JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser's five takeaways the day after the Jaguars' victory over the Miami Dolphins at EverBank Field Sunday …
1.Eye on the backfield.We begin Day After takeaways at running back, a position that sustained what appears to be a temporary blow Sunday with a knee injury to Denard Robinson. The third-year veteran is considered week-to-week, which could mean the Jaguars needing to use all of the depth at a position where they currently carry five players. However long Robinson's absence, his injury – plus an abdomen injury that has kept short-yardage back Toby Gerhart out the first two weeks of the season – leaves the Jaguars with three healthy running backs: starter T.J. Yeldon and reserves Bernard Pierce and Corey Grant. Gerhart is expected to return to practice limited this week. "We've got to utilize all of them," Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley said. The Jaguars rushed for 123 yards on 33 carries against Miami, with Yeldon rushing for 70 yards on 25 carries. "Any time you get over a hundred yards, I think that's a good sign, but there's so much more room to grow," Bradley said, adding of Yeldon, "He does a great job of making people miss. He can turn a negative-yardage play into a couple-yard gain and a couple-yard gain into a seven or eight-yard gain."
Check out some of the best images from the Jaguars win over the Dolphins on Sunday.
2.Player of the game?While wide receiver Allen Robinson was the easy choice in this category in the immediate aftermath Sunday, it's hard to imagine the Jaguars winning without defensive end Jared Odrick. Forget the whole Guy-Playing-Former-Team narrative, Odrick – who signed with the Jaguars as a free agent from Miami in the offseason – played well whatever his motivation. The statistics showed Odrick with two tackles, a quarterback hurry, a sack, a pass defensed and a forced fumble, but Odrick got good pressure throughout the second half from his strong-side end position. That's a bonus from that run-oriented position and Odrick played big in the biggest moments. His sack/fumble on Ryan Tannehill was *this *close to a game-turning safety, and he had a pass deflection on the ensuing play. "He had a complete game," Bradley said Monday. "That's what stood out to us."
3.Veteran move.Of the slew of big plays Sunday, the 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Miami defensive end Olivier Vernon can't be overlooked. After a 6-yard gain by Yeldon on second-and-11, it appeared the Jaguars would face third-and-5. Instead, Vernon pushed Jaguars tight end Clay Harbor. That drew a penalty that gave the Jaguars first-and-10 at the Miami 19 with :59 remaining. Kicker Jason Myers' 28-yard game-winning field goal came 19 seconds later. "At the end of the block, he wasn't too happy," Harbor said late Sunday. "He had some choice words for me, so I thought he might come back and try to do something. He did. He came and pushed me." Harbor added with a smile, "I took the opportunity to make it look a little better for the refs. I did that. They called the penalty. Anyway I can help the team, you know?"
4.Foot on the gas.The Jaguars' offense slowed in the second half Sunday, producing 123 yards and three points in that half compared to 273 yards and 20 points in the first. Bradley said Monday the second half wasn't a matter of a significantly different mindset or approach. "In the first half we went in offensively and wanted to be more aggressive, take some chances and try to get some explosive plays, which we did," Bradley said, adding that the Jaguars had "four or five" explosive plays in the second half compared to six in the first. "The play calling was still very aggressive. We had some drops there and we just didn't finish drives like we had hoped (in the second half), but I thought we changed the field position with our offense and sometimes those things take place." After four consecutive drives without a first down in the third and fourth quarters, the Jaguars moved 66 yards for the game-winning field goal on their final drive. "They just hung with it and came back in that two-minute drive and performed," Bradley said.
5.Playing through it.If an area symbolized the second half Sunday, it may have been the secondary. Having entered the game without starting safety Johnathan Cyprien and No. 3 corner Dwayne Gratz, the unit lost starting corner Davon House at halftime because of dehydration that stemmed from a week-long issue with chest congestion. Cornerback Aaron Colvin left for two plays on the Jaguars' next-to-last series because of cramping, returning for the final series. The Jaguars also had reserves Demetrius McCray and Peyton Thompson on the field during a series that ended with a game-clinching deflection by linebacker Telvin Smith. "It was difficult," Colvin said. "Every time I ran, even after I came back after the IV, I just locked up. I really couldn't run. I knew we had to finish it. We had to get that one. We worked way too hard in that game not to come back with a victory." Rookie Nick Marshall had replaced Colvin on the previous series. "I'm proud of my brothers for that performance," Colvin said. "Everybody showed up. That's something we preach in meetings: Next Man Up. I think guys did that."