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Sunday, December 16, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Dolphins 24, Jaguars 3

By James Walker


MIAMI -- Here are some thoughts on the Dolphins' 24-3 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars:

What it means: It means Miami (6-8) won its first game in December and snapped a two-game losing streak. The Dolphins are trying to finish the year strong and continue to progress under a rookie quarterback (Ryan Tannehill) and rookie coach (Joe Philbin). Miami has already matched last year’s win total by beating Jacksonville (2-12) on Sunday with two games remaining.

Henne's rough homecoming: The Dolphins made sure to make Chad Henne's homecoming a rough one. Henne, Miami's second-round pick in 2008, played his former team for the first time and couldn't get in the end zone. Miami's defense knows Henne well and exposed him. He was 18-of-34 for 221 yards in a losing effort. Henne also was sacked twice and led Jacksonville to just three points.

Tannehill solid: Henne's replacement in Miami, Tannehill, played a solid game against the Jaguars. Tannehill made plays with his arms and his legs. He completed 22 of 28 passes for 220 yards and two touchdowns. In addition, Tannehill added 52 rushing yards. The Dolphins appeared willing to let Tannehill use his mobility more in this game. He had several designed runs that caught Jacksonville off-guard.

Fourth-down blues: Overall this was a sloppy game, and that was shown in the fourth-down execution. Jacksonville failed to convert on fourth-and-1 on two occasions, and Miami ran a head-scratching fake field goal in the third quarter. Miami kicker Dan Carpenter lined up for a chip shot, but punter/holder Brandon Fields caught the ball and threw it way out of bounds. The Dolphins could have gone up 10 points at the time. But Jacksonville is so bad that it didn't matter.

What’s next: The Dolphins will return to AFC East play for the remainder of the season. First, Miami will host the Buffalo Bills next weekend at Sun Life Stadium. The Dolphins will wrap up their 2012 season on the road against the division-champion New England Patriots. Miami lost to both teams in the first meetings.