This years London games have been a struggle, a grand total of 3 wins between the 4 teams. Last week though was mildly fun, especially if you were backing anything Cordarelle Patterson-related as he and Kyle Pitts showed that you don't need WRs when you're playing the Jets with the first of MANY TDs for his NFL career.
I thought Zach Wilson looked terrible to be honest, a lot of work to be done there for the Jets, and the Falcons did what they do in nearly letting the Jets back into it at the end.
Miami Dolphins -3 @ Jacksonville Jaguars: 47
This week we've got the #1 overall pick from this year facing off against a regular college foe in with Tua Tagovailoa returning for the Dolphins, so at least there's some kind of story to be made of it this week.
The Dolphins have been terrible this year, scraping a win against the Patriots in he opener before losing all other games, mainly with Jacoby Brissett at QB after Tua was injured in the first half against the Bills. It came as a result of their terrible offensive line which hasn't helped whoever is back there.
Tua returns this week, and obviously we don't have much to go on for him this year, week 1 he finished 16 of 27 at an average of 7.5 per attempt, 1 TD and 1 Int, although he did rush for a score in that one too. Personally I think they're doing what they can behind a line which can't protect their guy, it is invariably quick, short passes as that's the only way they can get the ball out before their guys get hit. It's not a good spot and it's not helping Tua convince anyone he's an NFL calibre QB.
The run-game isn't exactly great either, Myles Gaskin has done pretty well as the lead back with about 50% of the snaps at the position and Malcolm Brown as the RB2. It's a weird stat-line for him though with double-digit carries in just one game this season, although 10 receptions against the Bucs last week helped bump his overall stats, he has 2 TDs this year, both last week from receptions. Brown will probably have more carries, but do little with them and Salvon Ahmed gets a little bit of work.
The pass-catching group isn't exactly convincing in Miami either, led by Jaylon Waddle at the moment I guess. The first round pick has been turned from deep threat to poor mans Jarvis Landry so far this year with just the 1 TD, averaging under 10 yards per reception. Again, it's their game-plan as much as it is their talent. It's just not good to watch. Devante Parker has been ruled out, Will Fuller is injured. Surprise, surprise, and while Preston Williams can put up yards, he's frequently injured as well. Albert Wilson? The talent doesn't exactly jump off the page.
In fact their leading pass-catcher should be the tight end Mike Gesicki who's been smashing it in recent weeks. I've been backing him for the last 3 games to have o3.5 receptions and amazingly they've kept his line there, although it is 4/7 this time around instead of the plus-money it has been. I am reluctant to back it this week as Tua returns, but he did give him 3 targets in week one (he caught 0) and his role should be improved without Parker in there. He should still top that number. They also got Durham Smythe and Adam Shaheen a couple of receptions last week, they're both big prices to score anytime, 7s and 14s at time of writing.
Their defense earned them the wins last year and the old adage of that not being repeatable year-on-year has proven right so far as they've been overwhelmed on that side of the ball. The main strength for them was the outside cornerbacks, Byron Jones is officially questionable, while Xavien Howard cried about his contract, got paid more and is missing this game with injury after an average start to the year. Their defense ranks 23rd vs the pass and 21st against the run according to Footballoutsiders DVOA rankings so far this term.
It's been a rough start to life in the NFL for Trevor Lawrence, after losing just 4 games in his entire High school and College career, he's led the Jaguars to an 0-5 start, which makes it now 20 losses in a row for the franchise.
Obviously it's not all on him, but 8 INTs in those first 5 games isn't exactly good, weirdly the only game I've really paid attention of his was against the Bengals where I thought he looked quite settled and moved the ball well, but the mix of him looking more comfortable and the use of option run plays worked very well against them, in the first half at least. His rushing ability has been on show more and he's scored in each of the last two while having at least 21 yards on the ground in the last 4 games.
What they have done over the last two weeks is get James Robinson involved more which seemed a no-brainer after his performances last season. 15+ carries in each of the last 3 games, at least a TD in each and 88. 78 and 149 yards on the ground for him after having to share the load with Carlos Hyde in the first couple of weeks. It's no surprise to see him shortest to score tomorrow, although you're still getting plus-money at 365. Hyde still got a few carries last week but shouldn't see much.
They lost DJ Chark early against the Bengals who was expected to be the main target in the passing game, so you'd have expected Laviska Shenault and Marvin Jones to step up and take the majority of the targets… well, maybe not, obviously we've all forgotten about the magic of Tavon Austin and Jamal Agnew who somehow had 5 and 7 targets last weekend. Now, they and ‘Viska are all meant to be YAC monsters, although I guess it shouldn't be a shock that the shorter depth of target guys are getting more of the work in a relatively new offense.
Much like the Dolphins though, it may well be the tight end who gets most of the work here, with new recruit Dan Arnold getting into the action immediately after being traded in from the Panthers. He caught 2 out of 2 on debut and 6 of 8 last week to lead the team in receiving yards against the Titoons.
The Jags are far from the team they used to be on defense as well, somehow ranked below the Chiefs in terms of passing according to DVOA and 24th against the run.
What a terrible looking game on paper.
But it might be interesting? Two terrible defense, at least one talented QB (I'll let you pick which) and at least one good running back…on show. There might be points in this.
I actually think the Jags might get their first win here, and the over? Maybe…
Bets for me here…a couple of speculative bits. Realistically it should probably be the over on James Robinson rushing yards, and 74.5 or so isn't that bad really, but there's others I like more. 73.5 with the over at 21/20 seems the best line at 365.
- Dan Arnold o3.5 receptions – 1/1 (Skybet) – 6 of 8 last week, they clearly like him
- Trevor Lawrence o22.5 rushing yards – 20/21 (365)
- Arnold and Gesicki both to score – 16/1 (Skybet) – 1 point stake
Enjoy the extra football.