Dolphins Gameplan: Win and stay alive
In order for the Miami Dolphins to win this game against the San Diego Chargers, they will have to contain Phillip Rivers, who is on track to set a new NFL single-season record for completion percentage.
He is completing 71.6 % of his throws for 2,691 yards with 18 touchdowns and just seven interceptions, compiling an impressive career-high 105.9 passer rating.
The two hardest players for Miami to cover will be scatback Danny Woodhead and tight end Antonio Gates.
Woodhead leads the team, and all NFL running backs with 53 receptions, while Gates has 52 receptions and a team leading 612 yards. Antonio is 67 yards away from 9,000 career yards and will be the fastest in getting to that mark in terms of games played.
Third round draft pick Keenan Allen leads the passing attack with 14.9 yards per reception and Eddie Royal leads the team with seven touchdowns, so they are getting production from just about everybody in the passing game.
The Chargers like to mix in three running backs in Ryan Matthews, Ronnie Brown and Danny Woodhead and their tendencies are rather clear based on which back is in.
Matthews and Brown are strictly runners and pass protectors while Danny Woodhead is slightly more likely to be targeted for a pass, 61 for 408 yards and 4 touchdowns (6.7 yards per target), as he is to get the ball in the backfield, 59 for 220 and a touchdown (3.7 yards per carry).
Woodhead should be accounted for with a defensive back or Dion Jordan, but not by a traditional linebacker, who would be at a severe disadvantage.
Dion Jordan, coincidentally, should play a lot of snaps because every down in the NFL is a passing down and slowing down the run should be a secondary concern this Sunday.
While the Chargers run 43% of the time, they do most of their damage with the passing attack, with about 20% of Chargers runs resulting in first downs, while 44% of their passes keep drives alive.
You almost want to dare them to run. (continued on page 2, CLICK HERE)