DATE: Sunday, Dec. 16
TIME: 1 p.m. ET
SITE: Sun Life Stadium
TV: CBS (Marv Albert, play-by-play; Rich Gannon, analysis)
SERIES RECORD: Jacksonville leads 3-2 (including playoffs)
AT MIAMI: Jaguars lead 1-0
AT JACKSONVILLE: Teams are tied 2-2
LAST MEETING: 2009 at Jacksonville; Dolphins 14, Jaguars 10
SERIES TREND: There isn’t much of a trend here considering the teams have met only five times through the years, making Jacksonville the AFC team the Dolphins have faced the least often. The teams have split the last four meetings, but only the last one was decided by less than 14 points.
SERIES HIGHLIGHT: The teams’ last meeting three years ago was around the same time, Dec. 13 to be precise. In that game, the Dolphins jumped out to a 14-0 lead and then held on for a 14-10 victory. The outcome was all but sealed when
JACKSONVILLE’S RECORD: 2-11
LAST GAME: Lost 17-10 against N.Y. Jets
OVERVIEW: It has been a painful year for the Jaguars, new owner Shahid Khan and new head coach Mike Mularkey. Jacksonville stood at 1-2 after a last-minute victory at Indianapolis in Week 3, but then came a seven-game losing streak where the Jaguars lost by double digits four times with the low point being a 41-3 home drubbing at the hands of the Chicago Bears.
THE JAGUARS’ STRENGTH ON OFFENSE: The Jaguars’ strength on offense unquestionably was supposed to be a running game led by star running back Maurice Jones-Drew, but after holding out in the preseason in search of a new contract he has missed most of the season because of a foot injury. Now, the best thing Jacksonville has going on offense is explosive potential in the passing game with first-round pick Justin Blackmon and second-year player Cecil Shorts III, but even then Shorts missed Sunday’s game against the Jets because of a concussion.
THE JAGUARS’ QUESTION MARK ON OFFENSE: With Jones-Drew on the sidelines, Jacksonville has had major problems running the ball. Former Dolphins starter Chad Henne took over for 2011 first-round pick Blaine Gabbert at quarterback, but after a couple of good outings, Henne struggle the last two weeks against Buffalo and the Jets.
THE JAGUARS’ STRENGTH ON DEFENSE: Jacksonville ranks next-to-last in the league in run defense, but that’s largely because opponents have been playing with a lead most of the season and therefore have been content to run out the clock. The Jaguars actually rank in the middle of the league when it comes to average per rushing attempt, which means the Dolphins can’t expect to just run at will against them.
THE JAGUARS’ QUESTION MARK ON DEFENSE: There is absolutely no doubt as to Jacksonville’s biggest problem on defense, and that’s the lack of a pass rush This is how bad things have been: Veteran Jason Babin has one sack in two games after being claimed off waivers after being released by Philadelphia — and he’s only one off the team lead. As a team, Jacksonville has a paltry 14 sacks in 13 games.
THE JAGUARS’ STRENGTH ON SPECIAL TEAMS: Jacksonville has gotten really strong performances from both of their kickers, Josh Scobee and Bryan Anger. Scobee has made 21 of his 23 field goal attempts, with both misses from outside of 40 yards. As for Anger, the Jaguars used a third-round pick on him in April and he’s responded by posted an impressive 41.9-yard net average.
THE JAGUARS’ QUESTION MARK ON SPECIAL TEAMS: With their problems on offense, the Jaguars really could have used some help this season from their return game, but it’s been nowhere to be found. Here’s the proof: Jacksonville does not have a kickoff return longer than 38 yards or a punt return longer than 28 yards.