Dolphins defy odds

Week 7 of the 2008 NFL season is here and already pre-season powers are fading away into obscurity.

One of the teams that are on the hook are the San Diego Chargers. Granted they had a monumental win against the Patriots but their offense has yet to impress as expected.

In their match-up this week with Buffalo their offense will certainly be counted on more than their defense. The Bills are without Edwards thus San Diego should be able to disrupt their passing.

Though the New Orleans Saints are a respectable 3-3 they’re looking up at everyone else in the NFC South standings.

They can certainly put points on the board. However their ability to stop Carolina’s run game this week will be vital if they hope to gain any ground.

The Vikings are a squad that has fallen short on many levels. Their offense has been lacklustre and their defense comes through only occasionally.

The Bears have defense as a strong suit and also boast a solid runner in Forte. Look for the winner in this game to be the team that controls the running game most.

The Steelers continue to be a solid club without any big running performances. The defense and a good pass attack have been their calling cards.

The Bengals can’t do anything right on the field though they try hard every game. This game boils down to who can keep their head in the game longest.

In Kansas City there is some optimism as they’re not the worst in the AFC. The passing is still coming along but Johnson has some good runs left.

Against the technically sound Titans Johnson will have to be huge. For Tennessee it’s all about scoring on a weak secondary.

Miami are now a legitimate side in the AFC East. With two impressive wins the team could just get out of the cellar.

However their defense will have to be as good if not better than that of the Ravens. The winner of their match up will be whoever can protect the quarterback best.

New York’s loss against the Browns on Monday night was a good thing. It allowed them to breathe and focus on their opponents and not their record.

That relaxation and a good pass-rush will be needed against the Niners. If Sullivan isn’t hurried then San Fran can give the Giants another loss.

Dallas has too many distractions to be the powerhouse they ought to be. They simply can’t stay focused on their opponents.

The Cowboys will need to plan for the Rams this week. Without Romo at the helm and Pac-Man in the secondary the upstart Rams could pull off another shocking upset.

The Texans did well to get off their winless start and prove their worth. Schaub and Johnson had a good game and they finally got some breaks their way.

The problem is they now face a Detroit team that’s too hungry and too talented to stay winless. The difference here, aside from who brings the best offense, will be who hustles most.

As expected the Packers have been up and down over the weeks and much of that has to do with Aaron Rodgers.

His health is in question and the Packers need his arm to stand a chance against the Colts. Indy is a team looking to make a statement that their defense is good with or without Bob Sanders.

The Jets and Raiders are teams going in different directions. New York is flashing a remarkable passing attack of late while the Raiders inability to do more than run has teams all over McFadden.

Both defenses however do not impress anyone. This game will see one of them take centre stage.

In Washington all the momentum of four straight wins is long gone courtesy of a demoralising loss to the Rams.

The Redskins better snap out of that and bring a strong pass rush against a Browns team that feels it’s an offensive threat now.

In Tampa, the Buccaneers are showing off a stout defense once again. Their ability to rush the passer and make big tackles down field are big reasons for their success.

The struggling Seahawks can’t even threaten teams with big plays. The only way Tampa has trouble is if Seattle resorts to trick plays to score.

Monday night’s game will once again be another goodie. The Broncos have defied expectations as one of the AFC’s best. The Patriots meanwhile are anything but dominant.

Their match up will centre on who can shut down the other team. In their losses the Pats have allowed 250 passing yards on average while the Broncos have allowed two rushers to go over 100 yards.

The teams with byes also deserve a mention. The Falcons and Cardinals are surprisingly good and the bye will rest up their pass-heavy offenses.

Meanwhile the Philadelphia Eagles and their battered defense will certainly take the rest while Jaguars anxiously look to get Jones-Drew running like he did in Denver.