By Maximillian C. Burgos | Staff Writer
The Denver Broncos are a far cry from the dominant force in the AFC that they used to be. The Miami Dolphins are also a far cry from what they were even last year. Both these teams have nothing to play for at this point than draft pick spots.
Since beating the New York Jets, the Dolphins have lost five straight games. In those five games, they only have a shot to win one of them. The one game was against the Oakland Raiders, who are also struggling this season.
In the game against the Raiders, quarterback Derek Carr established himself for the Raiders, throwing for 300 yards and a touchdown. The Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler also had a great game, throwing for 311 yards and three touchdowns, easily his best game of the year.
Even with Cutler’s solid performance, the Dolphins defense couldn’t keep the Raiders from scoring. The Dolphins managed to claw their way back in the fourth quarter, but it was too little too late.
Since the Dolphins last win, they have been outscored 174-82. The Baltimore Ravens absolutely shutout the Dolphins, the Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots simply had their way with them and the Buccaneers did just enough to stay ahead. Long story short, the Dolphins are not going to the playoffs and are playing for pride at this point.
The Broncos haven’t fared too much better this year. The Broncos got off to a nice 3-1 start to the season. Broncos fans were hopeful and things were looking good. Then, they lost seven straight games. In that streak, the Broncos were outscored 206-89.
The Broncos haven’t been able to stop teams from scoring, nor have they been able to score consistently. In total offense, the Broncos are in the lower have in the League. The famed Broncos defense in sixth from the bottom. The Broncos just haven’t seemed to do much right.
It doesn’t help the Broncos that veteran Domata Peko Sr. is out for the game against Miami. Peko had a streak of 123 consecutive starts on the defensive line. On Sunday, that long streak will come to an end.
Something else that is plaguing the Broncos and everyone else is the flu. According to an ESPN report, the flu is apparently spreading in the Broncos locker room. Linebackers Shane Ray, Todd Davis and DeMarcus Walker all missed practice this past week with the flu. Defensive linemen Shelby Harris and Domata Peko also missed.
The most important player for the Broncos battling the illness is quarterback Trevor Siemian. Siemian however, did not miss any practice time due to the illness.
According to ESPN’s matchup predictors, the Miami has a 50.5-percent chance of winning the game. If more Broncos catch the flu or miss the game due to the illness, the Dolphins may walk away with one of the easier wins of the season.
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