What We Saw: Week 6

Jaylen Waddle feasted and Jonathan Taylor beasted

Dolphins @ Jaguars

Final Score: Jaguars 23, Dolphins 20

Writer: Ben Brown (@BenBrownPL on Twitter)

 

The NFL’s second London game this season started off with a fan running onto the field right before the opening kickoff. After that, it was all Dolphins for much of the first half. Despite being without DeVante Parker, Will Fuller, and Preston Williams, the Dolphins’ offense was able to move the ball through the air for most of the day despite the Jacksonville front seven getting constant pressure on Tua Tagovailoa.

After jumping out to a 13-3 lead in the first half, the game appeared to shift late in the 2nd quarter when Jacksonville had a prime opportunity to score before the break. After getting the ball at the Miami 49 with three timeouts and just under two minutes to play, Jacksonville’s offense struggled to get 14 yards in one minute of game time and faced a 4th and four to extend the drive. Rather than attempting a 52-yard field goal with new kicker Matthew Wright, they went for it on fourth down and converted on a tough catch by Laviska Shenault Jr. They would not only go on to finish the drive with a touchdown, they would also score a touchdown on the opening drive of the second half to take a 17-13 lead.

The rest of the second half was a bit of a mess. Trevor Lawrence was strip-sacked on their second drive of the half, but Tua threw an interception on the very next play to give the ball right back. Nothing came of Jacksonville’s next drive and they turned it over on downs deep in Miami territory. Jaylen Waddle would go on to catch his second TD of the day on the resulting drive which went for 91 yards on seven plays thanks to two large chunk plays by Mike Gesicki.

After a couple of punts, Jacksonville went 44 yards on nine plays and attempted a 54-yard field goal to tie the game:

 

 

Miami then turned it over on downs at their own 46-yard line and gave Jacksonville a short field with 1:46 to play. Jacksonville went nowhere, but on 3rd and 20 they got 12 yards out of Shenault to make it 4th and eight with five seconds left. Shockingly, Trevor Lawrence threw a bullet over the middle of the field to Shenault on the next play to gain the 1st down with one second to spare.

Kicker Matthew Wright, who was only named the starting kicker 90 minutes before kickoff when Josh Lambo was deactivated, nailed Jacksonville’s first two successful field goals this season earlier in the game. He was asked to kick a 53 yarder to win the game, in London, to snap Jacksonville’s 20 game losing streak, the second-longest in NFL history. No pressure, right?

 

 

It wasn’t the prettiest of games, but boy did it have an exciting ending.

 

Miami Dolphins

 

Quarterback

 

Tua Tagovailoa: 33/47, 329 yards, 2 TD, INT | 3 carries, 22 yards

Jacoby Brissett: 1/1, 25 yards

 

Tua’s back! After missing the past few weeks with a rib injury, Tua Tagovailoa returned and threw the football nearly 50 times on the day. Early on, he looked uncomfortable in the pocket and was actively looking to protect his body whenever Jacksonville had any pressure on him, and that was pretty often. He seemed to get more comfortable in the pocket as the day went on, and he had no problem finding open receivers whenever Jacksonville gave one to him. He was able to scramble when necessary and make some good throws on the run. He even had a really nice throw for a nine-yard gain to convert a third-and-long while being dragged down from behind. Tua showed good toughness through most of this game.

Most of his throws were lasers. Case in point, here are two on the opposite end of the spectrum. First? His first TD to Jaylen Waddle.

 

Next, here’s a pass that didn’t need to be a laser. Instead, it needed some air on it so that it could make it to the open receiver. Instead, he threw a bullet right into the defender’s hands.

 

 

Tua had another questionable decision earlier in the game. On third and two, he scrambled out of the pocket and had an easy first down if he decided to run it, and likely had a chance at breaking it for 10+ yards if he could make a defender miss. Instead, he decided to throw a lob ball downfield that landed between two receivers. I’m not sure who it was intended for, but it was a bad pass to both guys. Both mistakes should be coachable, and hopefully we see further development in that department because most of the game was a positive for the young QB.

As I said earlier, Jacksonville had no problem getting pressure for much of the game and Tua handled it exceptionally well. With that pressure came open receivers downfield, and he regularly found them when they were there. Despite the losing effort, there were some really positive signs that came out of this game. If he can build on this game, maybe we’ll start to see a more potent Dolphins offense once some of their weapons return.

 

Running Back

 

Myles Gaskin: 5 carries, 9 yards, Fumble | 6 targets, 2 receptions, 5 yards

Salvon Ahmed: 7 carries, 22 yards | 2 targets, 1 reception, 15 yards

Malcolm Brown: 5 carries, 24 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 7 yards

 

For the first time this season, the Dolphins trotted out the same five starting OL as the previous week. Clearly, continuity up front has been an issue. That still didn’t matter this week as the Dolphins could not get anything going on the ground all day. This was especially apparent anytime they tried to run it up the gut. It was stuffed nearly every time, save for one 16 yard run for Malcolm Brown on his first touch of the game.

For anyone hoping that Myles Gaskin would build off his fantastic Week 5 performance, well, you were surely disappointed. His most notable play was on his first run of their second drive where he made a couple defenders miss for a nice gain but fumbled the ball as he went to the ground. After this we saw Salvon Ahmed for the rest of the drive and much of the next, and Ahmed was sprinkled in more often than he probably otherwise would have been.

