The idea has merit: Take teams you don’t expect to be in the playoff chase and stick them in prime time early in the schedule.
That’s what the NFL has done by placing Cincinnati at Cleveland last week, and this Thursday night, it’s Jacksonville hosting Miami. Denver and the Jets get the honor next week before some of the big boys take the stage.
That doesn’t mean Dolphins-Jaguars will be a total dud. Miami has been somewhat competitive in division losses to New England and Buffalo. Jacksonville, led by the dynamic play of quarterback Gardner Minshew, has been a whole lot more than that, stunning Indianapolis and falling at Tennessee late in the game.
Jacksonville, ranked 19th in the AP Pro32, has a sieve of a defense. So does No. 27 Miami.
“I think there’s been some opportunities for us to make plays and we haven’t made them — a couple of dropped interceptions, lost edges, a couple of missed tackles,” Dolphins coach Brian Flores said. “There’s never just one thing, but I think we’ve had some opportunities. We need to take advantage of them.
“We try to stress how important every play is because you never know which one is going to be the one that changes momentum or makes a shift in the game.”
North Florida is a 2 1-2-point favorite over South Beach.
KNOCKOUT POOL: Buffalo and Green Bay kept us going in the first two weeks. It’s the turn of INDIANAPOLIS now.
No. 32 New York Jets (plus 10 1-2) at No. 18 Indianapolis
The Indiana Hoosiers probably would be favored over the inept and banged-up Jets.