TALE OF THE TAPE

Tale Of The Tape: San Diego Chargers At Miami Dolphins

San Diego Chargers
Miami Dolphins
(credit: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
(credit: Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
(credit: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
(credit: Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Quarterback
Winner Philip Rivers has changed his game quite a bit this season. Instead of winging it all over the field, Rivers has concentrated mainly on short and medium-range passes. As a result, Rivers has completed 71.6 percent of his passes this season and he has an impressive 18-7 TD-interception ratio. Rivers has great confidence in his ability and he is one of the most accurate passers in the league.
The Dolphins need some real leadership after the Richie Incognito debacle, and leadership should come from the quarterback. It has not been determined whether Tannehill has that kind of persona to lead the Dolphins out of this chasm. Tannehill has been a streaky quarterback with some ability, but he has yet to show that he can play consistently.
Offense
Winner Ryan Mathews is not one of the game’s marquee running backs, but he does play hard and he will lower his shoulder and deliver a hard hit of his own. The Chargers get just enough from their running game to keep opposing defenses honest. Keenan Allen is proving to be a very reliable target for Rivers and he has shown he can make the tough catch in traffic. Antonio Gates is a big threat on third-down plays.
Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas have both had their moments running the football this season, but neither one has clearly been able to establish himself as the No. 1 guy. Brian Hartline has been a fine possession receiver while former Steeler Mike Wallace can get deep. The Dolphins’ offensive line is messy without Incognito and the tormented Jonathan Martin.
Defense
The Chargers rank 29th in overall defense. While they have given up a lot of yardage, the biggest problem has been giving up big drives that have cost them in the fourth quarter. The Chargers often get pushed around because they simply don’t have enough strength. Free safety Eric Weddle leads the team by a wide margin with 70 tackles.
Winner The Dolphins have played inconsistently on defense and rank 22nd overall. They can play good defense for the majority of the game and then give up big plays that ruin their effort at key moments. Outside linebacker Philip Wheeler is one of the few Dolphins who have played consistently and he will stop anyone who he can get his hands on.
Special Teams
Winner The Chargers have done a solid job in their punt and kickoff coverage and every time Mike McCoy sends Eddie Royal out to return a punt, he knows his team has a decent chance to make a big return. Nick Novak has proven to be a dependable FG kicker, making 17-of-20 attempts.
Winner The Dolphins have done a fine job in their punt and kickoff coverage, but Marcus Thigpen is an ordinary return man who is not a threat to bust a big play. Placekicker Caleb Sturgis tends to get nervous in pressure situations and has made 13-of-18 FG attempts.

The Winner Is

(credit: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Winner San Diego Chargers
3 out of 4

The Chargers have suffered some painful defeats this year and have dropped two games in a row after their bye week. While traveling across the country is tough, they can’t allow this game to get away from them.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 20:  Andrew Luck #12 of the Indianapolis Colts runs with the ball during the second half of the game against the Tennessee Titans at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 20, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 27:  Ryan Fitzpatrick #14 of the New York Jets looks to throw a pass against the New England Patriots in the game at MetLife Stadium on November 27, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Justin Heiman/Getty Images)
    Week 13 Tale Of The Tape: Indianapolis Colts at New York Jets

    The Colts are still alive for the playoffs while the Jets are just playing out the string.

  2. OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 27:  Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers looks to pass against the Oakland Raiders during their NFL game on November 27, 2016 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 27:  Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks runs for several yards on the quarterback keeper during the second quarter of an NFL game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on November 27, 2016 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
    Week 13 Tale Of The Tape: Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks

    The Panthers travel to Seattle for a date with the Seahawks.

  3. TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 27:  Quarterback Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks for a receiver during the third quarter of an NFL game against the Seattle Seahawks on November 27, 2016 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images) SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 13:  Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers passes the ball during a game against the Miami Dolphins at Qualcomm Stadium on November 13, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
    Week 13 Tale Of The Tape: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at San Diego Chargers

    The Bucs are in second place in the NFC South and look to keep pace with the Falcons as they match-up with a tough Chargers team.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

Drip Pan: CBS Local App
Drip Pan: Weather App
Drip Pan: Restaurant Week 365

Listen Live