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The similarities between the Dolphins and Denver Broncos, this week's opponents, are almost eerie. It's almost like the Dolphins are facing themselves.

It's uncanny, really. Start with the two quarterbacks, Brian Griese and Jay Fiedler, both of whom have faced the burden of replacing a legend.

But there's so much more. There's so much, in fact, that Coach Dave Wannstedt showed his players a chart pointing out some of the many similarities.

Here are just a few:

Both teams are 4-1. No big deal, but both teams won their first three games before losing and then rebounding last week.

Then there's the schedule. The Dolphins have played at home, on the road, at home, on the road and at home again. The Broncos? Take a guess.

Then there are the statistical similarities:

The Dolphins have compiled 114 first downs; Denver has 111.

The Dolphins are averaging 4.6 yards per rushing attempt; Denver is at 4.7.

The Dolphins are allowed opponents an average of 3.4 yards per carry; Denver is allowed 3.2 yards.

Fiedler's quarterback rating is 91.6; Griese is at 91.4.

The Dolphins are third in the NFL in rushing offense, but only 20th in passing offense; Denver is eighth in rushing offense but only tied for 18th in passing offense.

The Dolphins are fourth defensively against the run, but only 22nd against the pass; Denver is second against the run and 18th against the pass.

"I think we're very similar teams," Wannstedt said. "I know that (Denver coach Mike Shanahan) has got to be pleased because they're running the football so well. They play excellent defense and they're able to run the football."

Even the teams' philosophies are similar.

Both the Dolphins and Denver offenses feature the run first, and both defenses are anchored by space-eating tackles who allow speedy linebackers to make plays.

The players also have noticed how much the teams mirror each other.

"I think a lot of the things they do are very similar to us," Fiedler said. "They do feed off the running game. They like to establish the run and get the play-action passing in.

"They have a couple of great wide receivers in Rod Smith and (Ed) McCaffrey, a tight end that can make plays in the passing game and are very similar to the style of offense that we have."

Dolphins vs. Denver. Might as well be Dolphins vs. Dolphins, or Denver vs. Denver.


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