Who: Tennessee Titans (3-6) at Miami Dolphins (4-4)
Where: Sun Life Stadium in Miami, FL
When: Sunday, November 11th at 1:00 P.M. EST
Last Week: Tennessee was blown out by the Chicago Bears 51-20; Miami was edged by Indianapolis 23-20.
The Miami Dolphins will return home for the first time in nearly a month on Sunday as the ‘Fins host the Tennessee Titans. Miami dropped a heartbreaker in Indianapolis last week 23-20 despite nearly 300 yards passing from rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill. It was the third loss this season for the Dolphins by three points. Tennessee comes in at 3-6 after being blown out by the Chicago Bears. The Titans after a 1-4 start, had won two straight to get within striking distance of a playoff spot, but have since dropped two in a row. The Dolphins will be looking to stay in the thick of things in the AFC East while Tennessee looks to take momentum into their bye week.
The Dolphins and Titans last met in 2010 in Miami with the Dolphins coming away with a 29-17 victory. The Dolphins went 7-9 that season, but ironically, the victory over Tennessee was the only home win for the ‘Fins all season. Miami played three different quarterbacks in that one with Tyler Thigpen finishing it out. At 4-4, the Dolphins are in second place in the AFC East just a game back of the New England Patriots. Tennessee is third in the AFC South with a 3-6 record and is 4.5 games back of the first place Houston Texans. Tennessee’s last victory over Miami came in 2009, but the Titans have not won in Miami since 2004. Miami is 5-3 against Tennessee since they became the Titans in 1999.
Keys to a ‘Fins Win
Find a Way to Run the Football
Since Reggie Bush’s injury in Week 3 against the New York Jets, the Dolphins have struggled mightily to run the football. In fact, Miami has not rushed for 100 yards as team since Week 3. Aside from Bush’s exciting touchdown run last week, Miami did little on the ground. Most of Bush’s carries over the past several weeks have been in between the tackles and the Dolphins should look to use Bush more with misdirection and to the outside. If the Dolphins are able to run the football, not many 290-yard passing efforts from Ryan Tannehill will result in losses.
Get Off the Field on 3rd Down
Perhaps the most glaring statistic in Miami’s 23-20 loss to the Indianapolis Colts was the Colts’ efficiency on third down. Indianapolis was 13-for-19 when it came to converting third downs and many came on third-and-long. The Dolphins will go from facing a rookie quarterback in Andrew Luck to another young, but more mobile quarterback in Jake Locker, but getting off the field will be just as vital particularly with the high South Florida humidity. The Dolphins are still among the best in the league when it comes to getting stops on third down, but Miami cannot let what happened last week become a habit.
On three occasions this season, the Miami Dolphins have either led or been tied in the fourth quarter and allow a game to slip away. Such was the case on Sunday in Indianapolis as the Dolphins drew even with 13:12 to play only to watch the Colts answer with a field goal that proved to be the decider. Only once this season in eight games has Miami outscored its opponents in the final quarter. In a league with so many close games, the Dolphins are simply going to have to play better with the game on the line.
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