Dolphins-Chargers Preview

BY foxsports • December 16, 2015

The San Diego Chargers might be moving into new digs as soon as next season, and they head into perhaps their final game at Qualcomm Stadium on the brink of matching the franchise record for the longest home losing streak Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.

The Chargers (3-10) are interested in relocating to Los Angeles for next season, joining Oakland and St. Louis as potential candidates. They have partnered with the Raiders to build a stadium in Carson, around 30 minutes south of L.A.

The NFL will vote next month on relocating as many as two teams. The Chargers and Raiders are reportedly the favorites, partly due to their aging stadiums - two of the oldest in the league - with no plans for upgrades or replacements in the works.

"It's tough on the city, the fans," safety Eric Weddle said. "For us as players, we don't have a clue what is really going on. It's unfortunate. It's a great city, great fans."

The Chargers have resided in San Diego since 1961 after playing their first season in Los Angeles.

"It could be emotional," quarterback Philip Rivers said. "I think I'll soak in the drive over there probably a little more than the past 100-something times I've done it for a game.

"The good outweigh the bad in that stadium over the last 12 years."

Lately there's been a lot of bad. The Chargers have missed the playoffs for the fifth time in six seasons while recording double-digit losses for the first time since going 4-12 in 2003, the season before Rivers was made the cornerstone of the franchise.

San Diego has also lost five straight at home, one shy of the franchise record set in 1975.

Snapping the skid will require Rivers getting the offense going. The unit has been held to three points in each of the last two games and three of the past four, including last week's 10-3 loss at Kansas City.

Rivers tossed two incomplete passes in the end zone in the final seconds after being moved from the 1-yard line to the 11 because of a delay of game penalty and a false start.

"That has been the story of our season, losing close games," said Rivers, who played through the flu. "That was like a couple of our other losses we have lost this year. It was tough. We had our chance to win the game. We just couldn't find a way to end it."

Much of the responsibility has fallen on Rivers since the running game ranks last in the league with two touchdowns and 31st with 79.7 yards per game. Melvin Gordon leads the team with 600 yards and 3.6 per carry, but the rookie is yet to reach the end zone. After rushing for 35 yards on 14 carries against the Chiefs, Gordon could be in for a good day since Miami is 30th against the run, surrendering 131.5 yards per game.

Rivers, meanwhile, has tossed 23 touchdowns to 10 interceptions but seven of those picks have come at home.

He's completed 57.7 percent of his passes for 1,205 yards with three touchdowns and four picks in five career meetings with the Dolphins (5-8). Rivers was picked off three times while connecting on 12 of 23 passes for 138 yards in a 37-0 loss at Miami in Week 9 last year.

"You don't forget those kind," he said. "I and we have been beat many times, but I don't think I've been beat like that."

The Chargers have lost nine of their last 11 meetings with the Dolphins. Their only victories over that stretch, however, have come in the most recent matchups at Qualcomm, including one in 2011.

The Dolphins are out of playoff contention for a team-record seventh straight season after falling 31-24 to the New York Giants on Monday night.

"I've been here six years, and nothing has gone the way we wanted it to be," interim coach Dan Campbell said. "Every year we come in with new hope, but we're going to have another season where we (extend) the playoff drought. I make sure it stings and hurts, because the minute you go numb to that, you're just a loser.

"I want it to hurt. It motivates me. It's not too much for me to handle. That's how you get motivated to win - you get tired of losing."

Perhaps getting Ryan Tannehill more involved can help. He's completed 34 of 60 passes for 322 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions over the last two games.

Tannehill has won both of his starts against the Chargers, hitting 46 of 69 attempts for 556 yards with four TDs and one interception.

Jarvis Landry, Tannehill's top target, had 46 yards and a touchdown on five catches in last year's meeting. The wide receiver had 11 receptions for 99 yards last week but didn't score for the second straight game.

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