There have been a bunch of root canal games on the NFL schedule this year, and the Miami Dolphins (4-1) are about to play their second in eight days.
The winless and hapless Carolina Panthers come to town this weekend, and — just like a dental patient — Dolphins fans might feel like they’re pumped full of laughing gas.
Kickoff is 1 p.m. on CBS for the tiny sliver of America getting the game.
Carolina Panthers vs. Miami Dolphins Game Preview
The Dolphins, as of Friday, were 13.5-point home favorites over the Panthers, the second-biggest mismatch of Week 6. (The Bills are laying 14.5 against the Giants.)
The Dolphins have won 14 of their last 16 games at Hard Rock Stadium, giving them one of the league’s best home-field advantages.
The Dolphins are 5-2 all-time against the Panthers, including 3-1 at home. Here are seven more must-know stats, powered by Inside Edge.
Seven Panthers-Dolphins Stats From Inside Edge
Stat: Bryce Young (Panthers) has turned the ball over on 5.3% of plays when pressured by the defense this season — tied for ninth-worst of qualified quarterbacks. The Dolphins have pressured opposing QBs on 30.8% of passing plays this season — third-best in the NFL.
Analysis: The Dolphins’ pass rush got right against the Giants in Week 5, recording seven sacks and 14 quarterback hits. And that was without Jaelan Phillips, who is working back from an oblique injury.
Aidan Hutchinson with a one-handed interception on a Bryce Young pass! 🏈🔥🦁pic.twitter.com/CMTBnMJtON
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) October 8, 2023
Stat: Raheem Mostert (Dolphins) has seven rushing touchdowns this season — tied for most among qualified running backs. The Panthers have allowed nine rushing TDs this season — tied for most in the NFL.
Analysis: The Dolphins will miss De’Von Achane, who is on injured reserve with a knee injury. But don’t forget that Mostert went for 121 yards and two touchdowns in 18 carries before Mike McDaniel really started playing the rookie.
Stat: Panthers RBs have gained 783 yards on 98 receptions (8.0 yards per catch) since the 2022 season — tied for fifth-best in the NFL. The Dolphins have allowed 8.0 ypc to RBs since the 2022 season — tied for third-worst in the NFL.
Analysis: The weaknesses of the Dolphins’ defense are their off-ball linebackers and their secondary (other than Xavien Howard and Jevon Holland). Not a surprise that running backs would exploit those spots.
Stat: Tua Tagovailoa (Dolphins) has a 106.4 passer rating since Week 16 of the 2022 season — second-best of qualified quarterbacks. The Panthers have allowed a passer rating of 102.4 since Week 16 of the 2022 Season — third-worst in the NFL.
Tua Tagovailoa called his own play on the Tyreek Hill TD pass. Here’s Mike McDaniel’s reaction. pic.twitter.com/W3GTRPvp6h
— Adam Beasley (@AdamHBeasley) October 8, 2023
Analysis: More ugly pass defense stats: Through five weeks, the Panthers have the league’s fewest pass breakups (13) and rank in the bottom 10 in defensive touchdown rate (5.1%).
Stat: The Dolphins have run 18.8% offensive plays in the red zone this season — fifth-best in the NFL. The Panthers have allowed their opponent to run 19.6% of plays in the red zone this season — third-worst in the NFL.
Analysis: Not only do the Dolphins spend a ton of time inside the 20, they make the most of their opportunities. They have the league’s best red zone offense (76.2%), while the Panthers have the NFL’s fifth-worst red zone defense (68.4%).
Stat: The Dolphins are averaging 7.6 yards per carry this season — best in NFL. The Panthers have allowed 5.3 yards per carry this season — fifth-worst in NFL.
Analysis: The Dolphins’ average was sure to come down, even before they put Achane on IR. But this is still a deep and talented group, even if Jeff Wilson Jr. isn’t back in the mix this week.
MORE: Are We Just Weeks Away From Jalen Ramsey’s Return?
Stat: Adam Thielen (Panthers) has eight receiving touchdowns in the red zone since the 2022 season — tied for second-most among qualified wide receivers. The Dolphins have allowed 30 receiving touchdowns when defending in the red zone since the 2022 season — third-most in the NFL.
Analysis: Even at age 33, Thielen is still producing. He is far and away the team leader in catches (38) and receiving yards (394) — which says more about the Panthers’ roster than it does about anything else.
Panthers vs. Dolphins Predictions
- Adam Beasley: Dolphins
- David Bearman: Dolphins
- Dalton Miller: Dolphins
- Jay Morrison: Dolphins
- Dallas Robinson: Dolphins
For all of PFN’s Week 6 predictions, click here.
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