Five to Watch: Dolphins vs. Bolts
LB Brandon Siler (Doug Pensinger/Getty)
LB Brandon Siler (Doug Pensinger/Getty)
Reporter, SDBoltReport.com
Posted Oct 3, 2008


The Chargers take the benefit of a two-game winning streak into Miami to face the 1-2 Dolphins. Samantha Fillerup profiles five players to watch in the South Bay showdown and analyzes the impact they will have on Sunday's game.

1. Chris Chambers was denied access to the end zone for the first time this season by the Oakland Raiders. In four games, Chambers has posted eight receptions for 196 yards (24.5-yard average) and four touchdowns. Of course, Chambers' productivity is hardly news to the Dolphins.

Chambers is the Dolphins' fourth-leading all-time receiver in yards (5,688) and TD catches (43). He faces a pass defense that ranks No. 26 in the NFL, although that is slightly misleading, as the Dolphins have been hit for some stat-skewing big plays. Chambers will likely be pitted against eight-year veteran Will Allen, who has 10 tackles and two pass breakups on the season.


RB Jacob Hester
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty

2. Jacob Hester has been solid on special teams, logging four tackles in as many games, but has yet to earn a steady spot in the offensive rotation. That may change in Week 5, especially if the Bolts play a complete game and build a sizable second-half lead. To date, Hester's only action on offense is one carry for 3 yards against the New York Jets.

If Hester makes an extended appearance on offense, the task will not be easy. In Miami's last outing, the New England Patriots recorded just 78 rushing yards against the Dolphins.

3. Stephen Cooper makes his 2008 debut after serving a four-game suspension and faces a difficult undertaking. He will square off against a Dolphins rushing attack that ranks in the top half of the league in rushing yards per game and average yards per rush.

Cooper will also be expected to shore up the pass defense. In his absence, the Bolts' defense has been lax in defending the middle of the field; through four games, the Chargers have allowed opposing tight ends to rack up more than 300 yards and five touchdowns. Cooper will match up with Anthony Fasano, who led the Dolphins with eight receptions for 84 yards and a score last week against the Patriots.

4. Antonio Cromartie was guilty of costly penalties in Weeks 2 and 4. He's gone without an interception in three of four games and had just one tackle against the Raiders. He will be anxious, ready and willing to pick off the oft-embattled Dolphins QB Chad Pennington.

Cromartie will face a talented group of wide receivers that includes a familiar face -- Greg Camarillo. Camarillo, who spent the 2004-2006 seasons with the Chargers, has 11 receptions for 146 yards this season as a starter for the Dolphins.

5. Brandon Siler is pushing Kassim Osgood for the title of best player on San Diego's special teams. The Chargers will rely on him to stunt the Dolphins' kick return specialists, be it rookie Davone Bess or 2007 first-round draft pick Ted Ginn.

The Bolts' special teams have hemorrhaged return yards in the last two games, allowing the Jets 291 return yards and the Raiders 163. Siler will be a central figure in any improvement on kick coverage; after all, he's active on game days in favor of Anthony Waters specifically because of his ability to play special teams.



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WR Chris Chambers (profile)
LB Stephen Cooper (profile)
CB Antonio Cromartie (profile)
FB Jacob Hester (profile)
ILB Brandon Siler (profile)
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