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Dolphins Head To Jacksonville For Intrastate Battle With Jaguars

By Abraham Gutierrez 

After escaping the nation’s capital with a 17-10 win over the (0-1) Washington Redskins, the (1-0) Miami Dolphins return home to prepare for their Week 2 opponent, (0-1) the Jacksonville Jaguars. EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida, will be the site for this intrastate battle of teams heading in opposite directions.

Opening kickoff is scheduled for Sunday afternoon at 4:05 p.m. ET and it will be broadcast live on CBS-Sports. In spite of the fact that they reside in the same state, this will only be the eighth time that the Fins and Jags have met on the gridiron. Miami comes in leading the overall series 4-3-0, and have won three in a row in the head-to-head series between these AFC foes.

Jaguars 2015 NFL Season Record

Jacksonville kicked off the 2015 NFL season by hosting Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers in Week 1. Unfortunately for the home crowd, a new season did very little to change what Jax fans are used to seeing from this team.

With an anemic offensive attack and three turnovers, Jacksonville started the season 0-1, failing to capitalize on a legitimate opportunity to pull off the upset. Last year, the Jaguars finished the season with a 3-13 mark, which was good enough for last place in the AFC South, and were nowhere near playoff contention. 

Jaguars On Offense

With one week in the books, Jacksonville ranks 28th in the NFL in points (9 ppg), 23rd in total yards (265 typg), 25th in passing yards (169 pypg) and 16th in rushing yards per game (96 rypg). After being fired by the Oakland Raiders a season ago, offensive coordinator Greg Olson will have his work cutout in is second stint in Jacksonville.

Entering his 14th year in the National Football League, the 52-year-old from Richland, Washington, will have the task of trying to revive a Jags offense that’s been dead in the water for years. In his 28 years of coaching experience, Olson has shown an ability to not only adjust his scheme on the fly, but to also shape offenses to tailor his quarterback strengths.

It’s going to be very interesting to see what type of approach he will employ with Jags quarterback Blake Bortles under center in 2015. In his second year out of Central Florida, the 6-foot-5, 245-pound signal-caller completed 55 percent of his passes, going 22-for-40 for 183 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions for a poor quarterback rating of 54.5 in Week 1.

Jaguars On Defense 

Jags defensive coordinator, Bob Babich, enters his third year at the helm of Jacksonville’s defense. The 54-year-old from Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, utilizes a 4-3 defensive scheme with various fronts, similar to what Pete Carroll employs out in Seattle.

Nevertheless, Babich hasn’t enjoyed nearly as much success as the Legion of Boom during his short time as DC in Northern Florida. Last season, Jacksonville’s defense ranked 26th in the league in yards allowed (370.8), 22nd at defending the pass (243.7) and 27th versus the rush (243.7). After Week 1, Babich’s unit showed much improvement, ranking 11th in the NFL in points (20), 5th in total yards (263), third through the air (158) and 18th on the ground (105).

Jaguars’ Players To Watch      

Last year, Jacksonville was one of the few teams in the entire league sans a Pro Bowl player. Nevertheless, Joe Philbin and his staff will need to focus their attention on Jacksonville’s third overall pick in last year’s NFL Draft in order to have a solid defensive gameplan.

If Olson’s system will revolve around Bortles’ abilities as a signal-caller, the Fins would be smart to try and mimic what the Panthers did in the opener – forcing him to have a forgettable performance with lots of pressure up the middle, as he was sacked five times. Here’s an interesting stat for Miami to consider: Since the start of the 2014 NFL season, Bortles leads the league in most interceptions returned for touchdowns with five.

On the defensive side of “The Duke,” the Dolphins will need to hone in on keeping middle linebacker Paul Posluszny from running wild. In his ninth season out of Penn State, the 6-foot-2, 240-pound MLB got off to a solid start, leading the team with 9 tackles, two passes defended and an interception. A year ago, Posluszny finished fifth on the team with 69 tackles (47 total/22 assist), to go along with his two sacks. 

Dolphins vs. Jaguars 2015 NFL Week 2 Betting Odds

According to NFL oddsmakers, the Miami Dolphins are listed as favorites to improve to 2-0 with a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 2. NFL point spreads show that Philbin & Co. are listed as -6½ favorites in this contest, Gus Bradley’s bunch will enjoy a +6½ cushion, and the OVER/UNDER is set at a combined total of 41½ points. 

Abe Gutierrez's passion led him to ditch law school journey in order to launch his own publishing company. His expertise make him a valued addition to, and the CBS-Sports family. Some of his work can be found on CBS-Miami (Dolphins), CBS-LosAngeles (Chargers) and CBS-TampaBay (Buccaneers),, and other online publications.


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