San Diego (5-3) will finish a long road trip today in Miami against the resilient Dolphins (4-3) before getting their bye for the season. San Diego has lost their last two games to the Cardinals in Arizona 18-17, and to the Broncos in Denver 35-21. Miami, however, are on a two-game winning streak, having beat Chicago at Soldier Field 27-13 and the Jaguars in Jacksonville 27-14.
The game figures to be a close game, according to the Palm Beach Post. The two most interesting match-ups will be when Miami rushes against the Chargers defense, and when San Diego attempts to pass on the Miami defense. Miami’s rushing attack will be bolstered by quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who has since rediscovered his mobility out of the pocket. Conversely, when San Diego has possession, the Chargers will definitely try to stretch the field out, trying to spread Miami’s 3rd ranked passing defense and make them less effective.
The game is important for both teams. Miami needs the victory to strengthen their overall record to increase their chances for a playoff. San Diego needs a victory for peace of mind and to avoid a third straight loss. Having lost to Kansas City and Denver already this season, the chances of winning the AFC West are rather bleak.
NBC San Diego is reporting that the Chargers have been here before, and don’t want to fall into the losing trap again.
“Losing is contagious,” said Chargers safety Eric Weddle. “You don’t want to be accepting losing. Losing is not a part of me. I hate it. I despise it. I don’t want to be anywhere remotely near it.”
“We’ve gotta play the way we were playing when we were rolling,” said Rivers. “That’s what he’s referring to as being contagious is just, you start to get in this mode of, ‘Oh, no, are we gonna lose another one?’ I don’t think we’ve had that, but we need to make sure we don’t play with a lack of confidence. We’re a good team.”
How about the opposite?
“Winning is contagious, too,” said Rivers. “Contagious from a mind-set, from a feeling, it’s emotional, just a feel. When we were winning those five in a row, as y’all walked in the locker room it was kind of like, these guys can’t be stopped right now. It has a feel to it.”
Returning for the Chargers is Donald Brown, three weeks removed from suffering a concussion. The Chargers, however, are still light in the running back department. The Chargers will still lean on rookie Brandin Oliver to carry the load today.