The Miami Dolphins’ biggest game in recent memory has finally arrives — the Kansas City Chiefs are in town to play the Dolphins and kickoff is just hours away. With Miami angling for a 9-4 record this season and plenty to gain with a win, let alone respect, there’s going to be a sense of urgency around Miami that simply hasn’t existed in recent weeks. Where should we expect the Dolphins to prosper? And what will the end result of today’s contest between the Dolphins and the Chiefs be?
Here are five bold predictions for Dolphins/Chiefs this afternoon from Hard Rock Stadium:
Dec 6, 2020; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) attempts a pass against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Tua Tagovailoa’s first 300-yard game
The Dolphins are going to need a big, big day from their rookie quarterback. Miami’s run game has been picked over due to injuries and the team is going to have to avoid a slow offensive start in this contest when you consider who is prowling the opposing sideline. And so look for Miami to come out firing early and for that to add up to Tua Tagovailoa’s most productive day as a starting quarterback in the NFL to date. As Miami finds success through the air, and only as they find success through the air, they’ll find the room to try to be balanced and run the ball.
Miami Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki (88) waits in the tunnel before taking on the Buffalo Bills during an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Doug Murray)
Miami’s first touchdown goes to Mike Gesicki
Gesicki should have a big size or athleticism advantage over the Chiefs safeties in coverage — and with the Dolphins appearing to find their rhythm in feeding him last week against the Bengals, the Dolphins are likely to be coming back to the well again this week in their search for an upset. Our money on the first touchdown of the day for the Dolphins is on Gesicki — who is making a fair push for Pro Bowl consideration with his play this season amid the AFC tight ends.
Kansas City is expected to have Tyrann Matheiu for this contest despite an injury, but will his health and stature allow him to high-point throws to Gesicki in the red zone? We’ll find out soon enough.
Nov 29, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Miami Dolphins strong safety Bobby McCain (28) and free safety Eric Rowe (21) break up a pass in tended for New York Jets wide receiver Denzel Mims (11) during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Miami will hold Kansas City to 50% in the red zone
When you play the Kansas City Chiefs, you have to expect them to move the football. With Patrick Mahomes and the weapons that they have to work with, it would be unrealistic to expect Miami to yield 200 yards of offense through 60 minutes. It just won’t happen. But if you can clamp the Chiefs down in the red zone, you can buy yourself a chance to win the game. And we expect Miami, with the field congested and Kansas City’s team speed less impactful, to have enough answers in the red zone to force the Chiefs into kicking a few field goals as compared to touchdowns.
Nov 1, 2020; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah (91) forces the fumble of Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff (16) during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Two sacks for Emmanuel Ogbah
Ogbah ‘s sack pace has slowed but his ability to generate pressure is as good as ever. You add that with the dynamics of Ogbah facing his old team in Kansas City and there will be some combustable dynamics at play here that could add up to a big day for Ogbah. Patrick Mahomes’ wizardry will likely cost Ogbah more, but look for the Dolphins defensive end to show up big against a makeshift Chiefs offensive line today to show the Chiefs they dropped the ball in letting him go.
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – JANUARY 19: Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs reacts with teammates Eric Fisher #72 and Mitchell Schwartz #71 after a fourth quarter touchdown pass against the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 19, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
A 27-17 Chiefs win
The Dolphins are going to give Kansas City everything they can handle — or so we would like to think based on Brian Flores’ coaching prowess and the way his team has handled each matchup of their season thus far. But will they have enough in the tank to secure a win? That’s a tough task, especially without some of their best offensive weapons to work with (Preston Williams, Myles Gaskin, Matt Breida). Look for this to be a one-score game late and Miami to have a chance to take the lead; but we bet Miami’s inexperience catches up with them in crunch time.