Jaguars at Dolphins -- Week 15

Where: Sun Life Stadium, Miami (grass, outdoors)

Forecast: Mid-70s, 10 mph wind

When: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)

Spread: Miami by 7

2012 records -- Jaguars (2-11, AFC South: 2-3); Dolphins (5-8, AFC East: 1-3)

Past results: Two most recent meetings -- Dec. 13, 2009: Dolphins 14, Jaguars 10; December 3, 2006: Jaguars 24, Dolphins 10. Series record: Jaguars lead 3-2.

What matters: This is a must-win for the Dolphins to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. Miami has to claim its final three games and get lots of help, but the team still has a pulse. A loss could see a team packed with veterans in the final year of their deals start to quit on first-year coach Joe Philbin. Keeping this team motivated could become a huge problem for the former Green Bay offensive coordinator.

Who matters: First-year QB Ryan Tannehill appears to have overcome the rookie wall. The eighth-overall pick in April’s draft completed 17 of 33 passes for 150 yards with a touchdown in last week’s defeat at San Francisco. Overall, the rookie has completed 57.3 percent of his passes for 2,709 yards with eight touchdowns against 12 interceptions this season. Meantime, DE Cameron Wake has regained his burst, recording at least one sack in eight of his past 10 games, including three last week against San Francisco. The former Penn State standout has a career-high tying 14 sacks to go with 44 tackles this season.

Key matchups: S Reshad Jones will try to continue his Pro Bowl campaign against Jaguars QB Chade Henne. Jones has excelled reading opposing passers in zone schemes the team has utilized heavily the past few weeks. The former Georgia star has 81 tackles, one sack and three interceptions this season. He will look to contain Henne, who took the starting job from oft-injured QB Blaine Gabbert last month. Henne, who was a mere 13-18 as a starter in Miami, is completing 52 percent of his passes for 1,217 yards with eight touchdowns against five interceptions this season. Jones will try to take advantage of aggressive throws down the seam and make plays in the backfield as a fierce blitzer.

Injuries of note: WR Davone Bess (back), LB Koa Misi (ankle) and DT Randy Starks (non-football) missed practice on Thursday. Everyone else was a full participant.

Inside stuff: The defense has toyed with unique ways to get faster and generate a pass rush to help conceal a beleaguered secondary. Rookie DE Derrick Shelby earned a start against the 49ers last week as a hybrid rusher in a 5-2-4 alignment to start the game. Fellow first-year player DE Olivier Vernon also has seen his role increase on passing downs. Look for both to have more chances opposite Wake versus a struggling Jacksonville line.

Stat you should know: 24. Catches on third down for Bess this season. The undrafted player out of Hawaii has amassed 254 receiving yards on the penultimate down and has become a go-to option for Tannehill in pressure situations.

Looking ahead: After narrow losses to New England and San Francisco, a 3-0 finish is very realistic for a final record of 8-8 -- not too bad for a team many projected to finish with the worst record in the league this season. However, a defeat to the lowly Jaguars could lead to a disastrous finish and be the catalyst for sweeping changes in the front office next month. The team is 5-8, but there is plenty on the line for this franchise the final few weeks.

Prediction: Dolphins 24, Jaguars 13

For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis on the Miami Dolphins from blogger Dave Carey, follow @CBSDolphins