Are you ready for some football? Week 3 of the NFL preseason kicks off Thursday night with six games across the league. One of those is a battle of Florida between the Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars. Being the third preseason game, this will feel the most like an actual NFL game, with the starters getting most of the work in this contest. While some teams like Kansas City and Indianapolis are bucking the trends, the Jaguars and Dolphins are keeping the old-school approach to the third week of the preseason.
Last week, the Jaguars lost a tough game to the Eagles in a 24-10 final. A lot of the Jaguars’ big names, Nick Foles, Leonard Fournette, and Jalen Ramsey, were among the 31 Jags who didn’t play in the game. Instead, rookie Gardner Minshew saw extended time in this contest and played pretty well. He completed 19 of his 29 attempts for 202 yards, and he didn’t throw an interception. He did, however, lose a fumble.
The Jags’ running game was nothing to write home about, with their leading rusher only getting 21 yards. C.J. Board was their leading receiver with five catches for 54 yards. Their defense also registered one sack and one interception.
For Miami, Week 2 was a tough one for them as well. They lost a close 16-14 decision to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In the quarterback battle, Josh Rosen actually got the start in this game and played fairly well. He completed 10 of his 18 passes for 102 yards. However, he didn’t lead them to any end zone trips and was sacked three times.
His counterpart in this QB battle, Ryan Fitzpatrick, didn’t have the best day. Fitzpatrick went 3 of 9 for only 20 yards. Patrick Laird led the Dolphins in rushing with 51 yards on seven carries. Saeed Blacknall led the team in receiving with only 25 yards. The defense registered four sacks, one of which came from first-round stud Christian Wilkins.
While there is absolutely no quarterback controversy in Jacksonville, the same can’t be said about the Dolphins. After signing Fitzpatrick early in the offseason, Miami then made a trade for Rosen a month later. All of this coming after they had just moved on from Ryan Tannehill, who had ups and downs in his career in South Beach.
When you look at everything, it’s surprising that Fitzpatrick, according to reports, is most likely going to win the job. I mean, all you have to do is look at his track record. And if that isn’t enough, look at his preseason. He’s a combined 5 of 14 for 40 yards in two games. Meanwhile, Josh Rosen is 23 for 48 with 293 yards and an interception. Not to mention Rosen was a first-round pick last year.
Last week’s leading pass catcher for the Dolphins, Blacknall, was released this week with an injury settlement. Kenyan Drake isn’t expected to play in this game, so that means more opportunities for Kalen Ballage. Albert Wilson and Kiko Alonso are also both questionable.
Alfred Blue won’t play for the Jaguars after an injury in last week’s game. Neither will tight ends Geoff Swaim and Josh Oliver. Quincy Williams, Marcell Dareus and Marquise Lee are all questionable.
The Jaguars are just the better team here. With being the third preseason game, and the starters getting most of the work, there’s no need to worry about which third-stringer will go off and wreck your bet. Take the Jaguars.