The Miami Dolphins roll into Kansas City looking for their first win of the season. The Chiefs, on the other hand, will be looking for their fifth straight win after starting the season 0-2. By virtue of their win over the Chargers on Monday night, the Chiefs now own a share of the lead in the AFC West division.
Miami is 0-7 on the season and the biggest story is whether or not head coach Tony Sparano is going to be coaching the game or not. While he is expected to be on the sidelines for the rest of the season, he is not expected to keep his job after the regular season is over and his odds to be the first fired NFL coach are quite good.
One bright spot for the Dolphins is quarterback Matt Moore. While not exactly lighting up the scoreboard, or having a statistically brilliant stretch of games, he is keeping the team competitive and making some plays at the same time. Moore has been overlooked for much of his career, but he could play his way onto an NFL roster, or compete for a starting job, next season.
For Kansas City, the resurgence of the Chiefs can be tied to many different factors. Matt Cassel has been playing solid, if not spectacular, football. The running game has been given a boost by the previously obscure Jackie Battle at running back. Dwayne Bowe is showing he was not a fluke last year with 558 yards and 4 touchdowns in 7 games this season. First round pick Jonathan Baldwin is also putting up some good numbers at receiver now that he is back from a broken finger.
The KC defense is lead by defensive end Tambi Hali, who had multiple pressures and saccked Phillip Rivers twice on Monday night. The ability to get pressure on the quarterback is essential to forcing bad throws and results in more turnovers.
Kansas City also has some Allpro playmakers in the secondary as well. Despite losing Eric Berry to a season ending injury, players such as Brandon Flowers have been making names for themselves. Flowers had an interception return for a touchdown against the Raiders two weeks ago in route to a 6 turnover performance in that game.
Despite being 0-7, the Dolphins have some weapons on both sides of the ball. Brandon Marshall is still an Allpro caliber wide receiver, so he will be targeted early and often by Matt Moore. Reggie Bush has been mediocre this year, but he rushed for almost 100 yards against the Giants. He will be asked to carry the load again at running back if Daniel Thomas is ruled out this week. Steve Slaton is another Reggie Bush type running back who can slip out and make a big play every so often.
On defense, it will be important for Kansas City to keep an eye on Allpro defensive end Cameron Wake. Wake had double-digit sacks last season and leads the Dolphins with 5 this season. He can be a disruptive force if not contained.
The fact that this game is in Kansas City might be a blessing for the Dolphins. Miami is 1-10 at home since the start of the 2010 season. In fact, the Dolphins have actually had to pump in crowd noise during practice to simulate the noise of the opposing teams fans even in preparation for home games.
Even if Miami is able to keep this game close, the Chiefs should have enough going for them to pull this one out. The Chiefs will have to worry about this possibly being a trap game with an AFC West opponent coming up the following week. The opening NFL odds has Miami gettin 4.5 points on the road.
|NFL OFFENSIVE RANKINGS||TOTAL||Passing||Rushing|
|KANSAS CITY CHIEFS||24||308.4||28||184.1||9||124.3|
|NFL DEFENSIVE RANKINGS||TOTAL||Passing||Rushing|
|KANSAS CITY CHIEFS||22||373.6||20||251.4||22||122.1|