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Chargers Hoping To Get Back On Track Against Struggling Dolphins

Posted by Stan Simmons on 2/4/2014 5:07:48 AM

When the Miami Dolphins were undefeated this season, many were talking about how quarterback Ryan Tannehill was emerging as one of the next great signal-callers in the NFL. However, since they started 3-0, the Dolphins have gone 1-5, and are virtually out of the playoff race. The San Diego Chargers however have seen a rejuvenated Philip Rivers this season, and the 4-5 squad is looking to rebound from two straight losses and regain their playoff aspirations.

San Diego Chargers @ Miami Dolphins

Sun Life Stadium – Miami Gardens, FL

Odds: Chargers -1.5

What To Watch For From The San Diego Chargers

Although they have dropped two straight, the Chargers are rightfully the sports book set favorite as they have a passing attack the Dolphins simply cannot match. Rivers has thrown for nearly 2,700 yards and 18 touchdowns to date, which even more impressively has been done without the help of a consistent run game. Both Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead share the backfield duties, but it has been the pass catching ability of Woodhead that has made the biggest impact. Although averaging only 3.7 yards per carry, Woodhead leads the team with 53 receptions and has become a reliable check down option for Rivers. Mathews continues to get the majority of carries however, which could turn into a good thing if he keeps running like he has in recent weeks.

What To Watch For From The Miami Dolphins

Lost in all the hoopla concerning Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin drama is the fact that the Dolphins are now down two more offensive linemen for the foreseeable future. This should bring with it plenty of concern when it comes to protecting Tannehill considering the Dolphins’ franchise quarterback has now been sacked 37 times this year, the most of any quarterback. While Tannehill will likely be running for his life this Sunday, running back Lamar Miller, who recently has been shining in his expanded role, may struggle as well given the offensive line problems. The Dolphins defense however is one of the best pass-rushing units in the league, and if they can put pressure on Rivers throughout the game this could become a low scoring affair that is decided by defense.

Outlook

Although neither team’s defense is exceptional when it comes to pass coverage, each should find themselves in the opponents’ backfield often, but for two different reasons. The bottom line is this game will come down to the effectiveness of Rivers and the Chargers offense. The Dolphins don’t have enough offensive weapons to keep up with the Chargers, so if their defense can’t limit Rivers and the pass game, the Chargers will be pulling away with an easy victory.

Pick: Chargers

Click here for more NFL betting lines.


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