Florida’s three NFL teams are looking for three victories, but only one team is favored in this weekend’s action.
The Miami Dolphins host the Atlanta Falcons for the only NFL game in Florida. In a battle between the AFC’s and NFC’s South divisions, the Dolphins are a slight favorite. The most notable injury is Atlanta running back Steven Jackson, out with a thigh injury. Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill has passed for 591 yards and two touchdowns with 65% accuracy. Opposing him is the Falcons’ Matt Ryan, who has more yards (678) and touchdowns (4) in two games with better accuracy (71%).
Miami is coming off a win over AFC South rival Indianapolis, while Atlanta got its first win of the season against St. Louis. With Jackson out, the burden of offensive production falls on Ryan and the Falcons’ passing attack. The Dolphins’ pass defense ranks 20th in the league and will certainly be tested in reducing the impact of Ryan’s targets.
In a game that has attracted national attention for all of the wrong reasons for Jacksonville fans, the Jaguars travel to Seattle, whose fans set a record for the loudest recorded crowd last week. Jacksonville is a 19.5-point underdog in the game. ESPN Stats and Information reported that during the Seahawks’ current nine-game win streak in the regular season, Seattle won by a combined score of 86-to-7 against the two teams that entered the game with losing records.
The Jaguars are one of the worst teams in the NFL this season, scoring only 11 points in two games against the Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders. While the Chiefs have a large range of expectations for this season, the Raiders are generally considered to be near the bottom of the league. If the Jaguars pull off a win, it would be their first win on the road in 364 days.
Lastly, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head to Foxboro, Massachusetts. They’ll play the New England Patriots, a team they faced in the preseason. For Bucs fans, it might be easier for them if the game is clearly decided early on – Tampa Bay is 3-8 in games decided by seven points or less under head coach Greg Schiano, including both losses this season. The Patriots are favored by a touchdown, indicating that record will get worse before it gets better.
Schiano has had issues with both quarterback Josh Freeman and cornerback Darrelle Revis, but all three say that there are no problems. Freeman has picked up a pair of touchdowns and interceptions on his way to 335 yards through the air, but his accuracy is only 45%. Surprisingly, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s stats are near that mark, too. He has 473 yards, three touchdowns and one interception while completing 52% of his passes.
There is one bright spot for Tampa Bay, though. The Patriots’ run defense is the fifth-worst in the league, allowing 265 yards over two games. Bucs running back Doug Martin has 209 yards of his own, while Freeman has provided 16 more yards on the ground.