Chiefs-Dolphins: Miami’s Opportunity To Show They Are For Real

Many fans saw this game on the horizon before even playing the Cincinnati Bengals, but the focus still was to get to 8-4 before the Kansas City Chiefs come to town, and the Dolphins were able to get that done.

I’m sure many have moved on fairly quickly from the Bengals game, knowing who is coming to town in Week 14. It was not pretty on Sunday, with more than a handful of penalties in the first half, the offense’s inability to move the ball in the first half, and a fluke defensive play between Byron and Brandon Jones. We could argue that the Dolphins should have shutout the Bengals, but Miami got the win, which is what Coach Flores will take any day.

Good news heading into the Chiefs game, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard, wide receiver Mack Hollins, and wide receiver Devante Parker will not be suspended for their participation in the brawl in their 19-7 win against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 13. The NFL, however, is reviewing the brawl for likely fines on those 3 players, so we should definitely expect them to suit up this Sunday against the Chiefs.

This week’s game is a prove-it game for the Dolphins. This is where the Dolphins, who are in year two of a rebuild, have a marquee matchup against the team who just won the Super Bowl. Let’s not forget that the Chiefs won the Super Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium, so there is familiarity on the Chiefs’ side with playing at Hard Rock.

The Kansas City Chiefs have had a few scares this season, four of them actually. Kansas City squeezed out a win on the road against the Los Angeles Chargers in Justin Herbert’s first start, eventually winning on a game-winning field goal in overtime. They dropped a game at home against the rival Las Vegas Raiders in Arrowhead Stadium 40-32, where the Raiders’ roster construction attempts to keep up with KC with a high powered offense in drafting Henry Ruggs III. This next one is a surprise, their home game against the Carolina Panthers, a team who has been a surprise all year with how they’ve been playing under first-year Head Coach Matt Rhule. In that game, Carolina led for a majority of the first half, at one point going up 14-3. Though Kansas City late in the third quarter went up by two possessions, Carolina still found a way to claw back to challenge them and make it a game. They went back and forth on touchdown drives, and in the Panthers’ final drive, they had an attempt to win the game on a 67-yard field goal attempt with 2 seconds left in the game. As many would expect, that kick was no good, and the Chiefs escaped. Their most recent game against the Denver Broncos, where Denver led for most of the first half. Then come the Chiefs, where after having most of their scoring coming via field goals, go a touchdown drive late in the 3rd, another field goal. Their defense made a game-sealing interception at the end of their game to go to 11-1.

The point in listing those scares for the Chiefs is that they are vulnerable. 3 of their 4 scares (one of them actually resulting in a loss) came at home in Arrowhead Stadium. When you win a Super Bowl or are even in contention for a Super Bowl, you are the hunted. The Dolphins, this Sunday, are the hunters. They’re hungry to prove themselves against the Super Bowl Champions. They are hungry to keep up with the Buffalo Bills in the division, who face the 11-1 Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football this weekend. This is likely the weekend where it can decide the division. Buffalo owns the tiebreaker over Miami, with Miami having 2 division losses and Buffalo having zero. This weekend is the time to prove yourselves against the big boys in the NFL. This game will feature the lead NFL on CBS crew Jim Nantz and Tony Romo calling the game, and the Dolphins will be wearing their throwback aqua jerseys too. So it’s a chance not only to look good but play well.

Do I expect the Miami Dolphins to win this Sunday? I do not. The Chiefs are on a different level than Miami, already winning a Super Bowl, and likely a favorite to win it again. Miami is a year removed from stripping their entire roster from the 2018 season and turning it over again after the 2019 season. However, it is not impossible based on how well Miami has played this season, especially on the defensive side of the ball allowing 17.7 points a game.

It will take the Miami offense, though, to beat the Kansas City Chiefs.  If Miami can keep the ball moving and keep Patrick Mahomes on the sideline (easier said than done) that would go a long way. They must also find a way to establish the run with Myles Gaskin in his 2nd game back. Mike Gesicki and Devante Parker can continue to grow from the previous games, then Miami could have a chance, but it’s got to be for an entire 60 minutes. Instead of a good half that Miami had against the Bengals. Miami is hurting on the offensive line, with Ereck Flowers more than likely going to be out of this week’s game against the Chiefs. Miami’s issues on offense have more to do with personnel than coaching, but that’s a conversation for another day. I predicted Miami to finish 7-9 for the 2020 season, and they already have more than 7 wins. So now, this team is playing with house money. This team is ahead of schedule, having 3 first-round picks in the previous draft and having 2 more 1st round picks and 2 2nd’s in the upcoming 2021 draft, so regardless of what happens this season, Miami has an opportunity to continue to build on what they already have going.

However, now with the Dolphins being 8-4, winning 7 of their last 8 games, the bar has been set higher for these Miami Dolphins. Now, we expect the Dolphins to finish with 9-11 wins to finish the season. I don’t expect Miami to win 4 in a row, nor do I expect them to be swept in their next 4, neither.

If Miami does lose on Sunday, the season is nowhere close to being over. Miami will still have the opportunity to make ground if they beat the Patriots and especially beat the Raiders (who are in the wild card race along with Miami) on a Saturday Night Primetime game before their week 17 game against Buffalo.

So let’s have fun with this one. At the beginning of the season, many thought this would be a matchup of the Super Bowl Champions against a .500 or worse football team in Miami, but it didn’t turn out that way. Many eyes across the league will be looking at this matchup this Sunday, seeing what the Dolphins have. I do not promise a win, but I do promise this, the Dolphins will be ready to compete, they will be ready to prove themselves to the football world and that they are no team to take lightly this upcoming Sunday and every Sunday going forward.