Sunday’s matchup between the Miami Dolphins and San Diego Chargers marks the 32nd meeting of the two teams. Miami travels to the west coast to face a struggling Chargers team. Both teams have seen their share of ups and downs this season as neither are playing .500 football. San Diego is coming off a stretch where they’ve won three of their last four, while the Dolphins have won four in a row. These two teams mirror each other so close it’s scary. Who will come out on top Sunday evening?
Again the Dolphins will face a tough run defense and a struggling pass defense. While head coach Adam Gase didn’t back down against the fifth-ranked rush defense of the New York Jets and it’ll probably more of the same against the Chargers. Even though the Bolts struggle against the pass, Miami’s receivers are limping into this game. The offense received an added bonus as tight end Dion Sims cleared concussion protocol. Not every game will be winnable by a kickoff return. Gase needs to find balance against a bad passing defense. Look for Miami to run a great deal of two tight end sets. If top receiver Jarvis Landry is a go, quarterback Ryan Tannehill may turn to him early and often. In red zone work expect Tannehill to find Sims open at least once this game.
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Advantage San Diego
History is on the Chargers side this weekend. Of the 17 home games, San Diego has won 11 including last year’s 30-14 victory. Miami has struggled to make the west coast transition and has lost 7/11 times by at least 10 points. The offensive unit has yet to put up less than 21 points and is facing a bad Dolphins defense. Ranked 7th in the league in passing, look for Philip Rivers to expose an ailing Dolphins secondary. Aside from an air attack, second-year veteran Melvin Gordon has more rushing attempts than any other running back in the league. He sits 85 carries above counterpart Jay Ajayi. However, Ajayi is quickly closing on Gordon’s 768 yards with 646. Miami doesn’t have the run defense that San Diego boasts but look for the two sophomore backs to go tit-for-tat against each other.
Miami tips the scale only slightly against the Chargers, winning 16 to San Diego’s 15. The Chargers only have four wins on the season, luckily for them most of them have been at home. Miami faces one of the toughest run defenses against the Chargers. If the Dolphins plan to come out of this game with a win, they’ll need help wherever they can get it. Since the Dolphins have benefitted from a healthy offensive line they’re average 28 points per game. They’ll go up against a Chargers team who’s allowing 27.
Look for the Chargers to barely snap Miami’s 4 game win streak 30-27.