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Miami Dolphins

Gameday – Dolphins host Broncos

Roy Cummings

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Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire

What: Miami Dolphins (4-7) vs. Denver Broncos (3-8)

Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens

When: 1 p.m.

Latest line/Over-under: Dolphins +1.5/39.5

 

Why you should watch

 We have to be honest here, because unless you’re truly a die-hard fan of one of these two teams we’re not sure there is a good reason to watch this game. Both teams are mired in miserable slumps, the Dolphins having lost each of their last five games while the Broncos have lost seven straight for the first time since 1967. Not only that, but the Broncos are 1-7 all time in games played in Miami so the odds really appear to be stacked against them. Not even the return of quarterback Jay Cutler figures to make this one all that interesting because Cutler has all but proved he might have better off had he stayed retired as he’s engineered the third-worst scoring offense in the league this year (15.8 points per game). The Broncos haven’t been much better. They’re averaging just 17.9 points per game (26th in the league), so if you’re a fan of low-scoring sloppy football, this one is indeed for you.

 

Key on: Dolphins RB Kenyan Drake

 Jay Ajayi is gone and Damien Williams will miss today’s game with a shoulder injury. That will force the Dolphins to lean on Drake as their lead back, which many believe they should have started doing as soon as they shipped Ajayi off to Philadelphia. Drake does appear to have some big-play ability as he’s already broken off a 42-yard run in one game and a 66-yard run for a touchdown in another. He’s also proved he can be a bit of a liability as he tends to put the ball on the ground a bit too much. Drake has lost two fumbles since he began sharing carries with Williams a few weeks ago and if that continues his chances of becoming the new lead back in Miami will fade fast. Drake is a strong runner with a lot of ability and he has a chance today to prove he’s worthy of a bigger role.

 

Statistically speaking

 Dolphins safety Reshad Jones got off to a great start this year but he’s faded fast over the course of the last few weeks. It’s in coverage where Jones has struggled as he’s allowed four touchdowns on the year, tied for the fourth most by safeties across the league, according to Pro Football Focus. The folks at PFF have also determined that Jones has allowed 72-percent of all the balls thrown his way this year to be caught. Jones isn’t the only member of the Dolphins secondary who’s struggled, of course. The team as a whole has allowed an opponent passer rating of 105.7 so far which is the second worst in the league. The Dolphins tend to get a lot of pressure from their front four, but their secondary has failed to take advantage of that pressure.

Roy Cummings is a native of Chicago, Illinois who grew up in the suburb of Lombard. He and his family later moved to Lakeland, Florida, where Roy attended high school at Kathleen High. He graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communications in 1983 and immediately went to work for the Tampa Tribune. After five years working in a Polk County bureau covering everything from high school sports to college football to the Orlando Magic of the NBA, Roy moved back to Tampa and became the Tribune's first beat writer for the Tampa Bay Lightning, covering the team from its inception through the first eight years on the ice. He was then moved to the Buccaneers beat, where he stayed until the paper was folded in May, 2016. A two-time Florida Sports Writer of the Year, Roy has extensive experience covering all Tampa professional sports teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays.

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