The Dolphins were in the thick of the midseason playoff standings but have struggled lately. While they have been competitive for the most part, they have ultimately fallen short, losing four of their last five games.
Jacksonville has struggled mightily all season. The team is 31st in the NFL in both total offense and defense and is tied for the league's worst record.
Miami is the only team playing a meaningful game in this one, although its outside shoot to crack into the postseason is little more than a pipe dream at this point. The Fins are currently 12th in the AFC standings and would need a miracle to happen for that to happen.
Where: Sun Life Stadium, Miami, Fla.
When: Sunday, Dec. 16 at 1 p.m. ET
Live Stream: NFL Game Pass
Spread: Miami -7 (via Bovada)
Miami is 0-3 against the spread when favored to win this season and 2-2 while playing at home. Jacksonville has done a good job covering the spread, posting a 5-1 record on the road and when playing as the underdog.
The Dolphins have much more to pay for and are much more physical. They should be able to handle the Jaguars at home by a considerable margin.
Over/Under: 37 (via Bovada)
Both teams have failed to score over 20 points in the previous two weeks. However, both offenses could benefit from the other's suspect defense. Chances of a low-scoring game are pretty slim because of how bad both have been at times.
Injury Report via CBS Sports (as of 12/13/2012)
Fantasy Big Plays
Dolphins: RB Reggie Bush
Bush is healthy but has been part of a committee in Miami in recent weeks. The team's running game hasn't been bad, but he hasn't received more than 15 carries in a game since Week 5. Also, he only carried for more than 20 times once this year (Week 2). Oh by the way, he had 172 yards and two touchdowns on the ground against the Oakland Raiders.
This week's matchup has the potential to mirror that performance if he can get hot against the third-worst rush defense in fantasy scoring. Jacksonville is giving up 20.6 fantasy points to opposing backfields, including 24 and 26 over the last two weeks, respectively.
Projected Stats: 19 carries, 123 yards, 1 TD
Jacksonville: WR Justin Blackmon
If Cecil Shorts is inactive, and he very well could be, Blackmon becomes the most beneficial fantasy play for the Jags. He hasn't wowed the league so far in his rookie campaign but has shown up more often than not since Chad Henne took the reins of the offense in Week 11. Since then, the rook has put up 37 fantasy points in four games after only scoring 29 through the team's first nine games.
Miami has proven to be susceptible to the pass this season, but that's begun to disappear as of late. The team is currently 13th in the league in limiting opposing wide receiver fantasy production. That improved number is thanks to a turnaround over the past five games. During that span the Dolphins have given up just two touchdowns to wide receivers and haven't surrendered more than 127 yards in a game.
Projected Stats: 6 receptions, 91 yards, 1 TD
Key to Victory
Stop the run
The Miami Dolphins were pounded on the ground to the tune of 155 yards by the San Francisco 49ers last week. That's well above the team's ninth-best rush defense that is surrendering just over 100 yards per game rushing. Jacksonville found some success running the football last week against the New York Jets. Montrell Owens stepped in to lead the team with 91 yards on the ground.
Miami's first priority must be stopping the run. If it can build a lead and get Chad Henne into obvious passing situations it will be be able to tee off on its former signal caller.
Likewise, the Jags must contain Reggie Bush and stop Daniel Thomas and Lamar Miller between the tackles. Ryan Tannehill is a rookie and heavily relies on the team's ability to create yards on the ground and work off of it through the air.
Chad Henne's unexpected insertion into the starting QB position sparked a 37-point performance in a Week 11 overtime loss to the Houston Texans. Since then the team has looked better but is still losing football games. Over the past two weeks it has last lost consecutive games against AFC East competition.
Week 15 will be no different for the Jags. Miami will run the ball at ease and take the pressure off of Ryan Tannehill, who has proven to be pretty good without having to carry the offense on his shoulders.
Look for lopsided game at Sun Life Stadium on Sunday.
Final Score: Miami 27, Jacksonville 14