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Miami Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler (6) ...
Wilfredo Lee, The Associated Press
Miami Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler (6) is sacked by Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Bruce Irvin (51), middle linebacker NaVorro Bowman (53) and defensive end Mario Edwards (97), during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017, in Miami Gardens, Fla.

Three things to watch

Talib’s absence. The Broncos will be without all-pro cornerback Aqib Talib, who will be serving a one-game suspension for his role in a fight last week against the Raiders. “Having him out makes life a little bit easier,” Dolphins QB Jay Cutler said. Rookie Brendan Langley, who struggled in replacement of Talib in Oakland, has another chance to show he was worthy of being selected in the third round back in April.

Siemian back. Broncos QB Trevor Siemian lost his job Oct. 30 after a turnover-riddled performance against the Chiefs, his third in as many consecutive losses at that point. Now, with rookie Paxton Lynch expected to miss as many as four weeks with an ankle injury, Siemian gets a second chance and said he is interested in proving only one thing. “Just win,” he said.

Something has to give. Things looked promising for both these teams at various points in October. The Broncos headed into their Week 5 game Oct. 15 with a 3-1 record. The Dolphins were 4-2 after a comeback victory in Week 6. The bottom has since fallen out in Denver and Miami. The Broncos have a seven-game losing streak and the Dolphins have lost five straight. Which team will find an afternoon of joy amid a miserable season?

Game Plan

When the Broncos run. Denver has been unable to produce back-to-back strong performances on the ground since victories in Week 1 and 2. Against the Raiders last week, the Broncos had only 26 yards rushing on 12 carries from their running back trio of Devontae Booker, C.J. Anderson and Jamal Charles. Miami is 25th against the run, giving up 117.7 yards per game. Edge: Broncos.

When the Broncos pass. The Broncos gave up four sacks and had no success in the passing game until they turned into a two-minute offense through the majority of the fourth quarter. Siemian, who will start for the first time since Oct. 30, could have a new target in tight end Austin Traylor, who has caught five passes for 80 yards the last two games. The Dolphins have a Pro Bowl safety in Reshad Jones but are tied for 29th in the NFL with only four interceptions this season. Edge: Dolphins.

When the Dolphins run. Miami was struggling to run even before it jettisoned Jay Ayaji, a Pro Bowl selection in 2016, to Philadelphia at the trade deadline. Now, the Dolphins are dealing with several injuries at the position. Kenyan Drake is the team’s leading rusher with 200 yards in 11 games, 66 of which came on Miami’s lone rushing touchdown of the season. Denver is fourth in the NFL against the run at 87.2 yards allowed per game. Edge: Broncos.

When the Dolphins pass. Jay Cutler will return as Miami’s starting QB after missing the previous game with a concussion. The 34-year-old has thrown for 13 touchdowns and nine interceptions in nine games. Jarvis Landry has 75 receptions for 637 yards and six TDs. Kenny Stills has developed into a deep-ball threat, averaging 14.8 yards across 43 catches, five of them scores. The Broncos have given up a league-high 24 touchdown passes. Edge: Dolphins.

Special teams. The Broncos have been largely unable to create any advantageous field position off returns, save for a couple sizable punt returns by rookie Isaiah McKenzie earlier this season. But Jordan Taylor has been sure-handed in fielding punts, an improvement over McKenzie. Dolphins kicker Cody Parkey has missed only one field goal (12-of-13), but he’s botched three point-after attempts. Edge: Dolphins.

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