The Miami Dolphins beat the Jacksonville Jaguars exactly how they needed to beat them on Sunday. Coming away with the 27-13 win in a game where the offense only scored one touchdown, is exactly the game the Dolphins needed at this point in the season. Why?
Good teams win games they shouldn't win.
The Dolphins have a lot to clean up after a sloppy, ugly game against their in-state rivals. The Jaguars are a better team, especially on defense, than a lot of people realize, give then team's 1-7 record, but the Dolphins made mistakes and could not get out of their own way early in the game.
Daryn Colledge started the game at left guard for Miami, but was dealing with a migraine headache. He allowed two sacks and a pressure on quarterback Ryan Tannehill before being pulled from the game. He played just 10 snaps.
Those two sacks effectively killed Miami's first two possessions, with the team going three-and-out both times. The Jaguars, meanwhile, started the game with a six-play, 50-yard drive, an 11-play, 46-yard drive, and a seven-play, 21-yard drive, all in the first quarter. Miami had -2 yards on their first two possessions, compared to the 96 yards for Jacksonville.
Yet, the end of the first quarter saw the score remain 0-0, and Miami started the second period with the first pick-six of the game, and suddenly they had a lead, a lead they would never give back.
The first half ended with Jacksonville owning a 226-yards to 46-yards of offense advantage. Miami had a 10-3 lead on the scoreboard.
The Dolphins came out in the second half and, while the offense was still struggling, they were able to start putting things together. After two drives of 4-plays and 3-plays, respectively, gaining a total of 11 yards, Miami suddenly went on a 7-play, 95-yard touchdown drive, then a 10-play, 63-yard drive before a tipped pass was intercepted in the endzone for a Jacksonville touchback, then a 9-play, 68-yard drive for a field goal. Add in a second pick-six, and the Dolphins were running away with a game where the offense could had only drive that gained over 10 yards through the first 39-minutes of the game.
Miami did not look like a good team on Sunday. The offense struggled to find rhythm, and could not pass block early. The defense allowed the Jaguars to chew through them up-and-down the field. They were lucky they were facing a team like the Jaguars, who are trying to develop a rookie quarterback, and not a team with an established superstar under center. But, at the end of the day, the defense stepped up to help the offense, and the offense worked through their struggles to find a way to win.
And good teams win games they should not. Good teams find ways to win on bad days.
The Miami Dolphins did that this past weekend. This week will be used to fix the issues, and, hopefully, they will be playing better football come next Sunday when they host the San Diego Chargers. But, at the end of the day, the Dolphins found a way to win, got the W.
Good teams win games they should lose. Miami should have lost that game, but they won.
The Dolphins are not yet a great team. They could be on the way to being a good team. And, winning a game like that is exactly what they needed.