SAN DIEGO - SEPTEMBER 19: Quarterback Philip Rivers #17 and tight end Antonio Gates #85 of the San Diego Chargers celebrate a Charger touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Qualcomm Stadium on September 19 2010 in San Diego California. The Chargers won 38-13. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
The San Diego Chargers will try to prove that they really are Super Bowl contenders Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.
The San Diego Chargers won last week, but considering they entered the game as 15-point favorites, their three-point win over the Kansas City Chiefs can be seen as somewhat of a disappointment. The Miami Dolphins simply looked bad, losing 17-16 despite outgaining the Cleveland Browns 369-280 in total yardage. Both teams have played well at times, but mistakes have kept them from living up to their full potential in the early going.
The Chargers had to hold off a late comeback attempt from the Chiefs despite dominating the game statistically. Philip Rivers struggled with two interceptions and no touchdowns while Antonio Gates sat with a nagging foot injury. Ryan Mathews had a big day, at least, racking up 98 yards yards and two touchdowns in the win. Still, there has to be some concern in San Diego as the Chargers, despite being 2-1, look much like they did last year: Great on paper but disappointing on gameday.
The Dolphins are 0-3 despite an offense that has performed better than expected. The team ranks in the top half of the league in both rushing and passing yards per game. The recent emergence of rookie Daniel Thomas has to be considered extremely encouraging as well. Unfortunately, they rank in the bottom half on defense, giving up over 104 yards rushing and 311 yards passing per contest.
The Chargers should be favored comfortably. The game is in San Diego and the team still has hopes for the Super Bowl, which is more than the Dolphins can say at this juncture. The Chargers haven't looked that different from the team that missed the playoffs last year, however. To change that peception, they will need to start putting teams away with emphasis, something they can accomplish this weekend.
Game Date/Time: Sunday, October 2; 4:15pm ET
Location: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA
TV Distribution Map: The506.com
Chargers: KIOZ 105.3 FM, KLSD 1360 AM
Dolphins: WBGG, WINZ