With both San Diego's and Miami's records at 4-5, this Sunday's game should provide an intriguing matchup. Miami need to pick themselves up, and fast. The franchise suffered possibly their most humiliating offensive performance in franchise history against the lowly Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
For San Diego, following the exit of Norv Turner, head coach Mike McCoy and offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt have done a solid job with the offense. Phillip Rivers has been able to hold onto the ball much longer this season in order to make those deep passes that he is known for. As a result he's completed 232 of his 324 attempted passes for 2,691 yards and 18 touchdowns.
The addition of running back Danny Woodhead has also been a good move for the franchise. Rivers often throws the football to his tailbacks, and Woodhead has been effective in this area.
For the Miami Dolphins, the team needs to attack San Diego's poor passing defense. Wide receiver Mike Wallace has caught only one touchdown all season. Miami need to utilize his speed and acceleration to pick apart the Chargers' defense. If head coach Joe Philbin and offensive coordinator Mike Sherman find a way to fit Wallace into this offense, they have a game changer on their hands.
On defense, the team needs to find a way to stop Rivers. One area they could do this is by exploiting San Diego's offensive line. Offensive tackle King Dunlap has not practiced all week with a neck injury, meaning D.J. Fluker could slide to left tackle and right guard Jeromey Clary could start at right tackle. Cameron Wake and co. could really exploit this area. If Rivers has less time on the football, he won't be able to make those deep throws that has been so effective for him this season. This for me could hold the key to the game. Also note Miami are currently fifth in the NFL for picking the football off, totalling 12 interceptions on the season.
Times continue to be tough if you are a Miami Dolphins fan, and the team really needs to give us something to cheer about. Major changes are coming for next season, and everyone in this franchise needs to step up and show why they should still be here in 2014. If our pass rushers can get to Philip Rivers, he will make mistakes. A dominant defensive performance could pave the way to a narrow Dolphins victory over the Chargers.
San Diego Chargers 17 - Miami Dolphins 20