Following Miami's promising performance during preseason, fans can be forgiven for having lofty expectations prior to the Washington Redskins matchup, on the opening week of the season. The question now begs: was the team ‘rusty', being the first game of the season? Or are this team just plain mediocre?
As Washington showed, no game in the NFL is easy.
The Redskins exploited the team's run defense, which Miami actually thought it had fixed following the addition of defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. Washington were very effective in doubling-teaming Suh when running the football. Jacksonville can learn from that.
Miami also need to improve in the red zone on offense. The team only mustered one touchdown in the red zone last Sunday. Moreover, Tannehill also needs to thread accurate passes to his receivers. The play where Dion Simms (who I may add was wide open) suffered a concussion is one case in point.
Yet, for all these faults Miami still won. They showed that steely determination to come back from behind and snatch the win in the fourth quarter. We haven't seen that from the Dolphins in quite some time.
As for Jacksonville, they lost their first game to the Carolina Panthers 20-9. Quarterback Blake Bortles shows much promise, but still struggled last week, completing only 22 of 40 passes for two 183 yards, 2 interceptions and 5 sacks.
But watch out for running back T.J. Yelton. He flashed star potential against Carolina, and could be the dominant running back down the road that Jacksonville want him to be. It will be interesting to watch how Miami's (porous?) defensive line holds up against Yelton.
Not for quite some time has there been optimism in Jacksonville, and they will be looking to make up for the loss in week one by beating the Dolphins in Jacksonville's own back yard.
If Blake Bortles had a bad game against the Carolina Panthers, he may struggle more against Miami's defense. Ndamukong Suh had a quiet game, but I fully expect him and the rest of the defensive line to return to their best. Brent Grimes and Brice McCain should also be able to nullify the threat through the air. It'll be even more difficult if tackle Luke Joeckel and Marquise Lee don't recover from their respective injuries ahead of the game.
And finally, all eyes will be on Ryan Tannehill. While he didn't play his best game last Sunday, both Tannehill and wide receiver Jarvis Landry led the team to a tough win on the road. Those traits make me believe Miami are a far superior team to the Jaguars. Miami 2-0.
Miami Dolphins 27 - 13 Jacksonville Jaguars
Alex Parish is an Associate Editor at The Phinsider. Be sure to follow me on Twitter@AlexParish89.