Miami Dolphins vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Saturday, August 16th, 2008-7:30 p.m.
Jacksonville Municipal Stadium
Kickoff forecast: 82 degrees, 40% chance of precipitation
2007 records: Miami- 1-15, Jacksonville- 12-6
The Jaguars had several positives a week ago, including the play of a few guys that seemingly came out of nowhere in cornerback/return man Brian Witherspoon and defensive end Mkristo Bruce. Can they continue their fine play or will they be one week wonders?
Gerald Sensabaugh and Drayton Florence played very well in their preseason opener. As did Maurice Jones-Drew, Greg Jones, Matt Jones, David Garrard, and the entire Jaguars starting offensive line. They should find similar success against a Miami team that is devoid of talent.
Players to watch
Miami's road show includes top-overall draft pick Jake Long, controversial running back Ricky Williams, who is reportedly looking great in camp, and the return of former Jaguars fan favorite, wide receiver Ernest Wilford. The Dolphins also have a number of young and not so young quarterbacks to audition. Is John Beck going to have a future in Miami? Or will second-round pick Chad Henne be the future at the QB position? What about Chad Pennington? Can the weakest-armed QB in the league improve the NFL's worst team from a year ago?
-Quentin Groves showed off his fantastic athleticism a week ago against Atlanta as he made plays in the backfield, and was able to chase plays down the football field. Groves was handled by Falcons left tackle Sam Baker on running plays, and he'll have to potentially face the best left tackle in the 2008 draft in Jake Long.
-Troy Williamson and Brian Williams each missed last weeks game, and they should play on Saturday. Can Williamson catch the ball, and will Williams be able to handle the tackling responsibilities at strong safety? Gerald Sensabaugh certainly showed that he is fully recovered from his shoulder surgery from a year ago.
-Jaguars backup quarterback Cleo Lemon was solid a week ago, and if he can play well again, he will ease a lot of concerns about the team's quarterback situation behind David Garrard.
-Wide receiver Mike Walker had a very uneven performance against Atlanta. Walker was able to get open consistently, and made a few very difficult catches, but dropped two relatively easy passes, including one that would've gone for a touchdown.
-Matt Jones has had his best training camp of his career, and looks motivated. Can Jones keep up the fine play?
The Jaguars showed a week ago that running the football wouldn't be much of a problem. This week they will likely include more passing in the offense just to get their receivers some more work.
The first-string defense struggled stopping the outside running game of the Falcons, and that's something that should be corrected.
Tackling and ball control should be emphasized by the Jaguars as they missed several potential stops a week ago, and fumbled the football three times.
Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering multiple teams in the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie is a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports and Sirius NFL Radio, and has been featured on the NFL Network. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.
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