Final analysis: Jaguars-Dolphins
Nine Jaguars experts break down Thursday’s Preseason Week 3 game between the Jaguars and Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida
JACKSONVILLE – Each week during the 2019 season, nine Jaguars experts – Rick Ballou, Tony Boselli, Frank Frangie, Jeff Lageman, Brent Martineau, John Oehser, Brian Sexton, J.P. Shadrick and Ashlyn Sullivan – will break down the following day’s Jaguars matchup.
Up this week:
The Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, for Preseason Week 3.
Rick Ballou, Jaguars sideline reporter
1.Offensive issue to watch: All the attention will be on quarterback Nick Foles, but the state of the offensive line is extremely important. If Cam Robinson, Andrew Norwell and Jawaan Taylor all play, it would be a huge step in developing some chemistry before the opener against Kansas City.
2.Defensive issue to watch: I want to see how middle linebacker Myles Jack does in a game situation with the first-team defense. He called the plays a year ago, but with Telvin Smith gone, he takes complete control of this unit. With uncertainty at weak-side linebacker and inexperience at safety, it will be interesting to see if all the right calls are made.
3.Player to watch: Rookie running back Ryquell Armstead. The running back situation suddenly is thin. Armstead looked good two weeks ago in Baltimore before leaving with an injury. How much will Leonard Fournette play? Armstead has a tremendous opportunity to run with the starters against Miami's No. 1 defense.
Tony Boselli, Jaguars analyst and former Jaguars left tackle
1.Offensive issue to watch: Can the offense with Foles under center get in a rhythm and score some points? We still do not know really what the John DeFilippo offense is going to look like and how will he use Fournette, wide receiver Dede Westbrook and others in his offensive scheme. Even though they will still be pretty vanilla with the game plan, Week 3 of the preseason will give us our first taste of what we can expect from this offense.
2.Defensive issue to watch: I think this defense is going to be really good and the only real question I have is the weak-side linebacker. The only thing I really care about in the entire preseason is coming out healthy, which doesn’t change for the so-called dress-rehearsal game. I hope we don’t see defensive end Calais Campbell, cornerback Jalen Ramsey, cornerback A.J. Bouye, defensive tackle Marcell Dareus and defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (to name a few) this week. They know how to play, and the defense is going to be good.
3.Player to watch: It has to be Nick Foles. Not only is he the quarterback, he was the biggest offseason free agent. A big part of the team's success is riding on his right arm. I am excited to get a quick (very quick) glimpse of him this week. He has been great in practice this camp, and it will be fun to see him in game action.
Frank Frangie, Radio Voice of the Jaguars
Offensive issue to watch: For me, just the chemistry of it all. Lots of these guys have never played in a game together. Foles, Fournette, Chark and Westbrook – they are all new teammates. Everything from getting used to Foles' cadence in a game, to managing a real play clock, the whole bit. I'm hopeful they have at least two or three series together to iron out the kinks.
Defensive issue to watch: Linebacker. That is by far the youngest position group on defense; Jack is a very young leader of the pack. Yes, Najee Goode is older and has been around, but Jack is the leader of the group because he has been here, calls the defenses, etc. Goode must play well if they don't have rookie weak-side linebacker Quincy Williams this week. And Leon Jacobs has to establish himself at strong-side linebacker; I have a hunch that one isn't decided yet, either.
Player to watch: It has to be Foles, doesn't it? At least this game. There are plenty of players I'm not quite sure about yet; he is not one of those. But we've waited so long to watch this prized addition play that he must top the list for me.
Jeff Lageman, Jaguars analyst and former Jaguars defensive end
1.Offensive issue to watch: Offensive line. The group hasn’t been together very long, has a battle at right guard and a left tackle returning from a reconstructed knee.
2.Defensive issue to watch: Linebacker. Injuries have set the linebacker unit back in camp so far and what we see on Thursday may be what's available Week 1.
3.Player to watch: Foles. It's always about the quarterback, isn't it!? The Jags committed a lot of resources to upgrade the position. Can Foles make the weapons look better when the lights are turned on?
Brent Martineau, Action Sports Jax Sports Director
1.Offensive issue to watch: The Jaguars’ offense has been THE topic all offseason and this one performance will form the narrative leading into the season opener. Can the Jaguars be businesslike on this side of the ball? The Jags won’t unveil too much of their offense, but if Foles can lead a couple of sustainable drives mixing the pass and the run, fans would feel good. I’ll be watching the offensive line and would like to see if the Foles-to-Chris Conley connection of camp continues in the game.
