Line: Dolphins -1.5

San Diego and Miami face off in Miami on Sunday afternoon. The Chargers have had a strong season but they have lost their last 2 games to Kansas City and Denver to bring their record to 5-3. Last week vs. Denver they got off to a strong start defensively but they weren’t able to withstand the relentless pressure that the Broncos put on a defense. The Chargers have a big problem in the running game as running back Ryan Matthews remains out with an injury, Danny Woodhead is out for the season, and veteran Donald Brown has been a disappointment. This all led to the carries going to rookie Brandon Oliver who has had positive moments but had only 36 yards on 13 carries last week. The Dolphins have won 2 straight games after losing a last second game to the Packers 3 weeks ago and their record is now at 4-3. The team’s defense has been coming up big lately and no bigger than last week when it returned two interceptions for touchdowns during last weeks 27-13 win over the Jaguars. The defense really picked up a substandard offense that was rather awfull all game long. They went 3 and out on the games first three possessions and only found themselves on the scoreboard due to the touchdowns scored by the defense. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill had a third quarter touchdown pass to Rishard Matthews that gave his team a 24-6 lead late in the third quarter in a game that they really should have been trailing. Tannehill ended up going 16-29 for 126 yards with the touchdown and a interception. Not the type of numbers that a playoff teams quarterback puts up.

The Chargers have gotten strong performances from several players but none more rewarding and somewhat surprising than the re-emergence of veteran tight end Antonio Gates who has performed as one of the top 3 tight ends in the league all season long. He had 2 touchdowns last week and remains as dangerous as ever. The defense has allowed almost 29 points per game and almost 400 yards per game over its last three games after allowing just over 17 points per game and 290 in its first 5. The question is whether or not safety will play this weekend after suffering a concussion last week and they will again be without cornerback Jason Verett. It seems that the poor Dolphins offense could be the medicine that a bad Chargers defense could use.

Mike Wallace was brought to Miami so they would have a true number one receiver. Last week he had 2 catches for just 59 yards. These are not the numbers he is being paid to produce. This week would be great time for him to expose a weak Chargers secondary. Hopefully the team will be able to establish the run with running back Lamar Miller who will be getting the majority of the carries. Either way the teams offense will need to play much better if they want to win games.

Pick: Chargers +1.5

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