Each week the Phinphanatic staff will bring you their prediction for the upcoming game. This week the Miami Dolphins travel to the west coast to play the San Diego Chargers.
Kenny Stills (calf) and Jarvis Landry (shoulder) were both held out of Thursday’s practice. However, Travis Benjamin (knee) was sidelined for San Diego on Thursday as well.
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It is shaping up to favor the running game more with these injuries and more onus is already on controlling the clock because of Philip Rivers. Speaking of him the defensive pressure will have to come through. TE Gray has also been ailing, TE Jones came through last game and could supplement the running game. Don’t get into a shoot out this game just stick to the script. Prediction: Dolphins 31 Chargers 30
The Dolphins will be tested on Sunday when they take their three game winning streak to San Diego. This has the potential to turn into a shootout, featuring two 2nd-year running backs having tremendous seasons. It will take a complete game in order for Miami to get their first victory of the season on the road, and continue their path to the playoffs. I think they come away with a win by the slimmest of margins. Prediction: Dolphins 28 Chargers 27
The West Coast has not been the Dolphins’ best venue, and the start of this West Coast trip will begin the same. San Diego will work to slow Miami’s running game and put the game in Tannehill’s hands. Meanwhile, Philip Rivers and the San Diego offense seem poised to challenge Miami’s defense, having most recently put up 43 points on a Titans’ team that weeks before soundly defeated Miami. The special teams will be unable to provide the difference in this one, as the Chargers end Miami’s winning streak. Prediction: Chargers 31 Dolphins 20
The Dolphins will travel to San Diego for the first of two California games in consecutive weeks on the West Coast. A win by the Dolphins the next two weeks could be a sign of a run for the post-season. The Chargers however are playing very good football despite their record and the Dolphins will not find it easy to win on Sunday. Led by Phillip Rivers and the passing attack of the Chargers, Miami may struggle to stop their attack. Prediction: Chargers 30 Dolphins 28
Ryan Tannehill will have to prove he can lead a team without the help of a 100 yard back and this weekend is the one to do it. It’ll be a high scoring affair in San Diego this weekend between two teams that’ll be fighting for a wild card spot. Unfortunately for Miami this is their second consecutive game they’ve played in San Diego with the Chargers’ future in town up for debate. I think the J-Train loses a little steam this weekend. Prediction: San Diego 34 Miami 31
Right now, the Dolphins are clicking on all cylinders. While they lost to the Chargers last year, the prior year the Fish easily handled Philip Rivers and company. Look for the Jay-train to keep rolling and the Dolphins to continue their 3 game winning streak. Prediction: Dolphins 20 Chargers 16
Sunday’s game features two teams that are similar in their current offensive identity. Both teams feature resurgent rushing attacks featured by 2nd year breakout stars and banged-up WR units.
The defenses, however, are polar opposites. Miami is ranked 8th in pass defense while the Chargers rank 26th. On the other hand, San Diego comes into the game with the 5th ranked rush defense while the Dolphins are 30th against the run.
Those stats would point to a desire to lean more on Ryan Tannehill and less on Ajayi but HC Adam Gase has shown he is no longer inclined to put the offense on Tannehill’s shoulders. Therefore, I expect a run heavy game where both teams exceed 100 yards rushing but Phillip Rivers outperforms Tannehill. Prediction: Chargers 24 Dolphins 13