The Miami Dolphins hope they can stretch their winning streak to six games this week as they hit the road to take on the Denver Broncos. On the road, the Dolphins are 3.5-point favorites with the over/under for the game set at 45 points.
The Broncos are quickly running out of time to make a late-season playoff push, especially after a humiliating loss to the Raiders last week. With losses in three of their last four games, the Broncos sit at 3-6 and don’t have much margin for error heading down the stretch. They also face winning teams in five of their last seven games, so it could be now or never for Denver.
Meanwhile, the Dolphins might be the hottest team in the NFL right now, as they’ve won five in a row after a 1-3 start. Miami’s winning streak has included wins over the 49ers, Rams, and Cardinals, so they’ve proven that they can beat quality teams.
With a win on Sunday, the Dolphins can pull even with the Bills atop the AFC East. Also, with a tough schedule during the final four weeks of the season, it’s important for the Dolphins to take advantage of games against losing teams.
The Tua Show
Right now, the Dolphins likely have no regrets about their decision to bench Ryan Fitzpatrick for Tua Tagovailoa. While the rookie has been a little erratic at times and shown some growing pains, he’s yet to throw an interception in his three starts while also throwing five touchdown passes. With the Miami defense playing so well lately, that can be a winning formula for the Dolphins.
Of course, Tagovailoa could have an opportunity to do some damage against a struggling Denver defense. The Broncos have given up 30 points or more in four straight games despite looking solid earlier in the season. Both the Chargers and Raiders have rushed for over 200 yards against the Broncos, which is a weakness the Dolphins might be able to exploit.
The Denver offense is also in shambles after quarterback Drew Lock threw four interceptions last week. The Broncos have scored less than 20 points in three of their last five games since Lock returned from an injury.
Lock is officially questionable to play this week because of sore ribs. That could force Brett Rypien into duty, making a young Denver offense even less experienced.
In other words, this isn’t a good time for the Broncos to face a Miami defense that has been outstanding over the last month or so. During the team’s five-game winning streak, Kyler Murray and the Cardinals are the only ones to do any serious damage against the Miami defense. In fact, the Dolphins have worked their way into the top-5 in points allowed at 20.8 points per game.
The Broncos don’t appear to be ready to end Miami’s winning streak. Even if Lock plays, his performances in recent weeks don’t create much optimism, especially against a high-level defense. Even if Tagovailoa doesn’t play his best game, he won’t need to carry the Miami offense with his arm. Bet on the Dolphins to win and cover on the road.