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Chargers Game Day: Miami Dolphins – Week 10

Nov 17, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) throws a pass against the Miami Dolphins during their game at Sun Life Stadium. Miami won 20-16. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 17, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) throws a pass against the Miami Dolphins during their game at Sun Life Stadium. Miami won 20-16. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

With a win against Tennessee, the San Diego Chargers are now one win away from a .500 record and making things extremely interesting down the stretch. The AFC West is arguably the toughest division in football and if the Chargers continue their winning ways could compete for a playoff spot with fellow members Oakland, Denver, and Kansas City.

After losing four of their first five games, the Dolphins have responded by winning three in a row. However, Miami has yet to win a game away from Hard Rock Stadium. Dolphins first year head coach, Adam Gase, has his team playing inspired football but traveling across the country could prove difficult. The Dolphins are entering a tough environment against a resilient Chargers team, as both organizations push to secure their playoff position.

2016 SEASON: SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (4-5) vs. MIAMI DOLPHINS (4-4)

KICKOFF: 4:05 PM EST (1:05 PST)

TV: CBS

LOCATION: QUALCOMM STADIUM

WEATHER: 80 degrees, 33% humidity, NNW 10 mph wind, 0% precipitation

LAST MEETING: 30-14, SD – Dec. 20, 2015


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KEY MATCH-UP: Melvin Gordon vs. Jay Ajayi

While the two feature running backs will obviously not be competing head-to-head on the football field, their respective performances will carry one team to victory. San Diego’s Melvin Gordon currently leads the league in carries (193) and touchdowns (11). He has also accumulated 768 rushing yards to this point in the season.

Opposite, Jay Ajayi has ran for 529 yards in the past three games, all Miami victories. Prior to last week’s 111 yard performance, Ajayi topped 200 yards in each of the previous two games.

Chargers’ defensive coordinator John Pagano addressed Ajayi’s style and what makes him so successful. “[Ajayi] is a good football player. He is probably the definition of a downhill, slash, one-cut runner that has the ability on the second cut to bounce it outside. He really has great vision. He has the ability to bounce it strong [so] you see a back that is not only quick to get to the edge, but if you are in his way, he is powerful [enough] to run you over.”

The defense that can slow the opposite lead back will have the best chance to win on Sunday. Quarterback Philip Rivers leads an offense that should find running room early and often with Gordon. San Diego may not shut down Ajayi, but they can be successful enough to contain him and give the Chargers their fifth win of the year.

PREDICTION: CHARGERS – 24, DOLPHINS – 21

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