Five ways the Dolphins can beat the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday night – The Denver Post

The Miami Dolphins are 3 1/2 point favorites on the road for a few key reasons. They have a better team and also compete very well against the Los Angeles Chargers. Here’s the weekly look at five ways to win:

1. Attack, attack, attack. The NFL is all about matchups, and Miami’s offense couldn’t have a better matchup. There is a retractable SoFi Stadium roof to ensure perfect conditions. It’s not like playing a normal road game, as this stadium is usually filled with so many fans rooting for the opponent that the Chargers offense has to use a quiet count. There’s the game between Mike McDaniel and Chargers coach Brandon Staley, a defensive-minded coach who ranked 30th in defense last year and will likely repeat that this year. The Chargers aren’t just awful on fundamental stats like yardage allowed (ranked 26th), runs allowed (30th), third down conversion percentage allowed (26th) and sack percentage (26th). They may have lost four other starters this week, including Pro Bowl safety Derwin James, who leads the team in tackles, interceptions leader Bryce Callahan and top defensive tackle Sebastian Joseph-Day. This is in addition to the loss of passing thrower Joey Bosa and Pro Bowl cornerback JC Jackson earlier in the year. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa had a week off last game in San Francisco. It should be a good week before Buffalo. The Dolphins can attack any defense. A bad and injured defense should be no match for the Dolphins’ passing game.

2. Blitz Herbert — but with discipline. The Chargers can’t protect Justin Herbert, and the situation has gotten worse as the season progressed. In 10 games, he was the 11th most under pressure quarterback, being under pressure on 34.5% of his passes, according to TruMedia. Since then, he’s been pressured at a league-high 44.4 per cent. This coincided with injuries not only to Pro Bowl tackle Rashawn Slater (lost early in the year), but also to center Corey Linsley and right tackle Trey Pipkins. Kansas City and Las Vegas have dominated the Chargers offensive line with blitzes in recent games. Again, in a match league, that’s exactly what defensive coordinator Josh Boyer likes to do. Caution is that Herbert is good when he runs out of pocket. So you have to stay in your disciplined ways when you’re applying pressure. Linsley is expected to return from concussion protocol for Sunday’s game. But the blitz should be able to reach Herbert.

3. Key match: Xavien Howard vs. Keenan Allen or Mike Williams. It will be interesting to see how the Dolphins strategize on Sunday. Howard is usually placed on a better receiver, and San Diego has Allen and Williams on the field together for one of the few times this year. They played 46 snaps together all year – less than a typical game. Herbert is fourth in the league in passing yards, but no Chargers receiver is in the top 30. That tells you how much their best players have been missing. Is Howard a great road runner but more of a possession receiver like Allen? Or Speed ​​Guy Williams’ more dynamic receiver? You can go either way, but I would expect Howard to go on Allen and a safety to help frame Williams. We will see. If Howard can stay with Williams, it would mean less space for others on the court. It’s a big order, though, and we’ll see how the Dolphins play it.

4. Protect the ball. The Chargers defense does one thing well — or at least did with a representative roster. They create turnovers. They rank 10th in the league with 17 turnovers. They are seventh with a margin of plus four. Tagovailoa had a fumble and two interceptions (including one when the receiver went down) last week in San Francisco. He hadn’t had an interception since September before that. Turnovers may be the only way the Chargers defense can stop the Dolphins offense.

5. Bounce back from last week and understand that this game is the Chargers’ season. The Dolphins should be heartened by last week’s loss to San Francisco as they watched the video. Why? Well, they showed they could play with great defense on the road. They should still have a rebound effort against a Chargers team which is likely done if they lose. The Chargers are 6-6 and are out of the playoffs right now. If they win on Sunday, they have a 79% chance of making the playoffs, according to ESPN, and if they lose, it’s a 39% chance. Add to that the fact that Staley will be a candidate to be fired if he misses the playoffs, and you understand that this is a desperate Chargers team. Hurt. But desperate.


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