Week 11 Preview: Miami Dolphins vs. Denver Broncosby Jacob Dunne November 20, 2020 1 comment
Week 11 finds us at Empower Field at Mile High to see the Miami Dolphins take on the Denver Broncos. The Broncos (3-6) are coming off a brutal loss against the Las Vegas Raiders while the Dolphins (6-3) are on a roll after securing a 29-21 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers.
Drew Lock had one of the worst starts of his young career, throwing four interceptions versus just one touchdown. The Broncos’ running game was nonexistent with Melvin Gordon churning 46 yards on 11 carries and Phillip Lindsay taking his lowly four carries for two yards. KJ Hamler turned a game-high 10 targets into just four catches for 50 yards. Despite the negative game script, no Bronco wide receiver topped 70 yards. On the other side of the ball, Alexander Johnson led the team with 14 tackles with Josey Jewell not far behind with 10. The Raiders held the Broncos without a sack for the first time all season.
The Broncos need to get the run game going if they want a shot at pulling off the upset. With the Broncos passing game averaging just 227.4 yards per game, it’ll be up to the running game to move the ball. The problem is, Gordon and Lindsay have combined for an atrocious 89 total rushing yards over the past two games. The Broncos need to take advantage of a poor Dolphins rush defense that’s been giving up 128.1 rushing yards per game, which ranks 22nd in the NFL. If Gordon and Lindsay can get the run game going, Lock will have a much easier time finding Jerry Jeudy, Noah Fant, and Hamler in the passing game.
Tua Tagovailoa‘s career is off to a hot start. In his first three games, Tagovailoa is 3-0 while throwing 519 yards and five touchdowns versus zero interceptions. Last week, he went 15-of-25 for 169 yards and two touchdowns. Rookie running back Salvon Ahmed got the start in place of the injured Myles Gaskin and Matt Breida and rushed for 85 yards and scored his first career touchdown. Jakeem Grant led all Dolphins’ wide receivers with 43 yards and a touchdown. On the other side of the ball, Emmanuel Ogbah and Nik Needham had a sack apiece while Xavien Howard had two pass deflections and an interception.
The Dolphins will need to continue their dominance on defense if they want to come away with the victory in Denver. The Dolphins are averaging a second-best 1.7 takeaways per game, with Howard leading the way with five interceptions. Last week, the Dolphins held rookie sensation Justin Herbert to a mere 187 passing yards after he was averaging 306.6 passing yards per game. With Ogbah ranking fourth in the league in sacks (8), expect the Dolphins pass rush to get after Lock and shut down the Broncos’ passing attack.
Date: November 22, 2020
Start time: 2:05 P.M. MST
Location: Denver, CO
Stadium: Empower Field at Mile High
TV Info: CBS
Betting Odds Sponsored by Jazz Sportsbook
Points Spread: MIA -3.5 (-110) | DEN +3.5 (-110)
Moneyline: MIA -190 | DEN +155
Over/Under: O 45 (-110) | U 45 (-110)
The public has been hammering the Dolphins ever since the line opened. The Broncos opened up as one-point favorites, but the Dolphins are now 3.5-point favorites. Expect the Dolphins’ defense to swarm whoever starts at quarterback for the Broncos. With the Broncos leading the league in giveaways and the Dolphins averaging 1.7 takeaways per game, it could be another long day for this young Broncos offense. Expect the Dolphins to win and cover the 3.5-point spread.
The Dolphins start the game off with a rushing touchdown by Ahmed. The Dolphins tack on two more field goals by Jason Sanders before heading into the break up 13-0. Coming out of the break, Lindsay breaks loose for a 63-yard rushing score to put the Broncos on the board. Midway through the third quarter, Tagovailoa finds Mike Gesicki for a 4-yard touchdown to put the Dolphins up 20-7 heading into the fourth quarter. Brandon McManus hits two field goals on back-to-back drives to give the Broncos hope with six minutes left. Tagovailoa leads the Dolphins on a clock-killing drive that ultimately clinches the game.
Final Score: Dolphins 20, Broncos 13