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Dolphins @ Jags

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By NICOLINO DIBENEDETTO

STATS Writer

 

(AP) -- The Miami Dolphins' defense is among the best in the NFL, and now the offense is doing its part as the team looks to move over .500 for the first time this season.

 

While the 'D' may be getting some additional help, quarterback Ryan Tannehill looks to continue his impressive play Sunday against the last-place Jacksonville Jaguars.

 

Miami (3-3) has the fourth-ranked defense in the league, allowing an average of 313.7 yards while limiting opposing quarterbacks to an 86.3 rating.

 

The Dolphins were particularly impressive in Sunday's 27-14 win at Chicago, holding the Bears to 224 yards of offense - 52 rushing - and limiting Jay Cutler to a 74.4 rating and intercepting him once.

 

"There are signs we are getting better," coach Joe Philbin said. "One thing that is encouraging to me is I think we are practicing a little better. We are getting our work done and getting off the field."

 

Tannehill and the offense are certainly improving.

 

The quarterback has completed 72.3 percent of his passes for 799 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions as the Dolphins have won two of three. He's also proving to be a threat on the ground, rushing for 132 yards on 14 carries in that stretch.

 

Tannehill's turnaround comes after he was nearly benched following a shaky first three games, during which he posted a 56.5 percent completion rate and 74.1 rating.

 

"There are some specific signs of him getting better," offensive coordinator Bill Lazor said. "And there were some specific signs of him not taking maybe the next step or, 'OK, where do we go from here?' But I saw anticipation improve. I saw some good pocket presence. I think the guy is getting better. I'm excited about where he can go."

 

With Tannehill showing consistency, Miami has averaged 392.3 yards in the past three contests, an increase of 65 over the first three.

 

He's also developing a strong rapport with rookie Jarvis Landry, who has 10 catches for 121 yards and a score while starting the last two games.

 

Still, strong defensive play has been the constant for Miami, which could have 2013 first-round pick Dion Jordan available after he served a six-game suspension for twice violating the league's substance abuse policy.

 

"It's definitely a lesson learned," said the defensive end, who had two sacks last season and claims he's drug-free. "I'm human just like everybody else. I made a mistake."

 

The Jaguars (1-6) have made plenty this year, but defeated Cleveland 24-6 last weekend with some outstanding defensive play of their own.

 

Jacksonville limited the Browns to 266 yards and has allowed 556 in the past two games, adding six sacks to give it 22 on the season - a total that's among the most in the league. The Jaguars surrendered 435.4 yards per game during the first five.

 

"I think we really got back down to the fundamentals," linebacker Paul Posluszny said. "In the beginning of the year, we just got off to a tough start and we were trying to do too much and that got us out of whack a little bit. It took a couple games of getting beat up pretty bad to realize we have to calm down, stick to the basics, take care of our job, handle the fundamentals and collectively we'll play great as a whole.

 

"That's what we're starting to do now."

 

Posluszny, however, won't be part of any future success this season after being placed on injured reserve with a torn pectoral muscle. The team's leading tackler with 69 is expected to be replaced by J.T. Thomas, who will move from the outside to the middle.

 

The Jaguars' offense is ranked 31st, but is also showing signs of improvement after totaling 715 yards in two games, including 185 rushing against the Browns.

 

Denard Robinson did much of that damage, racing for a career-high 127 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries last week as he showed more comfort as a running back. A quarterback at Michigan, Robinson was drafted as a wide receiver in 2013.

 

His emergence could help alleviate some of the pressure on Blake Bortles. The rookie QB has a 68.2 rating with three touchdown passes and eight interceptions in four games since replacing Chad Henne as the starter.

 

Bortles showed some promise in a 16-14 defeat at Tennessee in Week 6, going 32 of 46 for 336 yards with one TD and one pick. However, he followed that up by tossing three INTs and completing 17 of 31 for 159 yards and one score last week.

 

"I've got to improve," Bortles said.

 

Source: Hosted.Stats.com

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The Jags found some defensive dominance. I can't trust them to keep it going, but it wouldn't surprise me if it did. I still think Bortles holds them back, he isn't making the right decisions just yet.

 

:dolphins: 20

:jags: 14

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Jags find a way to squeak one out.

 

:dolphins: 16

 

:jags: 21

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Lamar Miller (knee) is active for Week 8 against the Jaguars.

Miller got in three "limited" practices this week, but was listed as "probable" on the injury report. He's ready to rock as a borderline RB1 against the Jags.
Inactive for the Dolphins are S Jimmy Wilson, MLB Koa Misi, OG Shelley Smith, OT Jason Fox, DT Anthony Johnson, OG Billy Turner and TE Harold "Gator" Hoskins. Jason Trusnik will start in Misi's place.

 

 

 

Jaguars RB Storm Johnson is a healthy scratch for Week 8 against the Dolphins.

With Toby Gerhart (back), Johnson gets the pine. Denard Robinson will lead the Jaguars' rushing attack against the Dolphins' stout run defense, and is a borderline RB2. Jordan Todman is the No. 3 back.
Also inactive for the Jaguars are CB Alan Ball, CB Peyton Thompson, OG Tyler Shatley, OT Sam Young, DE Andre Branch and WR Mike Brown. Dwayne Gratz is active and starting after supposedly being "benched."

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I can't even look on the bright side and say, "Well there's always next week" because we're probably going to get blown out by 70 next week. :yao:

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