It’s a battle of 6-2 division leaders in Frankfurt, Germany. It’s a much-anticipated showdown between two of the top offenses in the league. However, these clubs are each coming off completely opposite results.
While the Miami Dolphins managed a 14-point victory (31-17) over the New England Patriots, the defending Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs are hoping to rebound from a 15-point setback (24-9) last Sunday in the Mile High City.
While many pointed to the Chiefs’ five turnovers in the loss (which ended a six-game winning streak), there was also another big issue.
Kansas City safety Justin Reid had this to say (via Forbes’ Jeff Fedotin) after the team’s loss at Denver in which Steve Spagnuolo’s unit was gashed for 153 yards on the ground by the determined Broncos. “They ran the ball really well. That was the biggest key to them having their success. So. we’re really going to need to tighten up the run game on the defensive side of the ball.”
“It’s a good reality check for us,” Reid said. “We’re just going to have to come out with a better gameplan and a better mentality.”
That rushing total was the most allowed by the Chiefs this season. It topped the 139 yards on the ground that Kansas City gave up the previous week, albeit in a win over the rival Los Angeles Chargers. It’s these last two performances that may be cause for concern if you are Andy Reid or Spagnuolo.
Sounds like a great idea
On the other hand, it may be the way that Dolphins’ head coach Mike McDaniel attacks the AFC West leaders. While there’s always the possibility that this could become a shootout between quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Tua Tagovailoa, it’s worth remembering that Miami owns the league’s top ground attack, averaging 151.8 yards per game.
Granted, the Dolphins have totaled only a combined 123 yards rushing in their last two games. That came against two of the better run defenses in the league, the Eagles (45) and Patriots (78). The Chiefs entered Week 9 ranked fourth in the league in fewest total yards allowed, but just 19th vs. the run.
There will be plenty of eyes on Dolphins’ wide receiver Tyreek Hill, who faces his former team for the first time. However, the key to a Miami victory could well be the ability of Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson, and McDaniel’s backs to run…downhill._