Jaguars vs. Dolphins: Miami Crushes Punchless Jags

Nate Dunlevy@NateDunlevyGuest ColumnistDecember 16, 2012

Chad Henne didn't measure up to the man who replaced him in Miami.
Chad Henne didn't measure up to the man who replaced him in Miami.USA TODAY Sports

It's time to bust out the paper bags in Jacksonville.

The Miami Dolphins pummeled the NFL's worst team, beating the Jacksonville Jaguars 24-3.

The Jaguars fell to an NFL-worst 2-12 with two torturous weeks left to play in the season. At this point, they are clearly the worst team in the NFL.

It was another typical Jacksonville loss marked by defensive breakdowns, crushing penalties and an inability to convert at crucial moments.

Chad Henne led the Jags on a scoring drive on their opening possession to stake Jacksonville to an early 3-0 lead.

The Dolphins scored the final 24 points of the game.

Late in the second quarter with the score tied at three, the Jaguars endured a drive that encapsulates their disappointing season.

A Tyson Alualu forced fumble on Ryan Tannehill gave Jacksonville the ball at the 20-yard line. Henne responded with a 20-yard strike to Justin Blackmon on the first play to give the Jaguars an apparent 10-3 lead.

Unfortunately, tackle Guy Whimper forgot to report as an eligible receiver on the play, negating the score. Eventually, on 4th-and-1 from the 11, Henne was unable to sneak for the requisite yard to sustain the drive.

The promising possession came up empty, and the Dolphins responded with an 89-yard drive of their own to take what proved to be an insurmountable seven-point lead.

Penalties cost Jacksonville on a variety of big plays as it piled up 10 for 88 yards on the afternoon.

Meanwhile, the defense was unable to get Tannehill off the field, as he completed 22 of 28 passes on the day. The Dolphins were 6-of-11 on third down.

Still, the game remained in question until the Jags again failed on a fourth-down run early in the fourth quarter as Montell Owens came up short. Again, Miami countered with an 85-yard touchdown drive to close the scoring and put the game definitively out of reach.

Even against a suspect Dolphins squad and a shaky rookie quarterback, it was clear that the Jaguars were outclassed offensively and defensively, leading to yet another fruitless outing.

In Week 16, the Jaguars will host the New England Patriots in what is sure to be the NFL game with the highest spread of 2012.

Jacksonville has played poorly at home all season, and a bad loss to the Pats could be the final ignominy that seals the fate of Gene Smith, Mike Mularkey and everyone else involved with the football operations.

Meanwhile, Jaguars fans everywhere will continue to root hard for the Kansas City Chiefs to win one more game. A Chiefs' win and two Jaguars' losses will clinch the first overall pick for Jacksonville.