Week three of the preseason is already here as the Jags and the Dolphins get set for their in-state clash tonight at Hard Rock Stadium.
Week three is known to be the “most important” preseason game as the starters will usually play a half of football. And, for the Jags, this will be the first time they will play most of the first-team offense, meanwhile, the Fins have another chance for Josh Rosen and Ryan Fitzpatrick to step up.
Those are just a few of the things we want to watch:
Nick Foles– Of course, Foles is what to watch for tonight. The Jags will be letting the QB out of the cage tonight for the first time. The $88 million-dollar man will look to start his Jaguars career on a positive note. It will be interesting to see how he fares in his first live-action of the season.
Dolphins QBs- Josh Rosen hasn’t done anything to win the job so far in the preseason. He also though has not done anything to lose it either. So, Ryan Fitzpatrick very well could be the starter week 1. While some will argue there is no point in playing the journeyman over the 2nd year guy, Fitpatrick won games last year in Tampa Bay.
The Dolphins though, will play the guy they feel has the best chance to win them games to start this season, and want Rosen to become that guy, eventually. Tonight should show us who that guy will for the Dolphins opener.
Jackonville O-Line and Leonard Fournette– We think this will be the first appearance for the starting running back, as well on the preseason. We know he can be a punishing downhill runner, but new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo wants Fournette more involved in the passing game.
Will they show a little bit of what they have in store for him tonight though is the question? Also, on the O-Line Cam Robinson is back how much will the Jags push him tonight though a few plays, a few series, a quarter or risk his first contact being regular season week one?
Dophins giving up sacks- Last week the Bucs accounted for five sacks (three on Rosen) against the Dolphins in Tampa. This week the Dolphins will face a better unit for a longer time and will need to help keep the QBs on their feet.
Coach Brian Flores even said after the game last week he would like to see Rosen take fewer sacks. If he wants to win the job tonight, he will need help from his O-Line and his own decision making.
Players out- The Jags have announced that nine players won’t be seeing the field tonight among those are WR Marqise Lee and three different tight ends. That means we could see a lot of James O’Shaughnessy at tight end. For the wideouts that means more opportunity for some of the guys like D.J. Chark, Chris Conley and company.
Mistakes- Last week Miami had some drops and a lot of flags thrown on them. Look out for the Dolphins to play a cleaner game tonight. With the starters playing more coach Flores is expecting fewer penalties after getting hit with 13 calls for a loss of 122 yards last week.
Dolphins reverse course- will start Josh Rosen Sunday
In a move that fits the pattern of seemingly having no true plan of how to get better and, further being willing to change or get rid of personnel on any whim, coach Brian Flores and the Dolphins have done “a 180 turn,” and will now start second-year quarterback Josh Rosen in Dallas Sunday.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 19, 2019
After being adamant for the last three days the team would continue to start veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, even after two dismal games where the Dolphins lost by a combined score of 102 – 10, Flores and the organization have obviously decided that now is the time to see what Rosen can do.
We at F.F.I. called for this move on Monday, as Miami’s offense could be truly no worse than what it has looked like in the losses to Baltimore and the Patriots at home.
And sooner or later you have to give Rosen an extended look to find out, if he has some promise to be a quarterback of the future or at least, part of the mix as a backup etc., for 2020 and 2021.
Clearly, Miami is doing everything they can to lose every possible game they can and get their best draft position in 2020.
To that end, the Dolphins traded 2018 first round pick defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday acquiring their number one pick. This added on to the blockbuster trade of left tackle Laremy Tunsil and wide receiver Kenny Stills where the Dolphins acquired the Texans number one and number two picks this year and their first round pick next year.
The Dolphins stuck Rosen in Sunday’s disaster with New England with nine minutes to go and trailing 43-0 and he threw 18 passes, completing only seven and also had an INT while being sacked three times. Rosen even managed to roll his ankle, but kept playing, but only in worthless garbage time.
Rosen, who was acquired in an April draft night trade with Arizona, was 3-10 last year as a starter with only a 55% completion percentage and 11 touchdowns vs. 14 interceptions with the Cards.
Now, considerably handicapped on offense without Tunsil and Stills, etc., we will see what the former UCLA first round pick can do against the formidable Cowboys.
Dolphins trade Minkah Fitzpatrick to Steelers
The Dolphins remained true to their “lose at all costs” mentality for 2019, as they dealt last season’s #1 pick, DB Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Steelers on Monday night.
TRADE: Steelers are trading a 2020 first-round pick to the Dolphins for DB Minkah Fitzpatrick, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 17, 2019
As we wrote earlier Monday night, Fitzpatrick has been disgruntled in Miami just two horrible games into their season and was given permission to seek a trade last week. Apparently, Pittsburgh came up with the best offer, first, to get the former Alabama All American.
Fitzpatrick, who the Dolphins took with the 11th overall pick in the 2018 draft, is disgruntled in part, because of the Dolphins “veteran purge” that has gone all in all offseason, stripping them of experienced talent everywhere. He further has been unhappy with new head coach Brian Flores and defensive coordinator, Patrick Graham, moving him to different positions all over the defensive secondary in the preseason and the first two games of the year.
Fitzpatrick started and played significantly in most of Fins Sunday blowout loss to the Patriots 43-0 that dropped them to a dismal looking 0-2. And Pro Football Focus gave him a decent grade for Sunday:
Minkah Fitzpatrick was the highest-graded #Dolphins player in Week 2
— PFF MIA Dolphins (@PFF_Dolphins) September 16, 2019
GM Chris Grier continues to stock pile draft picks for the “named players” on his roster. This included the huge deal trading of starting LT Laremy Tunsil and WR Kenny Stills on the eve of the season to the Houston Texans. Miami got the Texans next two #1 picks and their second rounder in 2021 in that deal.
The acquiring of the Steelers first rounder gives Miami three opening round picks now in next April’s draft.
Reportedly, the teams are also swapping fourth (Miami’s) and fifth round picks in 2020 and sixth (Pittsburgh’s) and seventh rounders in 2021, as part of the deal.
Grier had been busy getting rid of other veterans in the off season. This also included dealing players like QB Ryan Tannehill and DE Robert Quinn in March, veteran WR Danny Amendola being cut after just one season in Miami and Pro Bowl DE Cam Wake being allowed to walk away in free agency.
In addition to trading Tunsil and Stills, Grier dealt his most productive tackler the last three years, Kiko Alonso, to the Saints at the end of preseason, too.
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