, but their season is on life support. No one in the Dolphins locker room will tell you that tonight is a make or break game, but in fact, it is. Through two games, the Dolphins are still searching for an identity. Miami’s defense is nowhere near where it is supposed to be and is struggling to stop anyone. Opposing running backs are gaining five yards before they are even touched and quarterbacks seem to have all day to go through their progressions before finding an open receiver. The Dolphins will be without star cornerback Byron Jones which means Nik Needham and Noah Igbinoghene need to perform. We can also see Bobby McCain slide back into the slot corner position after playing safety last season. Neither Needham nor Igbinoghene stepped up to their expanded role in week 2 and were in fact picked on by Josh Allen. As for Fitzmagic and the offense, it was good enough to beat the Bills but not enough to carry the team to victory. This is not an offense that will mask deficiencies on the defensive side of the ball. The two must work in tandem for the team to have success. The Dolphins cannot let the previous week spill into this one especially after a quick turnaround. The team has only had a few days to prepare for a Thursday night game and being on the road doesn’t help. The past few offseasons, the Jaguars have mimicked the Dolphins script by pressing the rebuild button. Jacksonville has shipped off their top talent in exchange for draft stock. Jalen Ramsey, Calais Campbell, Leonard Fournette, A.J. Bouye, Yannick Ngakoue, Dante Fowler, Allen Robinson, and many more are no longer on a team that was just 10 minutes from the organization’s first-ever Super Bowl appearance. This Jaguars team is in year one of a rebuild, and dare I say, better than the Dolphins are in year two. Many believed the Jags would lobby for the first overall pick in 2021, but that has not been the case thus far. Jacksonville has looked solid and could very well be 2-0. Miami must come out with a sense of urgency and wipe the slate clean. A 0-3 record will essentially end the 2020 season and pivot fan’s attention towards the draft position.



Gardner Minshew is simply playing great football and has his team at 1-1. Minshew mania is averaging 256 passing yards per game with an outstanding 75.3% completion rate. The Jags offense scores around 28 points per game and put up 30 in week 2 against a solid Titans defense. Jacksonville is averaging 128 yards on the ground which can also be very problematic for Miami. The Dolphins have allowed 767 total yards in two weeks which will give Jacksonville confidence in knowing they can move the ball relatively easy Thursday night. The lack of a Miami pass rush is also a factor in giving the Jaguars the advantage. The Dolphins have sacked opposing quarterback just 3 times and if Miami gives Minshew time to throw, it might be another long night. Until the Dolphins defense showcases that they can contain an opposing offense, they will continue to be at a disadvantage.

Advantage: Jacksonville Jaguars


Being the road team on a Thursday night game is always tough. Miami’s offense looked better last week but they must show that they can sustain that effort. Fitzpatrick and the Dolphins will certainly have their opportunities to move the football downfield. Jacksonville allowed Titans QB Ryan Tannehill to throw for 4 touchdowns last week while also giving up 123 yards on the ground. In week 1, Philip Rivers passed for 363 yards against the Jags as well. Trigger happy Ryan Fitzpatrick will look to sling it around the yard Thursday night with an abundance of big plays. The Dolphins have to get their running game going as well if they want a fighting chance in this matchup. Dropping back to pass every play is something Miami does not want to do. A well-balanced offense will open up the field and allow the team to do more of what they game planned.

There is no need to go into further detail of how bad Miami’s defense has been. This game can very well turn into a shoot out and I would not be surprised if both teams scored 30+ points. The team with the ball last might win this game.

Advantage: Jacksonville Jaguars


Betting Line: JAX -3

Both teams are coming off tough losses and are looking to bounce back just 4 days later. It is tough for players to shake the feeling of defeat so quickly and also allow their bodies to recover. It will be 79° at kickoff which bodes well for both teams. The pressure of a must-win, prime time game will be interesting to watch. A fan base can get a good look at how well (or not) their team is coached during Thursday night games. I am curious to see how well Brian Flores and his staff do and if they’re game plan can be relayed in such a short time frame.

With the Dolphins’ recent history in prime time games and being on the road, the advantage goes to the home team here.

Advantage: Jacksonville Jaguars


All in all, the Dolphins are the more talented team and should win this game. It comes down to what it has thus far, defense. Miami must contain the surprisingly high powered Jaguars offense and Ryan Fitzpatrick needs another strong showing. Getting pressure on Gardner Minshew, developing a ground game, and converting in the red zone are the biggest keys to the game for Miami. The opportunity for turnovers will be there for both teams tonight as well. Although the Jaguars were given the advantage in each category, this game is not as lopsided as it seems. With their backs against the wall, will Miami stand tall or will they crumble in prime time?