The Chargers and Dolphins are the two teams in NFL history that have played the Epic most often in Miami in 1981 during the AFC Division Playoff game on a hot Saturday night at Orange Bowl Stadium. Which team has the better future? Let’s talk.
The 2020 Miami Dolphins missed the playoffs by one game after quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick took turns leading the team, but the organization’s future is bright.
Head coach Brian Flores quickly changed the team, giving the Dolphins a chance to compete not only for a playoff spot, but also for an AFC East title – all without the Buffalo Bills and their success.
The Dolphins have the third overall pick in the next draft and the third overall pick at No. 18, if they really want the rumors of a possible World Cup to be traded for Deshaun Watson.
The Dolphins need playmakers on offense, to say the least. The Dolphins had a revolving door of Myles Gaskin, Lynn Bowden Jr., Matt Breida, Jordan Howard, and Salvon Ahmed at the running back position. In the group, Gaskin led the team in rushing with 584 yards in just ten games, so they definitely needed some help.
Things haven’t gotten much better for the wide receiver, as DeVante Parker and Mike Gesicki were the only passers to rush for more than 400 yards this year, and neither has gone beyond 800 yards for the Dolphins in 2020.
It took a while for Tua to get a chance, but he finished the year with 1,814 yards and 11 touchdowns with five interceptions, including three in an embarrassing 56-26 game against the Buffalo Bills in Week 17, knocking them out of the playoffs. Still, a setter like Jamar Chase and a returner like Najee Harris would do wonders for Tua and the Dolphins in the draft.
As for the Los Angeles Chargers, they had their own problems in 2020, much more so than the Dolphins. Head Coach Anthony Lynn has been on the hot seat all season after countless time management situations, poorly designed offensive plans and a series of inconsistent forwards.
Somehow the Chargers finished the season 7-9 after a string of four consecutive wins, while the Dolphins went 10-6, but it was still too little, too late: Lynn was sent away. They hired Brandon Staley, the Rams’ former defensive coordinator, to be the man in Los Angeles to attack the team in 2021.
Justin Herbert, who was chosen by the Dolphins in last year’s draft after Tua, surprised everyone with his performance. Herbert ended the year breaking nearly all rookie records with 4,336 yards and 31 touchdowns in 15 games, including a score in Week 2 in the final minute after Tyrod Taylor left the game.
The Chargers have one of the most talented defenses in the league when healthy, and that’s rare. Only Joey Bosa and Derwin James probably pose more problems for league coordinators than the Dolphins, and offensively, Keenan Allen and Austin Yekeler are among the best in their group.
Gus Bradley and Shane Steichen left town with Lynn to take on other jobs. So the Los Angeles regime is almost completely different than it was a few weeks ago, and that should bode well for the Chargers’ future success.
Close, very close. But the fact that Herbert is already playing at a high level and that Allen and Ekeler are among the best at their respective positions gives the Chargers the advantage over the Dolphins.
Tua can certainly improve and hopefully shake off some of the difficulties he faced last season. The addition of two top 20 finishes will help him move forward.
Staley with the Chargers defense can do wonders for a group full of talent, and the only real concern for this Chargers team is an offensive line that will almost certainly be considered in the offseason and with the 13th overall pick in the draft.
The Dolphins and Chargers will be the subject of debate within the AFC for years to come, and the debate between Tua and Herbert will continue until one of them wins the coveted Super Bowl.
Frequently asked questions
Will the Dolphins cover the spread?
The Dolphins were an outsider in all 16 games last year and have been favored only twice this season according to early FOX Bet odds. In the other games, the Dolphins were able to rebound and inspire action by covering the point differential, which is set around a key figure such as 3.5 or 7.5 points.
Will the Miami Dolphins make the playoffs?
The good news for the Miami Dolphins heading into Week 17 is that they will advance to the playoffs if one of the four games ….goes in their favor. If the Dolphins lose in Buffalo (10-5), they are still in the playoffs if the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens or Indianapolis Colts lose in Week 17.
Do the Miami Dolphins have a good defense?
The Miami Dolphins had a historically poor defense in 2019, finishing last in terms of points from the scoreline. Miami scored 494 points, giving them the fourth-best result in 16 games, while the Dolphins averaged 30.9 points per game. The Miami Dolphins were the only team in the world to score more than … At halftime, the Dolphins were in first place in the NFL with 18.6 points allowed.
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