If you start 2-0 on the road in the NFL, you are probably going to be a playoff team. The Dolphins have a shot at that on Sunday afternoon when they visit Jacksonville. NFL odds favor Miami.
Dolphins Have Work To Do
Miami's new-look defense, with the addition of former Lions Pro Bowl defensive tackle this offseason, looked just OK in Week 1. The Dolphins won 17-10 at Washington, although take that with a grain of salt, Miami fans, considering what a mess Washington appears to be. The Redskins did outgain Miami 349-256 and had a concerning 161 rushing yards on 37 carries. The Dolphins were ranked No. 24 against the run last year and showed some of those same problems on Sunday. The Redskins had 15 rushing attempts that gained 5 yards or more. By comparison, those 161 rushing yards allowed were more than twice as many as the 69 yards rushing per game the Suh-led Lions allowed last season, which ranked first in the league.
Offensively, Ryan Tannehill was 22-for-34 for 226 yards and a touchdown, while Lamar Miller had 53 yards on 13 carries. New receiver Kenny Stills, acquired in trade from New Orleans this offseason was a total no-factor. So was first-round rookie WR DeVante Parker. Miami's only offensive touchdown was a Tannehill to Rishard Matthews 3-yard pass last in the first half. The Dolphins scored the go-ahead TD on a Jarvis Landry 69-yard punt return at 10:22 of the fourth. He also had a team-high eight catches, but the Dolphins offense left much to be desired, especially in the red zone.
Somehow, the NFL isn't going to suspend Suh, who has a definitely spotty record in such things, even though he appeared to kick the helmet off of Redskins running back Alfred Morris in the game. While there was contact between the players, Suh's action was not deemed a kick. Let's just say Suh probably could have avoided any contact with Morris.
Be interesting to see how focused Miami is against a bad team and with a tough home opener against AFC East rival Buffalo next week.
Jaguars Are Still ... Jaguars
I really thought Jacksonville would be much better this season. Maybe the Jags will be, but things weren't good in Week 1, a 20-9 home loss to Carolina. Second-year QB Blake Bortles looked like he did as a rookie for the most part, completing 22 of 40 for 183 yards, a TD and two picks -- he was very good in the preseason. Rookie running back T.Y. Yeldon carried 12 times for 51 yards. Coach Gus Bradley, who is among the favorites to be the first coach fired this season, said the offense played too cautiously. He noted that Bortles didn’t play aggressively enough and give the Jaguars’ receivers chances to make “50-50” plays on the ball. Bortles' rating Sunday was 54.5. HIs number of 69.5 was the worst in the league. To be fair to Bortles, there were at least four dropped passes vs. Carolina. The defense played pretty well overall. Remember that the Jags are without their big offseason acquisition, former Broncos Pro Bowl tight end Julius Thomas, until October due to injury. Jacksonville also lost left tackle Luke Joeckel to injury vs. the Panthers and he's likely out Sunday.
The team also played Week 1 without defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks (knee) and receiver Marqise Lee. Both were expected to practice Wednesday. It's not likely Marks plays this week as he rehabs from a torn ACL suffered in Week 17 last year. Lee (hamstring) might but he's going to be rusty after missing the entire preseason.
The Jags need to win this game or the season might already be in the toilet because 0-4 looks like a lock with trips to New England and Indianapolis up next. Bradley’s previous two Jaguars teams opened 0-8 in 2013 and 0-6 last season. In the last two years, the Jags' second game has been one the worst of the entire season. They have been outscored 60-19.
Miami won 27-13 in Jacksonville in Week 8 last year. Bortles had two interceptions returned for touchdowns. The Dolphins really didn't play all that well and appeared flat. Tannehill completed 16 of 29 passes for 196 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. Miller ran 14 times for 78 yards. Miami has won three straight in the series overall, so back them with your NFL picks at -7 (+115) NFL odds.
NFL Free Picks: Dolphins -7 (+115) & Under 41.5 at 5Dimes.