The Miami Dolphins (5-3) will play the Los Angeles Chargers (2-6) at Hard Rock Stadium at 4:05 p.m. this Sunday on CBS. Rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa, whom the Dolphins chose fifth overall, will most likely battle Chargers rookie QB and number-six overall pick, Justin Herbert.
Los Angeles Chargers
The issues the Chargers have faced this season have, shockingly, not been due to the play of Herbert. The rookie QB out of Oregon would likely have been in the Miami backfield had Tua gone before the Dolphins made their choice. His play has been very good and consistent with 17 touchdowns and five interceptions so far.
Defensively the team has been a mess. The Chargers even traded away all-pro cornerback and returner Desmond King at the deadline last week to the Tennessee Titans. King scored a touchdown off a fumble recovery in his first game for the Titans. The turnover and scoring ability of King is something the Chargers could use this season. They’ve given away four games this season in which they led by 16 points or more.
Does this mean the end for head coach Anthony Lynn next season? It should. But for now, Lynn is the head coach who will lead his team to Miami this weekend. The good news for Lynn and his Chargers team starts with Herbert. His defense can’t force turnovers with just seven on the season. If the Chargers want to be in the game, Herbert needs to beat this Dolphins defense.
This leads us to the Dolphins and their defense. They’ve caused 14 turnovers, with 3 other fumbles not recovered. They have gotten better each week. The defensive back duo of Xavien Howard and Byron Jones struggled a little bit last week covering the speed of Christian Kirk, but it was an overall good performance.
The Dolphins started 2019 0-7 with a historically poor point-differential and were the laughingstock of the NFL.
They’re 10-7 since with a promising rookie QB, a wildly improved defense and tons of future draft capital.
And Brian Flores is a damn good head coach.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) November 9, 2020
Howard was subject to some very, very questionable defensive pass interference calls last weekend against the Cardinals and still held Deandre Hopkins, one of the best wide receivers in the game, to three catches for 30 yards.
— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) November 8, 2020
What made things so great for this Dolphins offense was last weekend’s play. Even with a depleted Cardinals roster, the offense was clicking on all cylinders and Tua was showing why he is one of the most hyped and anticipated QB prospects since Andrew Luck in 2012.
However, the team will, unfortunately, be without Kyle Van Noy and Christian Wilkins on Sunday as they’ve been added to the COVID-19 list.
Prediction: Dolphins win 31-20 and improve to 6-3
Herbert has been outstanding and the sample size for Tua and his impressive play has only been one week. However, this Dolphins defense is too good and will cause headaches for the young Chargers QB. To add to that, Tua should continue to improve against a poor Chargers defense.
Tua Tagovailoa: 3 touchdowns, 279 yards.
Jordan Howard: 1 touchdown, 34 yards rushing.
Devante Parker: 2 touchdowns, 97 yards receiving.
Mike Geisicki: 1 touchdown, 39 yards.
Xavien Howard: 1 interception
Bobby McCain: 1 interception
Justin Herbert: 2 touchdowns, 245 yards, 2 picks.
Kalen Ballage: 1 receiving touchdown, 65 rushing yards.
Keenan Allen: 1 touchdown, 79 yards receiving.
Kyzir White: 1 sack, 8 total tackles.
Antonio Callaway will make his Dolphins debut and play a big part in the offense coming off his suspension for violating the NFL drug policy. The Dolphins will have a 9-3 record by the time they face the Kansas City Chiefs in five weeks, and despite a bad performance against the Dolphins defense, Justin Herbert will win rookie of the year.