Dolphins Make Waves in Washington After Commanders Fire Defensive Coordinator

MIAMI (8-3) at WASHINGTON (4-8)

Sunday, 1 p.m. EST, Fox

AGAINST THE SPREAD: Dolphins 7-4; Commanders 5-6-1

SERIES RECORD: Miami leads 9-6.

LAST MEETING: Washington beat the Dolphins 17-16 on Oct. 13, 2019, at Miami.

LAST WEEK: Dolphins beat Jets 34-13; Commanders lost to Cowboys 45-10.





TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Dolphins minus-5; Commanders minus-9

DOLPHINS PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Tua Tagovailoa vowed to play better after a pair of interceptions last week at the Jets, one of which was returned for a touchdown. Tagovailoa’s 10 interceptions are tied for fourth most in the NFL. Despite the turnovers, he is fourth in yards passing with 3,177 and third in passing touchdowns with 22.

COMMANDERS PLAYER TO WATCH: DT Daron Payne. After getting a career-best 11 1/2 sacks and earning a four-year, $90 million contract, Payne has just two this season. For the Commanders defense to accomplish much, it has to start up front with Payne and Jonathan Allen.

KEY MATCHUP: Dolphins WR Tyreek Hill vs. Washington’s secondary. Will coach Ron Rivera, now calling defensive plays after firing coordinator Jack Del Rio, put Kendall Fuller, Benjamin St-Juste or rookie Emmanuel Forbes on Hill, or mix it up? The Commanders have been tormented by top receivers all season, and that trend could easily continue.

KEY INJURIES: Dolphins LT Terron Armstead’s status is in question after he left last week’s game against the Jets with a quadriceps injury. … Coach Mike McDaniel was non-committal earlier this week about the possible return of RB De’Von Achane, who has been dealing with a knee injury for the past month. … LB Jaelan Phillips underwent season-ending surgery on his right Achilles tendon. … Hill (ankle) and S Jevon Holland (knees) did not practice Wednesday. … Forbes (elbow), Commanders C Tyler Larsen (knee) and DE James Smith-Williams (hamstring) did not practice Wednesday.

SERIES NOTES: This is the Dolphins’ first visit to FedEx Field since 2015. … Miami and Washington met twice in the Super Bowl, in the 1972 and ’82 seasons, with each team winning once. … McDaniel spent three seasons as an assistant in Washington from 2011-13.

STATS AND STUFF: A win would make the Dolphins 9-3 for the first time since 2001. They’re 3-3 in road games this season. … Miami has gained 4,735 yards and allowed 3,357 yards. That margin of 1,378 is the best in the league. … The Dolphins have the fewest quarterback hits allowed. … Hill leads the NFL with 1,324 yards receiving and is on pace to finish the season with 2,046 yards, which would make him the first player to reach 2,000 in a season. … RB Raheem Mostert needs three rushing touchdowns to tie the franchise record of 16 set by Ricky Williams in 2002. Mostert’s 15 total touchdowns rank second this season. … Miami has allowed fewer than 110 yards rushing in each of its past 10 games, which is tied for the longest such streak in franchise history. … Commanders QB Sam Howell leads the NFL with 323 completions, 486 attempts and 3,339 yards passing. He’s also tied with Buffalo’s Josh Allen for the lead in interceptions with 13 and has been sacked a league-high 55 times. … RB Brian Robinson Jr. has 353 scrimmage yards over the past three games. … WR Terry McLaurin has gone four games since catching a TD pass. … WR Curtis Samuel tied his career high with nine catches and set a new season high with 100 yards receiving in the Cowboys game. … S Kamren Curl’s 93 tackles are second most among defensive backs.

FANTASY TIP: Dolphins WR Jaylen Waddle is coming off making eight catches for a team-high 114 yards at the Jets and has 50-plus yards in five of six games. There will be plenty of chances for Waddle and Hill to make plays.