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Dolphins defense forced Chargers to run the football on Sunday

Chargers receiver Keenan Allen

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Miami Dolphins Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Dolphins are riding high on a five-game winning streak and are just half a game behind the Buffalo Bills for the best record in the AFC East.

While Miami’s defense gives up its fair share of yards, the team ranks sixth allowing just 20.2 points per game and has forced at least one turnover in each of the last 15 games, dating back to last year.

The defense, with the help of an interception from Xavien Howard, held the Chargers to just 21 points, the team’s lowest mark since Oct. 27. Miami’s ability to confuse opposing quarterbacks and force turnovers had an impact on Sunday’s game, according pro-bowl wideout Keenan Allen.

Miami’s success on the defensive side of the ball starts before the snap. Coach Brian Flores and defensive coordinator Josh Boyer likes the team’s front seven to roam around the line of scrimmage at times. The moving pieces makes it difficult for opposing quarterbacks to identify where defenders are going to go once the ball is snapped.

Fearsome of a collapse, much like what happened to the Rams just a few weeks earlier, the Chargers decided to feed the run game and avoid any mistakes that could derail the game, according to Allen.

Herbert’s 32 attempts on Sunday was the second-lowest mark in his young career and Kalen Ballage was a large part of the game plan with 18 carries for 68 yards.

The Chargers clearly tried to play it safe against the Dolphins, especially after a blocked punt on the first drive of the game by Andrew Van Ginkel.

The Dolphins are quickly building a reputation as one of the most complete football team’s in the league. Some see them as a potential contender in the AFC.

Miami could have an opportunity to pad the stats this weekend as Denver quarterback Drew Lock is struggling with injuries and is currently week-to-week.

Brett Rypien has played in three games and attempted 40 passes in his two-year career. 31 of those attempts came in a two touchdown and three interception performance against the Jets on Oct. 1.

The Miami Dolphins will have the opportunity to pin their ears back against another young quarterback if Lock is unable to go on Sunday. Kick-off between the Dolphins and Broncos is slated for 4:05 p.m. in Denver.