Dolphins vs. Chiefs: How do they match up in Week 16?

How do the Miami Dolphins (6-8) and Kansas City Chiefs (8-6) match up for Sunday’s NFL Week 16 game at Arrowhead Stadium?

Haven’t the playoffs slipped out of the hands of Jay Cutler and the Dolphins? (Getty Images)

When the Dolphins have the ball…

Miami total offense (28th in NFL) vs. Kansas City total defense (28th in NFL)
Miami scoring offense (26th) vs. Kansas City scoring defense (14th) 

Miami passing offense (20th in NFL) vs. Kansas City pass defense (26th in NFL)

Despite allowing 3,440 passing yards, which ranks among the worst in the league, Kansas City has surrendered only 20 touchdown passes, which ranks 12th best in the NFL. In addition to limiting scores, the Chiefs have made 14 interceptions, ninth best in the league. Ball security will be imperative for Jay Cutler and the Dolphins, as will be their ability to finish drives. Both factors have been issues for Miami of late, especially with Cutler coming off a three-interception performance in Buffalo. An opportunistic Chiefs defense should cause problems for a shaky Cutler, especially on what is likely to be a cold, snowy day. Edge: Chiefs

Miami rushing offense (29th) vs. Kansas City rush defense (27th)

Welcome to the land of expectations, Kenyan Drake. The 23-year-old ‘Bama product has propelled himself into the featured-back role on the heels of three straight games of over 100 all-purpose yards. With a modest workload of 16 carries last week in Buffalo, Drake still managed to put up 78 yards and a touchdown, his third of the season and second in three weeks. The Kansas City defense provides another opportunity for Drake to gobble up yardage, as well as an opportunity to again find the end zone, as the Chiefs have allowed 15 rushing touchdowns, tied for third worst in the NFL. Edge: Dolphins


When the Chiefs have the ball…

Kansas City total offense (5th in NFL) vs. Miami total defense (17th in NFL)
Kansas City scoring offense (6th) vs. Miami scoring defense (26th)

Kansas City passing offense (7th) vs Miami pass defense (15th)

After starting the season on absolute fire, the Chiefs’ prolific passing game has cooled off slightly. Alex Smith has continued to put up respectable numbers after an early-season stretch that had him in the MVP conversation. Last week, Smith carved up the Chargers, completing 23 of 30 passes for 231 yards and two touchdowns. Smith is one of the NFL’s premier game managers, effectively controlling possession and limiting his mistakes. While the Chiefs likely won’t put up ridiculous passing numbers, a methodical, effective air approach should keep Miami’s defense off balance. Edge: Chiefs

Kansas City rushing offense (10th) vs Miami rush defense (13th)

Rookie Kareem Hunt has placed himself in the company of the league’s best rushers by compiling 1,201 yards on the ground and a five-yards-per-attempt average. After a mid-season lull, Hunt responded by racking up 116 yards in Week 14 and another 155 last week against the Chargers, bringing the 22-year-old’s 100-plus-yard game total to six. Miami is coming off a game in which Buffalo’s run dominated early on, but the Dolphins adjusted in the second half and limited LeSean McCoy to 50 yards rushing and a touchdown. The Dolphins will need to put together a complete game to ensure that Hunt doesn’t have a major imprint, but their margin for error is small. Edge: Chiefs


Special teams

Cody Parkey is finally starting to get some opportunities, having converted on all three of his field goal attempts in Buffalo last week. Parkey has proven to be a reliable kicker who, if given more chances, could be a valuable asset for Miami’s offense. Kansas City’s Harrison Butker has also proven to be reliable, converting 31 of his 34 field-goal attempts and all 23 of his extra points. As punters go, the Dolphins’ Matt Haack narrowly edges the Chiefs’ Dustin Colquitt in yards per kick and net average, despite being called into action 18 times more. Edge: Dolphins

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