The Los Angeles Chargers have just one more victory than hapless Miami as they visit South Florida to face the Dolphins on Sunday. The Chargers envisioned themselves as one of the better teams in the AFC, but back-to-back defeats have them looking to avoid a disappointing 1-3 start.
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The Dolphins have been outscored 133-16 in their first three games, but Los Angeles isn't about to look past any opponent after suffering losses to Detroit and Houston. "This is a big week for us to focus on getting better," Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers told reporters. "We're doing so many good things. We're a couple plays here and there from being 3-0, and we're a couple of plays here and there from being 0-3." Miami does own that 0-3 mark, with the setbacks coming by 49, 43 and 25 points. "We work too hard. We don't take moral victories. The situation is, we are 0-3," Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake told reporters. "We are going to continue to improve, but we have to win games. This league is built upon results. You can write whatever about this team looks better than the last two weeks, but it's still 0-3, and that's the ultimate thing."
TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Chargers -15.5. O/U: 44
ABOUT THE CHARGERS (1-2): Running back Melvin Gordon ended his holdout on Thursday but won't be active against the Dolphins, so Austin Ekeler (160 rushing yards, 208 receiving yards) and Justin Jackson (142 rushing, 7.9 average) again will be the team's main ball-carriers. Rivers has passed for 944 yards and five touchdowns along with two interceptions and is clicking with top-flight wide receiver Keenan Allen, who leads the NFL in both receptions (29) and receiving yards (404). Defensive end Melvin Ingram has recorded just one sack so far this season but has been tough against the Dolphins with 4.5 sacks and two forced fumbles in three career meetings.
ABOUT THE DOLPHINS (0-3): Josh Rosen is getting an opportunity to prove whether or not he is the team's quarterback of the future and is completing 43.3 percent of his passes with no touchdowns and two interceptions. The team has scored just one offensive TD while averaging 5.3 points per game, and a defense that has been just as porous while giving up 44.3 points and 499.3 yards per game welcomes back veteran safety Reshad Jones (ankle) after a two-week absence. "I'm willing to go out and do what it takes to help this team win," Jones told reporters. "Definitely frustrating not being out there and being able to help my guys, but I'm back now. I feel healthy. I feel pretty good and I'm ready to go."
1. The Dolphins have won each of the last two meetings, outscoring the Chargers 56-17 in the process.
2. Allen, who registered a career-best 183 yards in the Week 3 loss to the Texans, is tied with Gary Garrison and Hall-of-Famer Charlie Joiner for the third-most 100-yard receiving performances in franchise history with 23.
3. Drake leads Miami with 69 rushing yards after notching a season-best 38 in last week's 31-6 loss to Dallas.
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Key Players to Watch
- HamstringQues Thurs | questionable
Parker is dealing with a hamstring injury, and it is unknown if he will suit up against the Jaguars on Thursday.
- ConcussionProb Thurs | probable
Roberts missed the last game due to a concussion, but he is likely to be cleared in time for Thursday's contest versus the Jaguars.
- KneeQues Thurs | questionable
Howard has a knee injury, and it is unclear if he will play Thursday versus the Jaguars.
- HipQues Thurs | questionable
Lawson is nursing a hip injury, and it is up in the air if he will be available against the Jaguars on Thursday.
- PectoralQues Thurs | questionable
Fejedelem has missed the past two games due to a pectoral injury, and it is unclear if he will be ready for Thursday against the Jaguars.
- SuspensionElig Week 8 | out
Callaway has been handed a fourteen-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy. He will be eligible to return Week 8 against the Rams.
- GroinDoub Thurs | doubtful
Jones left the previous game due to a groin injury and did not return. It is unlikely that he will be active Thursday against the Jaguars.
- KneeProb Sun | probable
Howard is dealing with a knee injury, but he is likely to line up Sunday against the Bills.
Los Angeles Chargers
- IllnessQues Sun | questionable
Parham Jr. sat out the previous game due to an illness, and it is unknown if he will participate in Sunday's contest versus the Panthers.
- ChestQues Sun | questionable
Taylor was held out of the previous game due to complications stemming form a pregame injection in his ribs, and it has yet to be established if it will impede his status for Sunday's clash versus the Panthers.
- ShoulderQues Sun | questionable
Jones was removed from the last game due to a shoulder injury, and it is uncertain if he will suit up against the Panthers on Sunday.
- KneeQues Sun | questionable
Bulaga exited the last game with a knee injury, and it remains to be seen if he will be active Sunday versus the Panthers.
- LegQues Sun | questionable
Ingram III departed the last game due to a leg injury, and it is undetermined if he will be available against the Panthers on Sunday.
- GroinQues Sun | questionable
Jenkins left the previous game due to a groin injury, and his status for Sunday's matchup versus the Panthers is in question.
- QuadricepQues Sun | questionable
Jackson missed the last game due to an injured quad, and it is unclear if he will play Sunday against the Panthers.
- HipI-R | I-R
Pouncey has been sent to the injured reserve list due to hip surgery.