Gaskin was also targeted on third and goal right at the goal line, but the ball was off point and he couldn’t haul it in. Had he caught it he would have had to endure a big hit by the defender who was right on him. I’m not sure if he would have scored if he caught it.

This was just a bad day overall for the running game.

 

Wide Receiver/Tight End

 

Mike Gesicki: 9 targets, 8 receptions, 115 yards

Jaylen Waddle: 13 targets, 10 receptions, 70 yards, 2 TD

Durham Smythe: 6 targets, 5 receptions, 59 yards

Mack Hollins: 5 targets, 4 receptions, 61 yards

Albert Wilson: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 14 yards

 

DeVante Parker, Will Fuller, Preston Williams, and Adam Shaheen were all inactive coming into this game. This left Jaylen Waddle and Mike Gesicki as the only fantasy-relevant options remaining for Tua, and they both delivered in a big way. Tua spread it around but it was clear from the get-go that Waddle was going to be his featured receiver on the day. Waddle caught Tua’s first pass and would go on to catch his first touchdown pass, as seen above in Tua’s blurb. He also caught a second touchdown in the fourth quarter to give Miami the lead.

 

 

Waddle didn’t see many deep targets, as most of his work came in the slot near the line of scrimmage. The vast amount of targets should be a huge eye-opener for those in PPR formats, however, as he’s growing into his role as Tua’s favorite receiver in an offense that could be built to go through him. Not to mention the fact that he’s now on kick/punt return duty with Jakeem Grant being shipped out of town.

Mike Gesicki had the majority of his yardage on two receptions of 20 and 22 yards, but he was seemingly all over the place getting open and making plays. He even tried to hurdle a defender at one point but ended up kicking him in the chest and Gesicki was slammed down to the ground after. Gesicki has the talent to be a major part of this offense but he too easily gets overshadowed by other options in this offense.

Neither Durham Smythe or Mack Hollins are fantasy-relevant, but their success on Sunday just goes to show that Tua is capable of enhancing the performance of any of his targets on any given day, it’s just a matter of if he can do it consistently moving forward.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars

 

Quarterback

 

Trevor Lawrence: 25/41, 319 yards, TD, 2 Sacks, Fumble (Lost) | 2 carries, 11 yards

 

Xavien Howard and Byron Jones were both inactive for Miami, but you wouldn’t have known it if you just watched the game. Trevor Lawrence struggled for much of the day to find open receivers and he too often tried forcing throws into coverage. He was also pressured early and often by the defensive front seven and he had multiple passes batted down at the line. I was expecting him to use his legs more often to extend plays/drives and he simply didn’t do it much at all. In fact, his first run didn’t come until late in the third quarter. That’s a big part of his fantasy appeal, at least for me, coming out of Clemson and it seems like the Jaguars are just trying to protect him. This removes an element of his game that likely elevates the rest of his game, so he’s probably still learning how to just be a successful pocket passer. Well, even against a defense missing arguably two of the best corners in the league, he struggled despite the win.

 

 

Running Backs

 

James Robinson: 17 carries, 73 yards, TD | 4 targets, 3 receptions, 28 yards

 

Once again, James Robinson was the sole Jaguar to receive a carry and he was good enough to have a solid day for your fantasy team. His best run of the day, a 28-yard scamper, was called back due to a facemask penalty on the offense. Instead, his best run of the day was a 24 yard run down to the one-yard line. He actually fumbled the ball after the run but it was ruled that he was already down, negating the fumble. He recovered it anyway so it wouldn’t have mattered either way. Robinson went on to punch it in on the next play.

 

 

Other than that, he was pretty quiet on the day. He was stuffed on 4th and two deep in Miami territory, which gave the Dolphins some momentum and they drove it down the field for a score on the ensuing drive. Robinson is a solid player who can flash at times and has the talent to do damage against poor run defenses.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

Marvin Jones Jr.: 10 targets, 7 receptions, 100 yards, TD

Laviska Shenault Jr.: 10 targets, 6 receptions, 54 yards

Jamal Agnew: 6 targets, 5 receptions, 78 yards

Dan Arnold: 5 targets, 2 receptions, 27 yards

Luke Farrell: 1 target, 1 reception, 21 yards

Chris Manhertz: 1 target, 1 reception, 11 yards

 

A few things right off the bat: Yes, Marvin Jones Jr. had the touchdown and led the team in receiving, including a couple of acrobatic catches that made you say “wow”. Yes, Laviska Shenault Jr. made a couple tough catches, including two late that put Jacksonville in a position to win (though he did drop a pass on third down that would have been an easy conversion). From a fantasy perspective, this is what you want to hear. But you’re also here to read about what I saw, and the most impressive player I saw in this offense was Jamal Agnew. Yeah, he’s pretty darn good in the return game, but I’d be willing to bet he’s going to be a fantasy asset by year-end. First off, Agnew is fast and can make defenders miss.

 

 

He can also make a play on the ball in good coverage.

 

 

 

This was Agnew’s second straight game with five catches and double-digit fantasy points. If you’ve got some room on your bench, he may be worth a stash.

 

 

Ben Brown (@BenBrownPL on Twitter)

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