Keys To Beating The Chargers

Posted Nov 16, 2013

John Congemi provides his five keys to Sunday's game against the San Diego Chargers.

Fans may find themselves disappointed after Monday’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but it’s important to understand Miami is by no means out of the playoff picture yet. A series of crucial games begins tomorrow with the Dolphins facing off against the Chargers, who are also 4-5 on the year. There’s a good chance both of these teams will be battling for a wild card spot if things continue as is, so there’s no secret this is a huge game for Miami at home. Here’s what I think are the keys to the Dolphins beating the Chargers:

1) Running Game – It's no secret that the Dolphins need to get some balance from the ground game. Can Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas establish positive plays on the ground to help Ryan Tannehill stay clean in the passing game? It will also allow the playaction passing game to establish itself. Last week, Miami only netted a total of two yards on the ground and that will type of production will not be enough for the Dolphins to have a shot to beat the Chargers.

2) Where's Wallace? – The Dolphins need to get Mike Wallace the football and Mike Wallace needs to allow that to happen. I would love to see Wallace have the opportunities like he did earlier in the season at Indy, where he was used in the screen game, on under routes, and then over the top of coverage. It’s a two-way street and Tannehill can only do so much. Wallace needs to attack the football when Ryan looks his way and make the plays that are expected of him.

3) Keep Rivers In Check – Philip Rivers is one of the best in the NFL cannot be allowed to sit in the pocket and throw the football from his spot. Miami needs to make Rivers move and throw the football on the move, or at least under duress. Rivers can take over a game if allowed to play from the pocket. Miami must win on third down verses the accuracy of a veteran quarterback.

4) Special Teams – It's been a little disappointing watching the lack of opportunities from this unit through nine games, especially the return game. Can Marcus Thigpen create chances in the punt return game to change field position to give this offense a shorter field to work on? Plays that change the outcome of games can happen on special teams and its been a long time since this team has made those types of plays.

5) Can The Defense Be Dominate? – There's no better time for this defense to rise up and take control of not only this game but the rest of the season. There have been far too many big rushing plays and third down conversions that give teams the opportiunity to put points in the scoreboard. It’s time for the Dolphins defense to turn this momentum around for the entire team and give an effort that shuts down an offense for four quarters. Limit the big plays and take control is what this group is capable of.
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