NFL 2019 (Week 4): Los Angeles Chargers at Miami Dolphins

Russell S. Baxter

NFL 2019 (Week 4): Los Angeles Chargers at Miami Dolphins

By Pete Fasulo

Special to Pro Football Guru

This Week 4 tilt pits a supposed contender in Los Angeles versus a rebuilding Miami squad. The Chargers lost their second game in a row last week, falling to the Texans, 27-20. Miami remained winless last week getting trounced at Dallas, 31-6.

When the Dolphins have the ball: Miami has scored only 16 points in three games this season. Switching quarterbacks from Ryan Fitzpatrick to second-year signal-caller Josh Rosen didn’t seem to help at all last week. Rosen completed less than 50 percent of his passes for 200 yards. It didn’t help that the ‘Fins offensive line gave up three more sacks last week. Miami has now given up 13 sacks in their first three games. At that rate, it won’t matter who their quarterback is. The running game hasn’t fared much better as it accounted for 78 yards and just two first downs last week. In addition, because they can’t move the ball with any consistency (forget about scoring points, they can’t even seem to generate first downs), the Dolphins are averaging 24:09 in terms of time of possession.

When the Chargers have the ball: The Bolts look to take out their frustrations on a Miami team that has allowed 133 points in the first three contests this season. This may be the opponent that the Angelinos need to get them back on track. The offensive line has been porous thus far this season. Yet, facing a weak Dolphins team the Chargers should be able to get the ship righted. Chargers’ quarterback Philip Rivers should get plenty of time in the pocket to locate his receiving corps led by Keenan Allen. On the ground, expect Austin Ekeler to add to his team-leading 160 rushing yards by shredding a weak Miami defensive front. Expect the Chargers to put up some big offensive numbers this week after being held to a combined 30 points the past two weeks. Update: Running back Melvin Gordon, who ended his holdout this week, could possibly play if he is activated.

Prediction: The thus-far underachieving Chargers will unleash their strong offense on a very weak Miami club. On the other side of the ball, the Dolphins will have no answer for the Chargers’ front seven. Rosen will be running for his life in the backfield much of this game. In addition, expect the Bolts to stuff whatever rushing attack that the Dolphins attempt to muster. Look for the Californians to use this game as their “get back on track” game. The question becomes “Can they carry this momentum to the Super Bowl expectations that many prognosticators had expected out of them?” or “will a win over a weak Miami club be just a blip on the screen of another season in which the Bolts do not live up to their potential?”

Los Angeles Chargers 37, Miami Dolphins 10

Pete Fasulo (@LISportsFans) is a freelance writer covering business, music, and sports. He has written for music publications such as Revolver and Aural Fix. His sports writing career has been resurrected here after numerous years at The Torch and The Long Island Tribune (many moons ago).

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