Breaking down the game

The Dolphins had to switch game times twice last season because of the threat of a hurricane, but they didn't have to move the game up two days, which is the scenario involving this week's game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Losing two days won't do the Dolphins any favor because it might make the difference between Junior Seau and Jason Taylor being able to play and having to sit out.

And as the Dolphins found out in 2002, this isn't the type of offense you want to be facing without all of your key elements.

If Taylor is unable to play on Friday night, his place in the starting lineup likely would be taken by David Bowens, and there's obviously a significant drop-off there.

Donnie Spragan would start for Seau for the second consecutive game, but that change wouldn't have nearly as dramatic an impact.

Regardless of how it shakes out, the Dolphins defense will have its hands full against a Kansas City offense expected to start clicking now that standout tackle Willie Roaf has returned to the lineup.

The focal point of the Chiefs offense has to be RB Priest Holmes, who's equally dangerous as a runner or receiver.

Trent Green is a good quarterback who has the ability to get very hot, and the Dolphins must find a way to get pressure on him -- which won't be easy if Taylor can't play.

It wouldn't be a surprise to see a heavy dose of blitzing by the Dolphins.

The Chiefs' wide receiver corps is marginal at best, but tight end Tony Gonzalez is a stud and he absolutely killed the Dolphins when the Chiefs put a 48-30 whooping on the Dolphins back in 2002.

The Dolphins offense can't keep up with K.C. in a shootout, but it absolutely has to play better than it did in the last two games on the road.

One key element is figuring out how to best utilize Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown. The Dolphins have to find a way to get both involved, but at the same time trying to get them in a groove, which is best done by sticking with one guy as opposed to constantly rotating them.

The Dolphins have to make plays downfield, whether it be Chris Chambers, Randy McMichael or Marty Booker.

For all the talk of Chambers being an elite receiver, he simply needs to become a bigger factor, and Friday night would be a great time to start, particularly when he's matched up against former Dolphins cornerback Patrick Surtain.

The Kansas City defense, even with Surtain, is nothing special, so the Dolphins should be able to put points on the board if they can avoid mistakes.

But the Chiefs have a major edge on special teams in the form of Dante Hall, the most explosive returner in the league.

It will be imperative for Donnie Jones and Olindo Mare to get good hang time on their punts and kickoffs, respectively.


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