This article is part of our NFL Observations series.
I had the Jaguars minus three, but by Thursday I felt it was probably the wrong side and actually picked the Dolphins in my home pool where the line was 3.5. Not only were DJ Chark and ace kicker Josh Lambo out, but the setup felt wrong – people believing in Jacksonville suddenly as a credible team, while the Dolphins, who have a similar QB and who improved down the stretch last year, were getting dismissed after a road loss to the Patriots and a competitive game against the Bills.
I also started Laviska Shenault in my highest-stakes league – I was contemplating Mecole Hardman in the Monday night game if Sammy Watkins couldn't go, but with Shenault playing Thursday night, I had to make the decision, and Chark's absence sealed it. At least James Robinson went off for me in a different league.
- The Dolphins dominated this game at the line of scrimmage. Gardner Minshew was under constant pressure, while Ryan Fitzpatrick had time to throw.
- Myles Gaskin (22 carries, 5 targets) looks like a three-down workhorse, but for some reason the Dolphins give away his goal line carries to plodding Jordan Howard. Matt Breida barely exists.
- DeVante Parker is a good receiver, but as Troy Aikman noted, he's been slowed by a hamstring injury and isn't making the explosive plays.
- Preston Williams caught the TD, but hasn't been especially involved early. Maybe he's not fully back from the ACL tear.
- Minshew looked okay, but he was rushed and hit a lot. I'm not sure why he had time to throw against the Colts and Titans, but not against the Dolphins, but offensive lines are subject to variance too.
- Robinson (11-42-2, 6-6-83) had a monster game. He's not the quickest or shiftiest back, but he made some nice cuts, broke tackles and extended plays for extra yards. Chris Thompson saw six targets too, but he's not cutting into Robinson's workload too significantly.
- Shenault had six targets and five catches, but for only 33 yards. There was only time for short stuff, and he saw only one carry too. Keelan Cole looked good, catching four of five targets, but Chris Conley had two drops and was called for a ticky-tack offensive PI. Chark should be back next week, so this was probably the last time Conley sees eight targets.