The Miami Dolphins face a huge challenge this weekend.
Not only are they traveling across the country for this week's game, but they'll have to face the San Francisco 49ers when they land.
The Niners are nursing an 8-3-1 record and are virtually a lock for the playoffs. The Dolphins are 5-7 and are looking to play the role of spoiler.
Not many people are giving the Dolphins a chance in this game, and perhaps rightfully so. San Francisco packs a menacing defense (2nd in the NFL in total yards allowed) and a stout running game (2nd in yards per game) that can terrorize any team.
Miami is coming into Sunday's game having lost 4 of its last 5 games. Its offense oscillates between mediocre and downright terrible, and its secondary gives up yards to just about anyone who will ask politely.
Weighing those facts, it seems obvious that San Francisco should wipe the turf with Miami. But the Dolphins have a tough makeup and could prove to be a hard out for the Niners.
If the Dolphins want to pull off an unlikely upset on Sunday, they'll need big contributions from the following players.