NFL Picks: Chargers vs. Dolphins in Week 11

Doug Upstone

Wednesday, November 13, 2013 7:26 PM GMT

Miami 3-0 start turned out to be a mirage and they have dropped five of six games since, the last to previously winless Tampa Bay. Those making NFL picks are finding it increasingly difficult to back the Dolphins, with the same being true of NFL football handicappers. Is this the week Miami puts all their problems behind them?

After Last Week, Miami Can Only Go Up, Right?

Let’s be honest, the ENTIRE Dolphins organization from the owner to the last man on the roster is not handling the Richie Incognito/Jonathan Martin controversy correctly. Somebody, namely the owner, Stephen Ross, needs to put a public end to this sordid story and bring it in house to fix and repair.

The daily updates and comments coming from every angle make the Dolphins appear like buffoons and based on their performance against Tampa Bay, the players and presumably the coaches need this distraction to go away, so the focus can be on football.

Coach Joe Philbin, besides dealing with the obvious, has to find quick answers for an offensive line which suffered 40 percent turnover and was mediocre to begin with.

Coming off a franchise-low two yards on 14 carries, offensive coordinator Mike Sherman might be forced to go with a quick passing game, but are the components available to make it work?

Also, let’s place blame on the defensive line, which is being blown off the ball the last three games for 151.6 yards rushing allowed. It is time for Miami to raise their level of play or be strictly play against material by those making sports picks.

San Diego Hits the Road on a Two-Game Losing Streak

Realistically, the Chargers were not supposed to be contenders in the AFC West. And while San Diego is playing about as expected, Kansas City was not presumed to be a contender either and look what they have done.

If you watched the Chargers play like many who make money following the NFL odds, San Diego has been competitive, but in every loss, there has been three to five game-changing plays they either failed to execute on offense or defense, which has led to their demise. 

There has been talk on the television networks about Philip Rivers having a revival season and there is no argument his 18 touchdowns compared to seven interceptions is a large improvement, yet the real numbers tell a different story.

The Bolts are scoring 23.6 points a game against opposing teams conceding 26.3 PPG. This shows Rivers and company are almost 12 percent below what they should be in scoring and while having the No. 7 total offense sounds good, they rank 25th in yards per point in the NFL.

NFL Betting Odds and Matchup Numbers

Before the Monday night contest, at most sportsbooks, Miami was a 1.5-point favorite. After their dismal defeat, by Tuesday morning they were at +1, before later settling in at a Pick. The Fins have covered won the past four meetings in south Florida, covering three times. However, they are 12-25 ATS after a Monday night matchup.

The starting total was 45.5 points and this deserves some consideration with these teams 11-1 UNDER in their past dozen get-togethers.

San Diego wins and covers by…

Establishing the running game with Ryan Mathews and testing the manhood of the Miami. This would allow Rivers more time to throw and help him find targets down the field. The Chargers have to be more efficient when it comes to scoring touchdowns.

The San Diego defense continues to be plagued by poor tacking and breakdowns which lead to big plays for the opposition. If they tighten this up and rush Ryan Tannehill, the most sacked quarterback in the league, San Diego should be .500 with a date at Kansas City next.

Miami wins and covers by…

Letting recent developments go. What happened among players is over and they are both unlikely to return, move on. Ryan Tannehill showed Monday he can overcome adversity, bring his team back from a 15-0 deficit to a 19-15 lead. Nonetheless, he needs help, like a rushing attack and more effort from the offensive line and running backs.

Defensively, the Dolphins have some cash invested in their defensive line and after more than a month, it’s time for these fella’s to start earning their checks and get after Rivers and force him into errant throws.

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Final Outcome

One of harder games to pick in my opinion, but I’ll take Miami, for my NFL picks, who comes to play and relishes the chance to pick up the pieces.

NFL Pick: Miami Pick