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Miami Dolphins at San Diego Chargers - Position by Position Breakdown

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The Miami Dolphins travel to San Diego this week, looking to finally put a win on the board.  The team will be challenged to find that win against Philip Rivers and the Chargers.  

Could the Dolphins actually pull it off?

If the team actually comes out and starts executing, I think the Dolphins have a chance in this game.  But, the loss of Vontae Davis and Daniel Thomas for the week won't make it any easier.  And, with Koa Misi out for the game, it looks like Jason Taylor will be the starting outside linebacker opposite Cameron Wake.  The last time Taylor was brought into Miami as a "pass rush specialist," he took over the starting role and never gave it back.  Could that be about to happen, since Misi hasn't been a factor at all this season?

Kevin Burnett and Igor Olshansky are both returning to San Diego this week, having both played for the Chargers in the past.  

Time for the position by position breakdown for the Miami Dolphins at San Diego Chargers Week 4 contest:

Pos Adv  Reason
QB

Chargers_medium

 


Philip Rivers has an 7.8 yards per attempt average so far in 2011.  Chad Henne? 7.8 yards per attempt.  Rivers has thrown for 4 touchdowns.  Henne? 4 touchdowns.  Rivers has 6 interceptions, while Henne only has 3.  Rivers has been sacked 6 times, compared to Henne's 11.  Henne has 111 rushing yards and a rushing TD, while Rivers has 7 yards rushing.  From 2011 stats, this is a push, but I will give the edge to Rivers based on past performance. San Diego.
RB

Chargers_medium

Ryan Matthews and Mike Tolbert vs. Reggie Bush, Charles Clay, Lex Hilliard, and Steve Slaton.  Easy.  San Diego.
WR/TE Dolphins_50t_medium

Vincent Jackson vs. Brandon Marshall.  Push.  Malcolm Floyd vs. Brian Hartline.  Hartline.  Patrick Crayton vs. Davone Bess.  Bess.  Randy McMichael vs. Anthony Fasano. Push.  Miami.

 

OL

Chargers_medium

The Chargers offensive line seems to actually be able to block defenders.  Miami's...well, not so much.  San Diego

DL Dolphins_50t_medium The Dolphins bring in Randy Starks, Paul Soliai, and Kendall Langford as starters, with Jared Odrick and Phillip Merling adding depth.  San Diego has Vaugn Martin, Antonio Garay, Corey Liuget, along with Ogemdi Nwagbuo, and Cam Thomas.  I give the edge to Miami.
LB Push Shaun Phillips, Takeo Spikes, Donald Butler, and Travis LaBoy vs. Jason Taylor, Kevin Burnett, Karlos Dansby and Cameron Wake.  On paper, this is Miami's, but with the way they are playing, I have to make is a push.
DB Push

The San Diego secondary consists of cornerbacks Quentin Jammer and Antoine Cason, and safeties Steve Gregory and Eric Weddle.  They have just one interception, along with seven passes defensed in 2011.

Miami, meanwhile, will be coming with Sean Smith, Nolan Carroll/Will Allen, Yeremiah Bell, and Reshad Jones/Chris Clemons.  That's a 6 pass defensed, 0 interception group.  

The wildcard here could be Miami rookie cornerback Jimmy Wilson, who has been outstanding whenever he is on the field (other than that last touchdown against the Browns, but, he's a rookie, and any one else on the defense could have made a stop earlier ion he drive to prevent that situation).  Wilson has the only pick of the Dolphins secondary so far this year, along with 2 passes defensed. 

ST Dolphins_50t_medium

Miami's special teams: Dan Carpenter (K), Brandon Fields (P), Clyde Gates and Davone Bess (Returners).

San Diego's special teams: Nick Novak (K), Mike Scifres (P), Richard Goodman and Bryan Walters (Returners).

The advantage goes to Miami because Novak is a replacement for Nate Kaeding (injured reserve) and because Brandon Fields really has become a weapon for the Dolphins.

Prediction: According to the breakdown, this should probably be San Diego, but I really believe the Dolphins finally get it together - Dolphins 27-17.

Record Predicting Dolphins Games: 1-2

Record Predicting All NFL Games: 28-20