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News » WHO HAS THE EDGE?


WHO HAS THE EDGE?


WHO HAS THE EDGE?
Dolphins RUNNING GAME VS. Rams RUN DEFENSE EDGE: Dolphins Even though the Dolphins average 112 rushing yards per game, at that rate neither Ronnie Brown (642 rushing yards) nor Ricky Williams (458) will reach 1,000 rushing yards. But the Rams could help jump-start the Dolphins' on-again, off-again rushing attack. St. Louis is allowing 163 rushing yards per game, 4.9 yards per carry, and has allowed 20 rushing touchdowns. If DT Adam Carriker doesn't play, the Dolphins should be able to run up the gut of St. Louis' front line. But the Dolphins might have to compensate for Jake Long's sprained ankle, which could limit his mobility.


Dolphins PASSING GAME VS. Rams PASS DEFENSE EDGE: Dolphins Chad Pennington's 93.7 quarterback rating is seventh in the league and third best in the AFC. With 2,715 passing yards in 11 games, he's on pace for his best statistical season. Pennington is 638 yards shy of exceeding the 3,352 yards he passed for in his 16 starts as a Jet in 2006. Pennington must adjust without his favorite receiver, Greg Camarillo. Look for Davone Bess and Brandon London to share Camarillo's workload. It would be wise for Pennington to stay away from free safety Oshiomogho Atogwe, who has four interceptions and five forced fumbles.

Rams RUNNING GAME VS. Dolphins RUN DEFENSE EDGE: Rams A thigh injury has limited Pro Bowl tailback Steven Jackson the past five weeks, but he practiced most of last week and could start his first game since Week 9. Antonio Pittman, Jackson's backup, has rushed for 226 yards on 65 carries in five starts, but the second-year pro hasn't scored a touchdown and isn't the pass-catching threat Jackson is. The Dolphins, who have been hot and cold defending the run, allowed the Patriots to become the sixth team to rush for more than 100 yards against the defense.

Rams PASSING GAME VS. Dolphins PASS DEFENSE EDGE: Dolphins Quarterback Marc Bulger, who is completing 58 percent of his passes, is expected to play despite a concussion. This might not be a wise idea considering the amount of hits St. Louis' quarterbacks have taken. Bulger has been sacked 30 times, and his backup, former Dolphins quarterback Trent Green, has been sacked six times in three games. Pro Bowl tackle Orlando Pace is expected back from the knee injury that sidelined him for one game. The Rams have little depth behind Donnie Avery and Torry Holt.

Dolphins SPECIAL TEAMS VS. Rams SPECIAL TEAMS EDGE: Dolphins The Dolphins' coverage units showed improvement last week, limiting the Patriots to 116 yards on nine kickoffs and punts. The unit, which is ranked among the NFL's worst covering kickoffs and punts, will need to bring that kind of intensity against the Rams, whose return game features Derek Stanley and Dane Looker. Stanley is averaging 25.4 yards on kickoffs, and 7.6 on punt returns. Ted Ginn Jr. has been close to breaking a big return for weeks. Bess' workload will be increased now that he's become a starting receiver. Rams kicker Josh Brown has made 19 of 23 field goals.

INTANGIBLES EDGE: Dolphins Unlike the Dolphins, who are still in the AFC East race and wild-card picture, the Rams don't have much to play for. St. Louis has been outscored 99-6 in the first half of its last three games. The Dolphins have posted a regular-season record of 25-26 in indoor venues, including a 1-1 mark at the Edward Jones Dome.

PREDICTION: Dolphins 21, Rams 17

INFORMATIONAL BOX:

Kickoff: 1 p.m., Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis TV: Chs. 4, 12. Radio: WQAM (560-AM), WSUA (1260-AM, Spanish). Line: Dolphins by 8 Series: Dolphins lead 8-2



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 30, 2008

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