Los Angeles Chargers: Defense will have to lead team to victory

Miami Dolphins hold practice in Oxnard due to Hurricane Irma

The Chargers decommissioned Jason Verrett on Friday because of soreness in his surgically repaired left knee, an injury that could sideline the Pro Bowl cornerback for several weeks, beginning with Sunday's home opener against the Miami Dolphins at StubHub Center.

While Los Angeles did face one of the NFL's toughest defenses in the Denver Broncos, the team did not perform to the level it should have.

The Chargers hired Mark Tamar as vice president of fan experience to create an electric atmosphere on game days.

The Dolphins have had plenty of time to get acclimated to the West Coast: They've spent a full week in Oxnard, California, after leaving South Florida early with their families to avoid the hurricane. Chargers pass rusher Melvin Ingram doesn't seem to be too daunted by the challenge of facing Cutler this weekend. Needless to say, they have had time to prepare and watch film.

On the one hand, the Chargers are to be commended with how they fought back in Week 1 against a good team on the road to almost pull off a stunner.

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Rookie Desmond King, a fifth-round pick out of Iowa who was a preseason standout but played only three defensive snaps Monday night, will see more action.

File this one under the news of the odd. Hence, if they expect to win, on offense they need to run the ball to open up their brilliant passing attack. Chargers RB Melvin Gordon managed just 54 yards rushing on 18 carries in opener. We'll focus on the kicker and punter and note that if this game is close, as expected, they could play a pivotal role. The latest ever opener for the Dolphins came in 1975 when they face the Buffalo Bills on September 22.

LA connected well in the air and struggled on the ground. Also, the defense needs to find a way to keep their offense on the field to score. And while the Dolphins defense only ranked 29th overall, it also forced 25 turnovers and made 16 interceptions, both of which ranked in the top third of the league.

Timmons status for today's game against the Los Angeles Chargers is in jeopardy as he has started 101 consecutive games, which is the most by any active linebacker in the NFL.

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