Jacksonville Jaguars ended their 20-game losing streak with Sunday’s thrilling 23-20 victory over the Miami Dolphins at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.
Matthew Wright won the game with a field goal of 53 yards at the end of the time limit. He went 3 of 3 on kicks in the game, with two coming in the final four minutes.
Urban Meyer’s first season as a head coach has been anything but smooth, and the Jaguars entered Week 6 as one of only two winless teams in the NFL (Detroit Lions). They had the fourth-worst defense in points allowed per game and the fifth-worst offense.
The Dolphins haven’t been much better, and they’ve now lost five straight games since their Week 1 win over the New England Patriots. Tua Tagovailoa returned to the roster after missing the previous three games with a rib injury, but it wasn’t enough.
Trevor Lawrence and Marvin Jones Jr. enjoyed a exhausted Miami high school without Xavien Howard and Byron Jones.
Lawrence crossed the 300-yard mark for the first time since Week 1. Jones recorded a season-high seven receptions and 100 yards, with one touchdown on 10 targets in the win.
Tagovailoa threw for 329 yards and two scores in the loss. The Dolphins were one-dimensional in attack because their hasty attack picked up only 77 yards in 20 runs.
Notable game statistics
- Trevor Lawrence (JAX): 25 of 41, 319 yards, touchdown; 2 carries, 11 yards
- Marvin Jones Jr. (JAX): 7 receptions, 100 yards, touchdown
- James Robinson (JAX): 17 carries, 73 yards, touchdown
- Tua Tagovailoa (MIA): 33 out of 47, 329 yards, 2 TDs, INT; 3 courses, 22 verges
- Mike Gesicki (MIA) : 8 réceptions, 115 yards
- Jaylen Waddle (MIA) : 10 réceptions, 70 yards, 2 TD
Laurent, Jaguars arrives late clutch
The start of this match had a familiar feeling to Jaguars fans. Miami traveled 75 yards on a 13-game drive that lasted seven minutes and 15 seconds to take a 7-0 lead.
The Dolphins eventually took a 13-3 lead with 5:42 left in the first half.
After the teams traded punts on the next two possessions, Lawrence got to work helping the Jaguars close the gap. The rookie quarterback led a six-game practice that was capped off with a fantastic pitch and catch by Marvin Jones Jr. for a 28-yard touchdown:
Next Generation Statistics @NextGenStats
Trevor Lawrence & Marvin Jones (28 yards TD)
Lawrence’s TD pass to Jones traveled 49.2 yards in the air, Jones had 0.9 yards separation with No. 9 Noah Igbinoghene, and 2.5 yards from the sideline.
Prior to that touchdown, the Jaguars’ previous three practices had gained a total of 28 yards on 14 games.
Among the many problems Jacksonville faced in 2021, second-half adjustments are at the top of the list. The team entered this week after being outscored by 49 points after halftime in the first five games.
This time around, however, the Jaguars wasted no time enjoying the intermission. They only needed five plays to cover 75 yards and get the go-ahead in the first practice of the third quarter.
Lawrence and Robinson split reps on this touchdown record. The second-year running back has racked up 25 yards on back-to-back carries, including a one-yard score.
Those runs were set up by a formidable 29-yard throw from Lawrence to Jamal Agnew who was placed between four Miami defenders:
Jacksonville’s performance in short range situations remains a problem. The coaching staff opted to go on the 4th and 1st of the Dolphins 9-yard line, but Robinson was stopped before the sticks for a turnaround on the downs.
Steven Ruiz de Ringer noted the Jaguars’ lack of success in chasing the ball in the 4th and shortest in 2021 after this game:
These bad vibrations of the fourth descent were avoided during the last training. Lawrence hit Laviska Shenault Jr. down center for nine yards on the 4th and 8th, and the Jaguars were stopped on the clock with a second left to set up Wright’s winning basket.
Wright had the magic touch in this game. He used a combination of physics and voodoo to bring that 54-yard field goal hook inside the goal post after letting his foot look like a sure-fire misfire to tie the score at 20:
The good vibes continued for the Miami possession defense that followed. Josh Allen and Chapelle Russell packed Malcolm Brown in 4th and 1st to take possession of the 46th Dolphins.
There is still a lot to correct for the Jaguars if they are to capitalize on this victory. Their pass catchers still leave too many passes that stop readers. Shenault had two in the first half. Dan Arnold dropped an easy hold on their first offensive possession in the 3rd and 5th, which forced them to settle for a field goal.
But considering how long it has been since this franchise won a game and everything that has been going on behind the scenes with their head coach, the Jaguars players have every reason to be happy with this performance.
Tagovailoa’s inconsistent effort raises concerns for dolphins
It can be easy to overreact in the moment to just one game in an NFL game, especially one made by a young quarterback who is still developing.
This game came at the end of the third quarter. The Dolphins, down 17-13, have just regained possession after Zach Sieler recovered from a fumble when Lawrence was sacked by Christian Wilkins.
In the very first game after the turnover, Tagovailoa returned the ball straight to Jacksonville with a terrible interception that was thrown straight at Nevin Lawson:
The TV camera did not have a full view of what Tagovailoa saw. Jaylen Waddle was wide open on the sideline, but the Dolphins quarterback didn’t put any air under the pitch to get the ball over the defenseman.
Despite the right decision, Tagovailoa’s execution on the game left a lot to be desired.
Kevin Seifert @SeifertESPN
Some mitigating circumstances – the rib injury, an unusual training arrangement – but you have to really put your effort into watching Tua Tagovailoa this morning and think he’s on his way to becoming a top NFL quarterback.
Michael David Smith @MichaelDavSmith
Tua was really bad today. This has been masked to some extent because the Jaguars have the worst passing defense in the NFL, but Tua is nowhere near a Top 5 pick in second year.
Just when it looked like the Dolphins were in trouble, things turned in their favor until the end. The defense forced a turnaround on the downs when Robinson was stopped on the 4th and 1st of Miami’s 9-yard line to prevent the Jaguars from scoring.
Tagovailoa’s first training after the interception was one of the best of his young career. He went 6 of 6 for 66 yards and the touchdown pass to Waddle.
Miami’s coaching staff put their bets on Tagovailoa’s plate in their first game since September 19. He threw 47 assists, a season high, and played his first 300-yard game since Week 17 last season.
Mike Gesicki assisted his quarterback by catching eight passes for 115 yards. He entered Week 6 with 227 receiving yards all season.
The Dolphins’ use of Waddle is confusing. He’s got the speed and athleticism to create big plays, but he’s just 301 yards on 37 receptions in six games.
Neal Driscoll @NealDriscoll
For weeks, we’ve watched the Dolphins start their attacking game plan by feeding Jaylen Waddle, and they move the ball. Then they take it out of the game plan altogether. This is idiocy at its best
The Dolphins have only scored more than 20 points in a game once this season. If they want to find ways to consistently score points on the board, playmakers like Gesicki and Waddle in the passing game are their best bet for doing so.
Co-offensive coordinators George Godsey and Eric Studesville are still struggling to find answers. Until they do, there is no reason to expect dolphins to change things anytime soon.
The Dolphins return home to host the Atlanta Falcons on October 24 at 1 p.m. ET. The Jaguars have a pass in Week 7 before facing the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field on October 31.