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Keys To A Key Game: Titans Edition

The Dolphins go up against the Tennessee Titans this Sunday. This game is the 5th in a long line of key games to push the Dolphins into the playoffs. The Dolphins need this game more than any other game on their schedule. This also may be the toughest remaining game on the schedule as well. As versatile as the Titans may be, they do have some weaknesses, and are slowed by some injuries. This opens up the door for the Fins to capitalize, and seal the win for this week.

3. Have A Physical Mentality:

This will be one of those games where the Dolphins have to set the tone of the game. Not only do the Dolphins defense has to worry about stopping mobile quarterback Vince Young, but they also have to shut down running back Chris Johnson as well. One of the ways to do this is controlling the game through the trenches.

Our run stuffers will be big in this game. Guys like Paul Solia, Channing Crowder, and Akin Ayodele will be the guys I am looking to have a big game if the Dolphins are going to win the game.

To stop Johnson from breaking some big runs, the Fins will have to stuff him at the line, and not allow Johnson to get to the 2nd level. It is when Johnson gets to the 2nd tier, and past the front seven, that he is dangerous. He runs with short strides, and tends to slow down after the first 30 yards. If we do not allow him more than 15 yards at a time on a run play, I will consider this game a major success.

As for Young, the only plan I can think up for him is to place a spy on him a 1/3 of the game. Forcing Young out of the pocket simply will not fly in this game. You see, if the Dolphins were to just force Young to scramble, that might end up resulting in a bigger gain than the original play.

Getting a good pass rush will be key as well, but forcing Young to pass the ball over run, and make the Titans one-dimensional, will go a long way in getting the win.

2. Be Big Kid:

The Dolphins need Chad Henne to play like the big-time player that he has shown us the potential to be. Plain and simple, Henne needs to lead the offense down the field on a consistent basis. The Titans are too strong of a team, and can turn the tide at the blink of an eye, that the Dolphins cannot afford to stall on consecutive drives like they did last week.

I’m confident Henne can lead the team to victory, but if our quarterback comes out flat, we might be saying goodbye to our playoff hopes.

1. Mo-men-tum:

For the Dolphins to win the game on Sunday, by far the most important factor in picking up the “W”, is to limit the momentum shifting plays. This means that the Dolphins need to control the game from the start, and not let the Titans get back into it with a couple of big plays in the 2nd half. I put this in Lehman’s terms, because it really is not that difficult, and really, there is no need to go in depth on this. Plain and simple the Dolphins need to limit Chris Johnson and Vince Young from breaking loose in the 2nd half, when the defense is tired.

Final Score:

27-23 Dolphins


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