Chargers/Dolphins Preview:

Miami Dolphins vs. San Diego ChargersA lot of people don’t like to think one football game to be more important than another. However, this is a very important game for both the Dolphins and the Chargers. In fact, the scenario for both teams is very similar.

The Chargers are on a two game losing streak. The Miami Dolphins are coming off of a loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, giving the Buccaneers their only win of the season thus far. Both teams have a 4-5 record, both are sitting third in their divisions and both are on the verge of losing a chance at a playoff berth.

Another similarity between these two teams is both have challenging schedules ahead of them.

The Chargers have two games against the red hot Kansas City Chiefs, one more against rivaled Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos and a non-division match up with the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Dolphins on the other hand have the Carolina Panthers, whose defense is seemingly unstoppable, two games against the New York Jets who have seemed to hit their stride at this point in the season. They have games against both the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

I’m not going to say this is a must win game for both teams. Actually I will, This is a must win game for both teams.

The Chargers have to win this game in order to stay in the playoff hunt. The Chargers have a chance of making the playoffs. However, it isn’t going to be a cake walk, nor anywhere close to that.

This is time for Do or Die, go Big or go Home, no Pain no Gain.

The Chargers should win this game. They outmatch the Dolphins in almost every offensive category. They have better and more consistent quarterback play in Philip Rivers, they have a healthy Ryan Matthews who is continuing to improve week in and week out, they have a solid tight end Antonio Gates with a impressive rookie wide-out, Keenan Allen.

Head Coach Mike McCoy also needs to be a little less conservative and take some chances now and then.

A fourth and one on the Washington Redskins one yard line. Down by three, a coach who knows they have to win would go for it and try to get the pigskin across the pylon into the end zone.

Not Mike McCoy.

On the one yard line of the Redskins he decides to kick a 19 yard field goal, sending them into overtime where the Redskins would drive down the field on their first possession and win the game with a four yard touchdown run by Darrel Young.

Against the Denver Broncos, a fourth and one on the Bronco eight yard line. Go for it. Pound the ball with Ryan Matthews or Ronnie Brown and at least pick up a new set of downs. Don’t give the ball back to the #1 offense in the NFL with play-makers right and left of the ball. Especially not with Peyton Manning as their Quarterback.

The only thing that kept the Chargers in the game is T.O.P. (Time of Possesion). San Diego had 38:03 minutes with the ball, while Denver only had 21:57 minutes with the pigskin. San Diego nearly doubled the amount of time the Broncos had the ball.

If you want to be successful, the requirement for that is to take chances and not be afraid to fail when those opportunities come.


The key to this weeks game for the Chargers is to not give up big plays to the Dolphins struggling offense.

The Chargers defense is not great, neither is the Dolphins offense, making it a great matchup.

If they are able to shut down the Dolphins offense and force them to punt multiple times, the Chargers will be in great shape with one of the better offenses in the league on the field led by Philip Rivers against one of the weaker defenses in the league.

Look for the Chargers to score fast and put points on the board. They will try to get Miami to dig themselves into a deep whole right off the bat and put them into catch up mode.

If they are able to accomplish this than they will be able to slow down things and control the time of possession battle, which the Chargers have shown they can do, keeping the Miami offense from scoring and getting any form of rhythm.

The main thing the Chargers need to focus on is stopping the Miami offense. If Ryan Tannehill is able to get into a groove, things will begin to go downhill for the Chargers. Remember that the Chargers secondary unit is the weakest part of the whole roster. The secondary, combined, has only had one interception all year.


While not a lot has changed on the injury aspect of things, the Chargers had a key player in Larry English go down while sacking Peyton Manning in last weeks game.

Here is a list of the players and their injuries:

– OLB Larry English (pectoral injury, placed on Injured Reserve)

– C Nick Hardwick (neck, questionable)

– WR Eddie Royal (toe, questionable)

– LT King Dunlap (neck, out)

– RB Ryan Matthews (hamstring, will play)

– ILB Manti Te’o (elbow, will play)

– G Chad Rinehart (toe, probable)

– OLB Jarret Johnson (hamstring, questionable)

– FB Le’Ron McClain (ankle, questionable)

The only concern for the San Diego Chargers is three of their starting linemen are questionable, probable or out for this weeks game. Which is great news for the defensive lineman and linebackers of the Dolphins.

Consisting of Cameron Wake, Randy Starks, Olivier Vernon and Dion Jordan, the Dolphins have an average pass rush. With possibly two to three of the Chargers starting offensive linemen inactive for this week, San Diego will have their hands full and that could be one of the only advantages the Dolphins might have.

Tune in to tomorrow’s game on CBS @ 4:05 PM Eastern Time.


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