Los Angeles Chargers’ 2017 opponent outlook: Miami Dolphins
By Travis Wakeman
The Los Angeles Chargers will play their first game in L.A. since September 1994 when they host the Miami Dolphins at the StubHub Center in Week 2 of the coming season.
On that day, the Chargers were visitors against the former Los Angeles Raiders, but this time, they will be the home team.
The Dolphins are coming off their first playoff appearance since 2008 and are considered to be a team on the rise. If there is a team in the AFC East division that can challenge the New England Patriots, many feel that it is the Dolphins.
Miami also defeated the Chargers in a wild game last year, so the Chargers will be looking to exact a bit of revenge. Let’s find out a little more about this opponent.
Week 2 vs. Miami Dolphins
Dolphins’ 2016 record: 10-6 (4-2 in AFC East)
As stated, the Dolphins made the postseason last year under first-year head coach Adam Gase. After starting the year 1-4, the Dolphins rattled off wins in nine out of 10 games.
Of course, they picked on the bottom feeders of the league for the most part, defeating teams like the Cleveland Browns, New York Jets and San Francisco 49ers during that span.
They were matched up against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Wild Card round of the playoffs and though the Dolphins won the meeting between the two teams during the regular season, they were dominated by the Steelers in the playoff game, losing 30-12.
All-Time Series: Dolphins lead 17-15
These teams have met in each of the least four seasons, with the most recent game taking place last November in San Diego.
The teams went back and forth in this contest, but when Philip Rivers connected with Tyrell Williams for a 51-yard touchdown with just over four minutes to play in the game, the Chargers took a 24-21 lead and it appeared they’d be able to pull it out.
Miami came back down and tied the game with a field goal and on the ensuing possession, with about one minute left in the game, Rivers threw a terrible pass that Miami linebacker Kiko Alonso read the whole way. He picked it off and raced the other way for the game-winning touchdown.
It was one of four interceptions Rivers threw on the day, an uncharacteristically bad performance for him.
Of course, the game between these teams fans still like to talk about is the playoff game from 1982 at the Orange Bowl, a 41-38 overtime thriller that the Chargers would win. Many fans still consider that to be one of the best games in NFL history.
DT William Hayes
Safety T.J. McDonald
DE Charles Harris
LB Raekwon McMillan
The Dolphins were relatively quiet on the free-agent market, focusing on retaining their own players. They re-signed wide receiver Kenny Stills and offensive lineman Jermon Bushrod while also signing defensive end Cameron Wake to a contract extension.
They focused on defense in the draft, grabbing Missouri defensive end Charles Harris in the first round and Ohio State linebacker Raekwon McMillan in the second.
DE Mario Williams
OT Branden Albert
DT Earl Mitchell
Those three players are all guys that the Dolphins threw big money at in recent years, but the reason they’re no longer with the team isn’t because another team signed them, it’s because the Dolphins didn’t want them anymore.
They released all three players ahead of free agency in order to create the cap room to retain guys like Stills and Bushrod.
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The Chargers will be in their traditional afternoon time slot for this game, which kicks off at 1:05 p.m. on Sunday, September 17th.
What are your predictions for this game? Do the Chargers get revenge for a game they probably should have won last year? Or will they run into a Dolphins team that is even better than the one they faced last season?
Let us know in the comments section below.