Miami Dolphins

Dolphins defense rattles Chargers, Philip Rivers

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills celebrates after scoring against the San Diego Chargers during the first half of an NFL football game in San Diego on Nov. 13, 2016.
Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills celebrates after scoring against the San Diego Chargers during the first half of an NFL football game in San Diego on Nov. 13, 2016. AP

Dolphins run defense vs. Chargers RB Gordon

Who won: Dolphins.

The impact: Had San Diego gotten running back Melvin Gordon going, the Dolphins could have scored 31 points and still lost by two touchdowns. As Jay Ajayi has for the Dolphins over the last month, Gordon’s running opens everything up for the Chargers and keeps them from all that’s bad in third-and-long. Not only did Gordon run for only 70 yards on 24 carries, but the majority of those yards came on a few big carries. San Diego spent the day in long yardage situations and couldn’t truly trust their running game.

Dolphins pass defense vs. Chargers QB Rivers

Who won: Dolphins.

The impact: Wide receiver Tyrell Williams didn’t exactly run the sharpest route on the decisive play, Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso’s 60-yard interception return for the winning score. And Rivers did throw for 326 yards and three touchdowns. He also threw four interceptions, and, in his 13th season, should be too old to be fooled as often as he was. Tony Lippett’s end zone interception was a bad Rivers decision. Byron Maxwell’s on the next drive into Dolphins territory was a bad decision compounded by a bad throw. Then, Alonso got him.

Dolphins QB Tannehill vs. Caution

Who won: Dolphins.

The impact: Ironic that the week the Dolphins try to beautify Tannehill’s “Game Manager” hat, he brought his “Gunslinger” hat to throw down with the swaggering Rivers. Tannehill averaged 14.1 yards per completion and a fat 10 yards per attempt as he took shots with the toughness he’s always shown, but while firing downfield. And when he took off on a third-and-11 scramble from the San Diego 44, he didn’t just run for the first down and slide. He juked and trucked for 18 yards. Sunday, Tannehill didn’t settle for anything.

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