The Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars took the field in NFL Preseason Week 1 action tonight. The Dolphins looked better than during this game than they did during the loss to the Dallas Cowboys in the Hall of Fame Game.
During the first half, the Dolphins looked good, with the first team able to move the ball. Starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill went 5-for-9 for 75 yards and a touchdown on the night. He also had one run for two yards. The first team held on to the ball much better this week, after fumbling away their first possession last week.
The defense, meanwhile, came away with an interception off starting Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert. In what proved to be his last pass, Gabbert say the ball bounce off a Jacksonville receiver and into the waiting arms of Miami cornerback Nolan Carroll.
Second string quarterback Matt Moore was then able to direct his first possession of the night down the short field, ending with a half yard run from Jonas Gray into the endzone.
Chad Henne came in for the Jaguars following the score, and actually moved the ball fairly well. However, the drive faltered (because it was a Henne drive), and the Jaguars settled for a field goal.
The first half really did look much better for the Dolphins, who gave up just 4.7 yards per play in the half, controlled the ball well on offense, and came away with the interception. Moore did throw an ugly interception late in the half, throwing a ball that looked like Dwayne Gratz, the Jaguars cornerback, was the receiver.
The Dolphins defense looked to be tackling much better than in the Cowboys game as well. There were still cases of guys trying to arm tackle, only to see the ball carrier break away. But, as a whole, the team came out hitting and wrapping up much better.
The second half started off sloppy for both teams' offenses, with Matt Moore inaccuarte and the offensive line not blocking well for Miami's offense. The Jaguars saw Mike Kafka enter the game and start moving the team, only to again stall, but the Jaguars would miss the field goal.
Miami stalled on their next drive, but recovered the muffed punt, giving them new life. After going next to no where on the possession, Miami brought rookie kicker Caleb Sturgis out to convert on a 58-yard field goal attempt.
Will Davis continued his hot training camp on the first play of the next possession for the Jaguars, coming away with the interception on a downfield bomb from Kafka. Unfortunately, Pat Devlin, on his first possession of the game, would be unable to move the team, gaining just three yards before having to punt.
For the majority of the second half, neither offense was able to move the ball. Sturgis added a 36 yard field goal early in the fourth quarter. Five minutes later, the Dolphins were able to turn their second muffed punt recovery, and fourth turnover of the night, into a Jonas Gray touchdown, but otherwise, the Dolphins offense did not do anything special.
Overall, it was good to see the Dolphins tackling well and getting turnovers. Last year, and in the Hall of Fame Game, those muffed fumbles would either have been recovered by the Jaguars or simply rolled out of bounds, but tonight, Dolphins were diving for the ball and coming up with the takeaways.
On offense, the line blocked well, including left tackle Jonathan Martin. They did give up a sack (Josh Samuda) on the first possession and Tannehill had to scramble some, but overall, they were not bad tonight. The offense was slow to start initially, but they were able to put it together eventually and get into the endzone. Wide receiver Mike Wallace got on the field, after missing the Hall of Fame Game, though he did not really do anything during the game.
Miami won the game 27-3. They have an off day tomorrow before returning to practice at 1pm ET on Sunday. That practice will be open only to first year season ticket holders.