The 3-6 Tennessee Titans travel to South Florida to take on the 4-4 Miami Dolphins in a 1:00 kickoff in a pivitol game for the Dolphins to keep their playoff hopes alive. Miami is coming off a 23-20 loss in Indianapolis last Sunday, while the Titans are coming off of being steam rolled in Nashville by the Bears last Sunday 51-20.
Let's take a quick look at how these teams matchup.
Miami comes into the game ranked 23rd in total offense at 332.5 yards per game. They rank 13th in rush offense at 111.9 yards per game, and rank 20th in pass offense at 220.6 yards per game. The Dolphins are 20th in points scored at 21.2 points per game. They face a Titans defense that rank 30th in total defense giving up 415.0 yards per game. They rank 30th in rush defense giving up 141.6 yards per game, and rank 27th in pass defense giving up 273.4 yards per game. They rank 32nd in points allowed at 34.2 points per game.
Once again the Dolphins face a team that is not very good against the run, but the Dolphins have not rushed for over 100 yards as a team since Week 4. Talk is the Dolphins are going to make a concerted effort this week to re-establish the run game in this game. It starts with an offensive line that has struggled the last few weeks, and it starts with one OLT Jake Long turning around what has been a subpar season for him. While Long and the OL have had their struggles, rookie QB Ryan Tannehill continues to get better week by week. Continued solid play from Ryan will be needed and he has developed a nice chemistry with WR Brian Hartline and Davone Bess. TE Anthony Fasano has been solid and the Dolphins got TE Charles Clay involved last week on a 31 yard TD pass last week, although you certainly would like to see more than just one catch for the game even if it was a TD pass. Hopefully WR Jabar Gaffney will become more involved in the offense this week as he and Ryan develop more of a chemistry. The most important aspect of this game to me is that the Dolphins get their run game going again, and they have the perfect opponent in the struggling Titans defense.
Defensively, the Dolphins come into the game ranked 24th in total defense giving up 382.0 yards per game. They rank 3rd in rush defense giving up 83.9 yards per game, and rank 24th in pass defense giving up 298.2 yards per game. Miami ranks 6th in points allowed giving up 18.6 points. They face a Titans offense that ranks 24th in total offense generating 328.0 yards per game. They rank 24th in rush offense at 98.8 yards per game, and rank 17th in pass offense with 229.2 yards per game. The Titans are scoring 20.2 points a game, which ranks 23rd.
The Dolphins are coming off their worst defensive performance of the year, as they gave up 500 yards of total offense and a rookie passing record 433 yards to QB Andrew Luck. They face a Titans offense that get back inconsistent young QB Jake Locker today, along with explosive RB Chris Johnson, who has been a disappointment once again in 2012. Locker has very good mobility, but his accuracy as a passer is not good and the Dolphins need to get after him and with pressure and force him into bad decisions. The Titans have struggled to run the ball with Johnson, and the Dolphins don't need to let Johnson get off today.
Miami faces a Tttan team that is struggling right now, and their owner Bud Adams called the team out after getting routed at home by the Bears last Sunday. Miami is working to establish themselves as a young and upcoming team that is in contention for a playoff spot. You do that by winning games against struggling teams and the Dolphins need to get back on track today with a win over the Titans.