With a brutally difficult stretch run ahead, the Miami Dolphins look to end a three-game losing streak with a home date against the Seattle Seahawks. At 4-6, the Dolphins' thin playoff hopes could evaporate with a fourth straight loss, while the Seahawks hope to stay within striking distance of an NFC Wild Card berth.
"Everybody is staying upbeat," Dolphins RB Reggie Bush said of his teammates Wednesday. "Guys know we still have a lot of football to play, and we're not out of this thing yet. I haven't seen anybody falling off the map. Everybody has been pretty upbeat."
When the Dolphins have the ball: Miami's once-formidable rushing attack has hit the skids in recent weeks, and it will be tough to get back on track against Seattle's stout run defense. The Seahawks are giving up just 100 yards per game on the ground, and only two rushers have topped 100 yards against Seattle this year.
The Seahawks' pass defense is even better, third best in the NFL with only 196 yards allowed per game. Miami's rookie QB Ryan Tannehill has hit a wall at midseason, throwing 5 interceptions in the past two games with just a 55% completion rate.
Seattle's front-seven excels at rushing the quarterback, the team's 28 sacks rank fifth in the NFL. DEs Chris Clemons and rookie Bruce Irvin have half those sacks with 7 apiece. Miami's offensive line has been porous as of late, as Richie Incognito and Jake Long in particular have had some uncharacteristically subpar days.
When the Seahawks have the ball: The Seahawks have the fewest passing yards in the NFL, but win anyway thanks to a potent rushing attack. RB Marshawn Lynch has topped 1,000 yards for the second straight year, averaging 4.7 yards per carry.
The running game has taken pressure off of rookie QB Russell Wilson, who is completing 62% of his passes for just 182 yards per game. But with Miami giving up the most passing yards in the NFL, the Seahawks could be tempted to see what the rookie can do.
Other than standout DE Cameron Wake, few Dolphins defenders have stood out for good reasons this season. But the Dolphins do rank fourth in the NFL against the run, allowing 3.8 yards per carry. Lynch and the Seahawks will present a challenge, but one the Dolphins defense can conceivably stop.
Who has the edge? Miami's run defense will keep it close, but at this point in the season it is hard to trust either the offense or defense to make the necessary plays late in the game to secure a win.
The pick: Seahawks 20-Dolphins 13
Details: Seattle Seahawks () at Miami Dolphins (4-6)
TV: Fox, 1:00 pm, Chris Myers, Tim Ryan
Line: Seahawks by 3
Previously: Miami won 21-18 at home in 2008