2.Defensive issue to watch: Defensively, I’d like the Jags to confirm what many believe – they are pretty good. A splash play from cornerbacks Ramsey and Bouye or a sack from someone up front would do the trick. The two spots to watch are linebacker and safety. How is the communication and how do some of the question marks of the defense fit in with the rest of the talented group?
3.Player to watch: The obvious answer is Foles, so I’ll be different. If Taylor is ready to play, is he ready to be the starting right tackle? I’ll keep an eye on the second-round pick out of Florida.
John Oehser, jaguars.com senior writer
1.Offensive issue to watch: Foles and the passing offense. The Jaguars signed Foles with the idea that his presence and accuracy would lift the receivers, and therefore the passing offense – and therefore the offense overall. He has appeared to be in sync with the receivers in camp. Will it translate?
2.Defensive issue to watch: The pass rush. One of the toughest areas to evaluate in practice is pass rush because quarterbacks can’t be hit. If the Jaguars are going to be dominant defensively this season, they will need a dominant pass rush. If this area looks good Thursday, observers will feel better about what’s to come.
3.Player to watch: Foles is the easy and obvious choice. If he looks good – and the passing offense looks good – it will raise confidence for the Week 1 matchup with Kansas City. If the first-team offense struggles there will be some handwringing among observers in the next two weeks.
Brian Sexton, jaguars.com senior correspondent
1.Offensive issue to watch: Who will be the Jaguars starting right guard. A.J. Cann has manned the position since he was drafted in 2015 and has been reliable if unspectacular. Will Richardson entered training camp as an unknown after ghosting his way through 2018 and is the leader in the clubhouse with two weeks to play. Richardson is big and has greater length than Cann, which translates to more leverage and power. But he doesn’t have the experience, so that checkmark goes in Cann’s column. There have been plenty of veterans on the edge of losing their jobs in camp who push back just enough to hang in there. Stay tuned.
2.Defensive issue to watch: The Jaguars have excellent depth in the secondary in terms of talented young athletes. They need as many reps as possible in the next two games, so the coaches can make the right choices for the roster. Watch for Tre Herndon, Breon Borders, C.J. Reavis, Tae Hayes, Andrew Wingard and Quenton Meeks, who are likely competing for three jobs on the active roster. All should be here, with some on the roster and others on the practice squad.
3.Player to watch: I watch rookie Taylor and think I’m watching the best offensive lineman on the field. Taylor looks like the prototype at right tackle: massive, long, powerful and nasty. He’s obviously not the most experienced, which makes him worth watching in Miami on Thursday. My opinion was based on a few days watching him against the Ravens before he banged his knee. Can he pick up where he left off? He’s as good as advertised.
J.P. Shadrick, jaguars.com reporter/editor
1.Offensive issue to watch: Tight ends Geoff Swaim and Josh Oliver have been off to the side in practice recently, and it feels like the Jaguars offense needs these guys to be ready to do everything they do in the middle of the field. Undrafted rookie Charles Jones has also been out after a couple of weeks of solid camp work. James O’Shaughnessy and Ben Koyack are the primary options this week, and recently-signed options Carson Meier, Donnie Ernsberger and Ethan Wolf are new to the fold over the last week and a half.
2.Defensive issue to watch: Defensive line playing time. I asked Campbell this week how much time he needed in this game. He answered, “I don’t need any.” That said, how long do you really need to see him or veterans such as defensive tackle Abry Jones and even Yannick Ngakoue? Get them some time and get them out; these guys are necessary for the Jaguars’ success this season.
3.Player to watch: Foles. He’s the biggest story of this Jaguars offseason, and the first opportunity to see him in live game action is must-see TV.
Ashlyn Sullivan, jaguars.com Digital Reporter and Host
1.Offensive issue to watch: Are the options at wide receiver threatening enough? With Foles at quarterback, the Jaguars will incorporate more passing into their offense. Do they have enough options at receiver who can become go-to guys for Foles? It will be interesting to watch who Foles targets and who can separate themselves as a true No. 1.
2.Defensive issue to watch: I am concerned about linebacker depth with Williams ruled out against Miami due to injury. Jack has stepped up his game leading that room, but he must make major strides for the linebackers to hold their own on this defense. Keep your eye on Goode; he has had a great camp and has taken advantage of the extra reps throughout the preseason.
3.Player to watch: Reavis has caught my attention throughout the preseason. Head Coach Doug Marrone and the coaching staff like the intensity Reavis plays with, and it never hurts to have depth in the secondary. However, Reavis has been inconsistent from the first to second preseason game, giving up a touchdown last week against the Eagles. He needs a good game Thursday to prove the Jaguars can rely on him.