While the postseason has long been a thought of the past for the Jaguars, the Dolphins lost five of their last six to end the possibility of a playoffs run. However, with strong play from rookie quarterback, Ryan Tannehill, the future seems more optimistic in Miami.
The story of Sunday's game, though, will revolve around the other starting quarterback as Chad Henne will return to Miami in a different uniform for the first time. A second round pick for the Dolphins in the 2008 NFL Draft, Henne started 31 games for the Dolphins before he was signed by the Jaguars in the offseason. Following poor play coupled with injuries for Blaine Gabbert, the former-Dolphins starter became the starter for the Jaguars in Week 12.
Meet the Dolphins
Without many receiving threats, Ryan Tannehill has completed 57.3 percent of his passes, but has thrown 12 interceptions to eight touchdowns. When the first round pick has been efficient, though, the team has been able to pick up victories. In the five games that Tannehill finished with a passer rating of 90 or more, the Dolphins are 4-1. To help his efficiency, the Dolphins will likely lean on running back Reggie Bush who has averaged 124.2 yards from scrimmage in December for the last two seasons.
Defensively, all eyes will be on Cameron Wake who needs five sacks in the final three games to break the franchise record for sacks in a season set by Jason Taylor in 2002. In four seasons with the Dolphins, Wake has accumulated 42 sacks including three last week in a loss against the 49ers.
Meet the Jaguars
In the immediate time after Chad Henne became the starter for the Jaguars, he provided immediate returns with a huge performance against the Texans and a victory against the Titans. However, in his last two starts the former-Dolphins quarterback has posted a combined 49.5 quarterback rating, including two interceptions and no touchdowns in Week 14. With Cecil Shorts III returning to the lineup though, he may receive a boost. The second year receiver leads the team with 824 yards and seven touchdowns.
Defensively, the Jaguars are still looking to find some sort of a pass rush after just 14 sacks through the first 13 games of the season. Defensive end Jason Babin had three sacks in his last game against the Dolphins, but has just one in two games with the Jaguars.
Local Takes: Dolphins
Kevin Nogle from The Phinsider says that the loss of receiver Davone Bess is a bad one for the Dolphins:
The loss of Bess, who was injured last week trying to recover a fumble, will be a huge one for the Dolphins. With only Hartline as a regular producer at wide out, where the Dolphins turn as they take on the Jaguars will be something to watch all game. Hopefully they find success from someone.
Local Takes: Jaguars
Alfie Crow from Big Cat Country says that the offensive line for the Jaguars has been particularly bad during the 2012 season:
Britton wasn't the only player to struggle against the Jets however, as veteran Brad Meester and Guy Whimper has mishaps in pass protection as well. If the Jaguars want any success going forward in the 2012 season, the offensive line is going to have to play much better than they have.
Follow the Fun
Be sure to check out SB Nation's team blogs,The Phinsider and Big Cat Country, for more analysis and highlights from the game.
Add these fine follows to your Twitter timeline:
Time to say happy trails to Jake Long? sbn.to/ZmPXGy— Kevin Nogle (@thephinsider) December 14, 2012
I know it's not feasible to cut Britton because if salary and depth, but lets be honest: He's bad depth. Complete liability.— Alfie Crow (@AlfieBCC) December 14, 2012
Dolphins beat writer, @OmarKelly
I really, really, really hope Jonathan Vilma doesn't drop his lawsuit against Roger Goodell. This could be ground breaking stuff.— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) December 15, 2012
Jaguars beat writer, @RyanOHalloran
Mularkey wouldn't say if Britton will be active as a reserve at Miami. I'd guess no because Vallos is back-up C. #jaguars— Ryan O'Halloran (@ryanohalloran) December 14, 2012
Blaine Gabbert was picked 10th overall two years ago. Ryan Tannehill was picked eighth last year. The Dolphins won that one.
The pick: 24-10, Dolphins
The Dolphins are 7.5-point favorites at home and favored by as many as eight points in some books, according to Oddsshark.