How do the Dolphins pull off the upset on Sunday?

I’ve tried to create a scenario where the Dolphins win Sunday’s game against the 11-1 Kansas City Chiefs. I’ve looked at the matchups and the tendencies and all the statistics and have come to the following conclusions:

Things have to fall perfectly for the Dolphins to win this game.

The Chiefs can’t be sharp, and the Dolphins must be sharp. The defense must hold Patrick Mahomes and his Air Force to about three touchdowns and a field goal and hope that the Dolphins offense can play its best game of the season.

And hope that’s enough.

I wish I could tell you I’m oversaturated with confidence that the Dolphins can pull this off. But while I have a decent amount of belief that the defense can play well enough to keep things interesting, I have yet to see enough from this offense to justify similar optimism. And it’s hard to believe it will magically appear Sunday after the offensive struggles of the first dozen games.

See, the Chiefs defense can be exploited. The question remains: Are the Dolphins capable of making that happen? They absolutely can’t get by just with strong defense and the right leg of Jason Sanders, a formula that has carried them through much of this season. The Dolphins have to run the ball well and have to find some chunk plays in the passing game, which has truthfully yet to materialize.

Don’t start making this game about Tua vs. Mahomes. That’s not fair to either player. Mahomes has already arrived. He is at the top of his class. Tua is just dipping his toes in the water, trying to gradually get where Mahomes has already been. Yes, Tua has to play well. No doubt what he did last week against the Bengals is an encouraging sign. But these are not the Bengals and this is a team that can make you look bad in a hurry.

I like where the Dolphins are right now, even with their toughest stretch of the season now directly in front of them, the toughest stretch, in fact, of any team in the league.

I still believe they will win two of the last four games and make the playoffs with a 10-6 record. But as much as I want to pick them on Sunday, I simply can’t come up with a logical scenario to justify that prediction because the Dolphins simply don’t have enough firepower on offense to stay with the Chiefs.

My prediction: Kansas City 28, Dolphins 17.

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