If you would've polled NFL fans and pundits prior to the start of the 2020 season, you probably wouldn't have found much disagreement regarding the Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars. In various stages of rebuild, both clubs seemed like sure bets to finish among the league's worst teams. And yet, two weeks into the season, there's some legitimate intrigue surrounding this Thursday's showdown in Jacksonville. The Dolphins are 0-2 but have hung around with both the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills, while the Jags came awfully close to a surprise 2-0 start on Sunday thanks to top-level play from quarterback Gardner Minshew.
Are the Dolphins due for their first victory, especially after Ryan Fitzpatrick rebounded against a solid Buffalo defense? Or is Minshew Mania just too darn dangerous? We'll find out soon enough. In the meantime, here's everything you need to know to prepare yourself for the Week 3 AFC showdown:
How to watch
Coming into the year, the Dolphins would've been a relatively easy pick here. That's not the case anymore. Ryan Fitzpatrick will force the ball into tight windows for some big plays, and DeVante Parker should help in that regard, but that aggressiveness also makes Miami a near-sure bet to turn the ball over, even if Fitz went without a pick against Buffalo in Week 2. The situation is far more dire on defense, where the secondary is battered both physically and mentally after surrendering four passing touchdowns to Josh Allen. Starting corners Xavien Howard and Byron Jones are both banged up, with the latter already ruled doubtful for Thursday night.
The Jaguars certainly aren't a perfect team. A few weeks ago, remember, everyone and their mother picked them to easily earn the top pick in the 2021 draft. But the Minshew hype is real. His deep connection with D.J. Chark, in addition to the surprisingly dangerous ground complement of James Robinson, makes Jacksonville a threat to eclipse 30 points for a second straight week. Throw in the fact they'll be at home on a short week -- with fans! -- and this seems like another win for the Jaguars.
Pick: Jaguars 27, Dolphins 24
Check out CBSSports.com for even more expert predictions on this game and the rest of Week 3.