Predicting the outcome

Things just don't get any easier for the Dolphins. After dropping a seven-point decision at Buffalo to gain the distinction of being the only winless team in the league, the Dolphins now have to face the streaking St. Louis Rams. It's not exactly a great recipe for success. Here's how we think the game will unfold.

On paper, this is another game the Dolphins would appear to have little chance of winning because logic says there's no reason the Dolphins can totally shut down the high-powered St. Louis offense and there's no way the Miami offense can possibly keep up.

But one source of encouragement is the fact the Rams have to go on the road after playing a Monday night game, a combination that can be problematic.

Starting on defense for the Dolphins, there is reason to hope the Dolphins can shut down the Rams offense, even though they didn't come close when the teams met in St. Louis in 2001.

The big concern here is the Dolphins playing with same kind of intensity on defense they showed in the early weeks of the season.

If they do that, the Dolphins are good enough to slow down Marshall Faulk on the ground and they're good enough to get some turnovers against Rams quarterback Marc Bulger.

The Dolphins have the cornerbacks (Patrick Surtain, Sam Madison) to cover the likes of Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce and jump all over an errant pass, which Bulger has been known to throw from time to time.

The defensive line will have to do its part and put some pressure on Bulger, something it didn't last week against Drew Bledsoe.

On the other side of the ball, the Dolphins don't figure to get much done even though they're going against a mediocre Rams offense.

Let's face it, the Dolphins haven't been successful offensively against any team this season, so why start now?

The biggest key on offense will be NOT giving a touchdown, something that already has happened four times. That's really not that much to ask.

On special teams, the Dolphins simply haven't shown the ability to produce a big play, so there's no reason to think any help is going to come from that unit.

That means the defense will have to play out of its mind if the Dolphins are going to pull off an upset on Sunday.

Can it happen? Yes. Will it happen? Probably not, but this game might be a lot closer than many think.

We're seeing the Dolphins keeping it close but again failing to make enough plays on offense to win the game.

The call: Rams 16, Dolphins 13.

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