Two of the three state NFL teams are in action and both on the road for this third Sunday in October. And, for the Jaguars and the Dolphins they are playing what would both be considered winnable games.
First, the Bucs are on the bye week after their poor performance for most of last Sunday’s loss in London to the Panthers. Tampa Bay will look to rest and to reload before playing two more road games in Nashville and Seattle the next two weeks.
As for the teams in action today, the Jags have traveled North to Cincinnati and will play for the first time officially without disgruntled defensive back Jalen Ramsey whom they traded to the L.A. Rams earlier this week. Of course Ramsey had not played the last three games and now almost everyone is in agreement he was purposely using his supposed back injury to stay out of the lineup and force the team to trade him.
Clear evidence of this is: that Ramsey practiced Thursday and Friday in Los Angeles and will apparently be active for their game in Atlanta today.
Meanwhile for his Jacksonville teammates that are left behind, they did not play poorly but were simply beaten by a stronger New Orleans team 13 – 6 a week ago in Jacksonville. For the most part, quarterback Gardner Minshew was contained by the tough Saints defense, but Jacksonville also rose to the occasion only allowing the Saints one touchdown in the contest.
The Jags will look to have running back Leonard Fournette feast on a much easier Cincinnati defense to get themselves rolling and look for pass rushers Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue to get after Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton in this one.
For the Dolphins, they came close to pulling off their first win of the season a week ago, as Ryan Fitzpatrick (above) rallied them in the fourth quarter to within 17 – 16 of the Redskins. That is only to have the two-point conversion pass to Kenyan Drake fall in complete handing the Dolphins a fifth straight loss to start the year.
Now in Western New York for the first of two meetings with the Buffalo Bills, the Dolphins have decided to go back to Fitzpatrick as their starting quarterback. This just a week after coach Brian Flores declared the Josh Rosen was going to be the quarterback for the foreseeable future to give him a good look, as to what he could help the Dolphins with this season and beyond.
The “yo-yo games” at quarterback have been going on all season, including Rosen replacing Fitzpatrick in both of his first two starts when the team was wiped out by Baltimore and New England.
Meanwhile the Bills are solid on defense including shutting down Marcus Mariota and the Titans in an upset a couple of weeks ago. Buffalo is led by second-year quarterback and former first-rounder, Josh Allen, who’s is bigger threat with his legs as he is with his arms.
It will not be an easy task for the Dolphins to go get this road win in Buffalo.
Dolphins were back to their bumbling ways Sunday
As the Dolphins came back down to earth in a humbling 37 – 20 loss to Buffalo Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium, many of the same flaws from their 0- 7 start were back.
Although Ryan Fitzpatrick ended with good numbers and did not throw an interception, Miami lacked offensive punch from the outset.
Miami punted the ball on each of their first four possessions and by the time they had reached the middle of the second quarter, it was already 16 – 0 in favor of the Bills.
The Dolphins could not run the ball as Kalen Ballage had nine carries for only nine yards against what’s a good but not great Buffalo defense. Newly extended receiver Allen Hurns promptly fumbled after a first half reception.
It looked all too familiar to the home fans.
The pass protection was poor as Fitzpatrick suffered seven sacks in the game, and Miami was completely one-dimensional by the time the second half rolled around. Fitzpatrick was efficient in the air at 32 – 45 for 323 yards, but a lot of those yards came when the Dolphins trailed by more than two scores the whole second half.
As for the Bills, they ran the ball just fine with 168 yards on the ground and a 5 yard per carry average. Rookie Devin Singletary of FAU came back to the area and tallied 75 yards. And second year QB Josh Allen showed one of the traits that got him drafted in the top 15, as he scrambled seven times for 56 yards, including a second-half touchdown.
Yes, The Bills are putting themselves in position to be back in the playoffs for the second time in three years, as they completed the season sweep over the Fins.
It’s the kind of improvement under coach Sean McDermott that Miami eventually wants to see with coach Brian Flores. But, days after Flores was doing his best Bill Belichick “we’re on to Buffalo” with media questions, Miami was “on to another loss.”
And, as the Dolphins sank to 2 – 8, their reality is they aren’t talented enough or coached well enough, across-the-board to play good football game in and game out.
Buffalo reminded them of that Sunday.
Dolphins give veteran WR Hurns new deal
In a season that began horribly at 0- 7, the Dolphins have begun to come around and now, put some pieces into place for the future. That includes re-upping a veteran wide receiver on Saturday.
The team announced a new two-year extension for wideout Allen Hurns Saturday. And while it’s only a modest contract, it is a signal but the team is trying to build with at least some veteran players in the future..
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport had the contract details on Hurns is getting a new $8 million dollar extension through 2021:
The #Dolphins signed WR Allen Hurns to a 2-year extension worth $8M, source said. He gets $3.27M guaranteed.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 16, 2019
This is a raise over his 1-year 2.5 million contract he signed with Miami on the eve of training camp.
Hurns entered the league undrafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2014. His best season in North Florida was 2015, where he caught for just over 1,000 yards and 10 TDs. After getting a four year extension from the Jags, they cut him loose to free up cap space after the 2017 season.
Hurns then signed a two-year contract with the Dallas Cowboys worth $12 million. However, after he played all 16 games in the regular season with 20 catches and 2 TDs, he suffered a horrific broken ankle in the Cowboys playoff win over Seattle, and was placed on injured reserve.
Dallas eventually released Hurns earlier this year and that’s when Dolphins GM Chris Grier swooped in bring a veteran presence to their locker room on a one year deal.
Hurns, who just turned 28 earlier this week, has played in nine games this season with three starts, including the last two. He doesn’t have more than three catches in any of them and only one touchdown, which came in the Monday night loss to the Steelers three weeks ago. Hurns also suffered a severe concussion against his team, Dallas, in week three.
It is obvious that Miami went on a veteran purge for most of their roster in the offseason and the beginning of this year. And, that included getting rid of veteran speedster Kenny Stills in a huge trade with team-mate Laremy Tunsil to the Texans on the eve of the season.
That brought the Dolphins to number one picks in return. Miami also released veteran slot receiver Danny Amendola in a salary cap move earlier this year.
Miami wants to count on former number one pick DeVante Parker. And, they were also very high on undrafted free agent Preston Williams before he suffered an ACL injury in the win over the Jets two weeks ago.
Finally, as has been the case with Hurns’ last couple of deals, the contract only reportedly has $3.2 million guaranteed and is therefore team friendly to get rid of him, if they choose to do so at any point next season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers7 days ago
Bucs release DB Vernon Hargreaves
Tampa Bay Buccaneers1 week ago
Despite Sunday win Jameis Winston still needs to go
Tampa Bay Buccaneers1 week ago
Bucs rally to win wild game- snap four game skid
Florida State Seminoles4 days ago
Report- Bob Stoops no longer candidate for FSU job