Sunday, November 11, 2012

Gameday Deciding Factors: Titans at Dolphins


The Miami Dolphins' season took on a slightly different tone after a heroic performance by Andrew Luck ended their three-game winning streak, but this team (4-4) is still very much in the thick of the AFC playoff picture. To avoid fading into the background, however, Miami must take care of the Tennessee Titans (3-6) at home.

Tennessee quarterback Jake Locker is expected to start after missing five games with a shoulder injury and will have the chance to attack a depleted Dolphins' secondary.


Slow down CJ?K. Despite struggling for the better part of last season and the first nine games of 2012, Johnson remains a dangerous weapon that can score from any point on the field. Miami's run defense has been good this season, but not since the first two weeks has it faced a back of Johnson's caliber. Minimizing long gains on the ground will be critical.

Spread the ball around. Tennessee's defense is awful against the pass, allowing a league-worst 108.4 passer rating to opponents. The Dolphins' receivers will have chances to get open early and often, and Ryan Tannehill will need to capitalize on this weakness.

Be smart in coverage. After placing Richard Marshall on injured reserve, the Dolphins' defensive backfield looks depleted and lacking talent. But backups Nolan Carroll and Jimmy Wilson have, aside from last week's debacle, played more than adequately in their relief roles this season. They will need to play solidly again on Sunday to keep the strong-armed but inaccurate Locker from beating them.

Stay steady on offense. The Titans' defense ranks in the bottom-six in the NFL against the run, the pass, in scoring and in takeaways. Miami certainly has the capability to put up points on this opponent, but will need to avoid turning the ball over or putting themselves in third-and-long situations. Accomplishing this will allow the Dolphins to control the pace of the game, and keep the at-times explosive Titans offense from having many chances to score.
A week in Dolphins posts at

Fins' 3rd-down D struggles mightily in loss to Colts

Monday Morning State of the Division: Post-Week 9

Turnover-prevention is Tannehill's best trait so far

Around-the-Web AFC East power rankings: Week 10

Philbin says Bush's snap reduction means nothing

Week 10 AFC East game picks: Titans at Dolphins