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Five Things to Watch on Sunday | Chiefs vs. Dolphins 🇩🇪

Here are some notes to know going into the game

The Kansas City Chiefs will head to Germany this weekend for a big-time matchup against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday morning.

Here are five things to keep in mind heading into game day.

1. Here's a look at the final injury report for both teams.

The Chiefs will be without tailback Clyde Edwards-Helaire (illness) on Sunday after the team elected that it would be best if he remained in Kansas City to recover. Kansas City also listed linebacker Willie Gay Jr. (lower back) and wide receiver Richie James (knee) as "Questionable" for the game. James, who hasn't played since Week 2, remains on Injured Reserve and would need to be activated in order to play.

As for the Dolphins, they listed two players as "Out" for Sunday (offensive lineman Rob Hunt and safety Brandon Jones) and eight players as "Questionable," including left tackle Terron Armstead (knee), cornerback Xavien Howard (groin), center Connor Williams (groin) and wide receiver Braxton Berrios (hamstring).

Hunt is a significant loss for Miami considering that he's the Dolphins' starting right guard. This will mark the first game that he has ever missed in his career. Williams and Armstead, meanwhile, are both starters for Miami who have missed time in recent weeks. Berrios, who appeared on the injury report mid-week with a hamstring issue, is a contributor to Miami's offense (20 catches for 194 yards and one touchdown) and has the second-best kickoff return average (24.6 yards) of any player in the league.

Lastly, Howard – one of the top corners in the NFL – has not played since Week 6.

2. Nobody has gotten rid of the football quicker than Dolphins' quarterback Tua Tagovailoa this season.

The Dolphins' offense currently leads the NFL in numerous categories, including points-per-game (33.9 points) and yards-per-game (453.3 yards), due in large part to the performance of Tagovailoa, who leads the league in passing yards (2,416), passing touchdowns (18) and passer rating (108.8).

Tagovailoa's success this season has been predicated on his quick release, which is by far the fastest of any quarterback in the NFL. In fact, Tagovailoa is getting rid of the football in just 2.28 seconds on average – by far the quickest of any passer in the league this season – and on more than 62 percent of his passes, Tagovailoa has thrown the ball in fewer than 2.5 seconds. Additionally, according to Pro Football Focus' grading metrics, Tagovailoa is ranked as the top passer in the NFL this season on throws of fewer than 2.5 seconds.

That quick release time is directly correlated to the fact that Tagovailoa has been the least-pressured quarterback in the NFL this year. Specifically, Tagovailoa has only been pressured on 21 percent of his dropbacks this year, but – for what it's worth – he has struggled when under pressure. Tagovailoa has completed less than 40 percent of his passes when under pressure this year, throwing two interceptions.

With all of this in mind, it will be critical for the Chiefs' defense to disrupt Tagovailoa's rhythm on Sunday. That can be achieved – among other things – by successfully covering his first read and knocking down passes at the line of scrimmage, which Kansas City has excelled at so far this season.

"They're very rhythm-based. [They want to get] the ball out on time," said defensive lineman Charles Omenihu. "If you can throw that off, it gives a chance for the defense to dictate how things are going to go."

Furthermore, as much attention as Miami's passing game has garnered, any attempt to throw off the Dolphins' rhythm must begin with stopping their top-ranked running game. Miami leads the NFL in total rushing yards (1,214), rushing touchdowns (16) and average yards-per-rush (5.9), and because of that viable threat, the Dolphins have tallied the third-most passing attempts off play-action (64) of any team in the league.

"This team has a lot of play-action rhythm passing. Everybody up front has to at least respect that it could be a run, and then, boom, all of the sudden, it's a pass play and he's getting the ball out really quick," said Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. "We have to begin there. If there is a way [to] get the game one-dimensional, then we have the chance to [disrupt their offensive rhythm]."

3.The Dolphins' offense thrives on big plays.

This seems like an obvious point, but it's of particular importance when playing the Dolphins: the Chiefs must mitigate the Dolphins' big plays.

Miami has 11 scoring drives this season that took place in four or fewer plays, which are by far the most for any team in the NFL. The Dolphins also have a league-most 46 plays of 20+ yards, including 33 passes and 13 runs. Digging even deeper, 22 of those 46 plays – or 48 percent – have occurred on first down.

Hitting the big play is Miami's bread and butter, so in order to slow down the Dolphins' high-powered attack, the Chiefs will need to limit the chunk plays. It should come as no surprise that in the two games Miami lost this season (in which the Dolphins didn't score more than 20 points in either), they were held to just eight 20-yard plays combined. The Eagles, in particular, held Miami to just three big plays.

Fortunately, the Chiefs have been among the best in the NFL this season at limiting big plays. Kansas City has only yielded 22 plays of 20+ yards this season – the second-fewest of any team in the NFL, and the fewest among teams to play eight games. It's worth mentioning that they have yielded eight such plays over their last two games, but as a whole, this defense has been tough to stretch the field against.

4. The Chiefs' pass-rush was a positive from last week that Kansas City can build on moving forward.

Kansas City recorded a season-best six sacks last week against Denver, and as a team, the Chiefs' 28 sacks on the year are the second-most of any team in the NFL. The man leading the way for Kansas City's pass-rush has been defensive end George Karlaftis, whose six sacks lead the team. That total already matches Karlaftis' sack tally from all of last season, and through eight games, his 39 pressures rank seventh in the NFL.

Overall, the Chiefs are one of just two teams to yield no more than 24 points in a single game this season, joining the Baltimore Ravens.

5. Kansas City has often bounced back quickly from tough losses in recent years.

The Chiefs dropped a tough one last week, but recent history should provide some comfort. In his six years as the Chiefs' starting quarterback, Patrick Mahomes is 14-3 in regular-season games immediately following a loss.

Here's a quick season-by-season breakdown of Mahomes' record following a loss:

2018: 3-1

2019: 2-1

2020: 1-0

2021: 4-1

2022: 3-0

2023: 1-0

That past success doesn't guarantee anything moving forward, and the Chiefs will need to take care of business on Sunday, but if anything, that 14-3 record indicates an ability to quickly bounce back from difficult circumstances. Mahomes will aim to make it 15-3 this weekend.

Catch the Chiefs and Dolphins on Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m. CT on NFL Network.

Chiefs players and coaches work during a Week 9 practice at the DFB campus in Frankfurt, Germany on Friday.