It was a new day in Jacksonvillle as the Jaguars won their first September game in the Gus Bradley era. Let's compare how our keys to victory actually played out.
Keys To A Jaguars Victory:
1. Run the ball well. The Jaguars didn't break a lot of big runs, but they stuck with it for four quarters and in the running game, attempts are usually more indicative of a team's success than yards. Jacksonville ran it 33 times for 123 yards and showed an ability to stick to what's important.
2. Contain Lamar Miller. The Jacksonville defensive line did a fantastic job on Miller, holding him to just 14 yards on 10 carries. As a team, the Jags held Miami to just 42 yards on 16 attempts, making them one-dimensional.
3. Keep Tannehill in the pocket. Ryan Tannehill was the Dolphins leading rusher in this game, but he only had 17 yards on three carries. He didn't hurt Jacksonville with his legs at all.
4. Catch the forward pass. The Jaguars were waiting for a receiver to step up and Allen Robinson answered the bell. A-Rob had five catches for 145 yards and two touchdowns in the first half alone, and although the other players had drops, Robinson made enough plays to make up for it.
5. Stay on schedule. Jacksonville didn't allow a single sack and limited their own penalties on offense, leading to makeable third downs. The game is much easier when you're trying to make a 3rd-and-4 instead of 3rd-and-14.
6. Win the turnover battle, along with hidden yardage. The Jaguars didn't win the turnover battle, but they didn't lose it either. The team played clean fooball offensively, and made some big plays on special teams including a 24-yard punt return by Rashad Greene and a 58-yard field goal by Jason Myers.
What To Look For:
1. Look for Miami to get three or more sacks. Probably the biggest surprise of the week was the Jaguars ability to protect Blake Bortles against one of the best pass rushes in football. That's a big reason why they won the game.
2. Look for Blake Bortles not to throw a pick-six. Not only did Bortles not throw a pick-six, but he didn't throw a single interception. He probably had the best game of his career, completing 18 of 33 passes, for 273 yards with two touchdowns and a 102.2 quarterback rating.
3. Look for the Dolphins to load up the box. Miami loaded up the line of scrimmage and slowed the Jaguars running game. Sill they stuck with it and it made a big difference.
4. Look for Lamar Miller to have a breakout game. Miller had anything but a big game as he was smothered by the Jacksonville defense.
5. The Jaguars will pay tough for a while. Not only did they play tough for a while, but they outplayed the Dolphins for 60 minutes and came away with a huge victory. This will give the Jaguars some legitimate confidence heading into New England and Indianapolis over the next two weeks.