Dolphins look like a playoff team in rout of Chargers

Philip Rivers was shut out for the first time in his career, as the Miami Dolphins defeated the San Diego Chargers Sunday in a 37-0 rout. Our takeaways:

  1. Miami looks like a playoff team. San Diego does not. If not for missed opportunities, the Dolphins could have carried a 54-0 lead into the fourth quarter. The Chargers have lost three straight after a five-game winning streak. They will enter the bye week in third place in the AFC West, hoping to get cornerback Jason Verrett, linebacker Manti Te'o and running back Ryan Mathews back to turn their season around starting in Week 11. The defense has allowed an average of 31 points over the past four games after holding all of their first five opponents to 21 points or fewer.
  1. Outside of Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Andrew Luck, no AFC quarterback has played better than Ryan Tannehill ever since coach Joe Philbin publicly flirted with the idea of turning to backup Matt Moore in late September. This is the best stretch of his young career. Only Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick and Cam Newton have more rushing yards this season. If Tannehill keeps this up, the Dolphins will reach double-digit wins for the first time since 2008.
  1. The Chargers announced a hand injury late in the third quarter for Rivers, but he could have played if the game was close. His passer rating has been below 100.0 in each of the past three weeks after the first five-game streak in NFL history over 120.0. Sunday marked just his fourth career three-interceptiongame and the 31.0 passer rating was his third-lowest ever. The offensive line woes are sabotaging this offense.
  1. Led by all-world pass rusher Cameron Wake, the Dolphins have one of the best defenses in the league. Second-year linebacker Jelani Jenkins, an afterthought to begin the season, has been a revelation. Miami has held four of the past five opponents to 14 or fewer points.
  1. Donald Brown was used as a pure backup to Branden Oliver in his first game since sustaining a concussion nearly a month ago. With no holes to run through, Oliver has managed just 2.1 yards per carry over the past two weeks.
  1. Miami's backfield is growing thin. Knowshon Moreno is already out for the season, and Lamar Miller left Sunday's game with a shoulder injury. "It was just a stinger but I'm good," Miller said after the game, via the Miami Herald. "I'll be fine once I get treatment." The Dolphins will send Miller for an MRI just to be safe. Daniel Thomas would likely start at Detroit next week if Miller can't go.
  1. Every time we watch the Dolphins, it seems obvious that rookie Jarvis Landry should be a bigger part of the offense. He's the team's most dangerous runner after the catch.
  1. First-year general manager Dennis Hickey should be in the Executive of the Year discussion after turning this roster around.

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