After getting the news this morning, the Miami Dolphins will be entering phase two the NFL investigation of Jonathan Martin's harassment claims as players and coaches will be interviewed in the next couple of days.
The Dolphins are coming into today's game versus the San Diego Chargers with a glimmer of hope coming off a three point loss to the winless Buccaneers who are feeling today that after winning, they can take on the world.
The Dolphins versus the Chargers are not just what the doctor ordered because the Chargers feature an incredible passing attack led by quarterback Phillip Rivers who seemed to be on the outs until new head coach, Mike McCoy came to town with his cutomized offensive scheme that allows Rivers to be successful. On the season, Rivers has amassed 2,691 yards, 18 touchdowns, and only 7 interceptions. At this rate, Rivers could throw for over 30 touchdowns giving him career numbers he hasn't seen in several seasons. Versus the Dolphins stopping Rivers is the key to victory.
Next, the Dolphins have had a difficulty stopping the run. Playing the Chargers today, the Dolphins must stop running back Ryan Matthews 539 yards, two touchdowns, and 4.1 yards per carry. Paltry numbers for this point in the season, but Matthews runs hard and can be difficult to bring down. Let's not forget back up running back Ronnie Brown who has a bone to pick with Miami after he was not signed after the 2010 season. Could be interesting to see Brown face his former team as he could be the difference in short-yardage situations.
Lastly, the Dolphins must win the 3rd and short battle on offense. The Dolphins have had trouble running stretch plays and running up the middle on 3rd and short. Last week, the Dolphins finally, on third and one went with a Ryan Tannehill QB sneak thus extending the drive. However, with the Dolphins still choosing to not sign a full back to aid the running game, the fill-in solutions of Charles Clay and Michael Egnew have did not solve the issue of failing to get first downs on 3rd and short.
For the Dolphins to win today, they are going to have to play outstanding football free of turnovers and protect their quarterback with their makeshift line missing Mike Pouncey. The Dolphins must find a way to beat the Chargers because their playoff lives are at stake. A win over the Chargers would prove that this team has something left and wants to make a run at the playoffs. If the Dolphins lose, the goal of making the playoffs might be in the rear view mirror of this team that had so much promise after a 3-0 start.