After an exciting start to the 2020 season for the Jacksonville Jaguars, in which the team seemed to play above the expectations of the fanbase and national media, the Jaguars looked much more like the young and inexperienced squad it is on Thursday night. Jacksonville dropped to 1-2 after a disappointing loss at home to the Miami Dolphins (1-2). The final score was 31-13.
The Jaguars got off to another slow start. For the third time in as many weeks, the Jacksonville defense allowed an opening drive touchdown. The Dolphins drove the ball 84 yards down the field with ease, as veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick carved up the secondary, and running back Myles Gaskin carried the ball eight times, before Fitzpatrick found Preston Williams for a three-yard touchdown strike to take a quick 7-0 lead.
The defense lets the opening drive go for an easy touchdown.#Jaguars down 7-0 early.pic.twitter.com/kTOYWpXxWy— Big Thursday Night Football Country (@BigCatCountry) September 25, 2020
Once Jacksonville received the ball, the Jaguars started off the drive on a promising note as rookie running back James Robinson caught a short pass from Gardner Minshew II and proceeded to take it 24 yards. However, the Jaguars’ drive would go three-and-out on the next set of downs and punt the ball away.
Miami’s next drive moved along quickly, as Fitzpatrick’s pass to Gaskin went 11 yards, but linebacker Joe Schobert was called for a horse collar tackle, which added on an additional 15 yards to the play. After a heavy dose of Gaskin and Fitzpatrick runs, the drive was capped off by a one-yard touchdown run by Jordan Howard, following a pass interference call on rookie cornerback CJ Henderson in the end zone. That put the Dolphins up 14-0.
The Jaguars finally answered back on the next drive, with a nine-play 75-yard drive. A clutch catch on third-down-and-four by rookie Laviska Shenault went for 16 yards, and Minshew followed that up with a 16-yard scramble. A couple plays later, on third down with five yards to go, Minshew hit Keelan Cole who made a clutch catch of his own on the sideline. On the next play, Robinson scampered 11 yards into the end zone, cutting the Dolphins’ lead in half.
#Jaguars RB @Robinson_jamess with the 11-yard touchdown to open the scoring for the good guys.#Dolphins still leading 14-7.pic.twitter.com/n9qkoa86E8— Big Thursday Night Football Country (@BigCatCountry) September 25, 2020
Miami would score a touchdown once again on its next drive, making the Dolphins three-for-three to start the night. Fitzpatrick once again did it with both his arm and his legs, and the Dolphins were aided by a 15-yard penalty called on rookie K’Lavon Chaisson. Fitzpatrick then found tight end Mike Gesicki for a 15-yard score. That play capped off an 11-play, 75-yard drive. The score was then Miami 21, Jacksonville 7.
The second half started with both team trading punts. The Dolphins pinned Jacksonville at its own three-yard-line and then a series of disasters struck. On a third-down play, Minshew found Chris Conley for what seemed to be a first down, but Conley was called for offensive pass interference. It was a rough night for Conley who had two brutal drops and that key penalty. The Jacksonville offense truly missed D.J. Chark’s presence tonight, who was ruled out hours before the game with a chest/back injury.
On the next play, Minshew was sacked by Kyle Van Noy and fumbled, which was recovered by the Dolphins. If that wasn’t enough, offensive tackle Cam Robinson was questionably thrown out of the game for making contact with an official...who was going through the pile on the ground.
Fitzpatrick would then punch it in himself on third-and-goal, putting the Dolphins up 28-7.
This is what they ejected #Jaguars LT Cam Robinson for.— Big Thursday Night Football Country (@BigCatCountry) September 25, 2020
NFL referees are soft as hell, man.pic.twitter.com/CzWGHtn5E1
The Jaguars then moved the ball nicely, with gains of 11, 16 and 16 yards, respectively, on the first three plays. However, the drive would stall out once again. Minshew missed a wide-open Conley streaking toward the end zone. A false start penalty on Will Richardson, who replaced Cam Robinson, caused the Jaguars to go from third-and-six to third-and-11. The Jaguars then turned it over on downs after failing to convert on fourth down.
After forcing a three-and-out, the Jaguars received the ball back and finally scored again. James Robinson scored his second touchdown of the game to cap off a 10-play, 51-yard drive, but it was too little too late. The extra point was missed by rookie kicker Brandon Wright (who hurt his groin in the contest). Robinson was the lone bright spot for the Jags, and finished the night with 11 carries for 46 yards and six catches for 83 yards, in addition to the two scores. He lead the Jaguars in all of those categories.
The Dolphins would go on to add a field goal to make the final score 31-13.
Fitzpatrick was hot all first half long, completing his first 12 passes before finally throwing an incompletion. That carried over into the second half, as Fitzpatrick completed 18 of his 20 attempts on the night for 160 yards and two touchdowns. He also had 38 rushing yards and an additional score on the ground. It was not Minshew’s best game. He completed 30 out of 42 passes for 275 yards with no touchdowns, a fumble and an interception, adding 22 yards on the ground.
- Strong-side linebacker Leon Jacobs was lost early on in the first drive of the game and ruled out pretty quickly afterward. He was carted off the field with a right knee injury.
- Safety Andrew Wingard was also ruled out of the game with a core muscle injury.
- Wide receiver Keelan Cole was evaluated for a concussion.
- Defensive end Josh Allen recorded his first sack of the season, but it was Jacksonville’s only sack of the game. The Dolphins had four sacks.
- The Jaguars committed eight penalties for 63 yards, while the Dolphins committed six penalties for 51 yards.
- The Jaguars converted just 30 percent of the time on third down (three-out-of-10) and converted zero-out of-three attempts on fourth down. The Dolphins converted seven out of 13 times on third down, and were one-for-one on fourth down.