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Titans Vs. Dolphins Keys To Game

The Miami Dolphins are in a difficult spot right now, at the midpoint of the season. They are 4-4, have benched their young starting quarterback for a grizzled veteran. They released a former starting cornerback and special teams ace in favor of a veteran on the backend of his career, coming off of a serious leg injury.

But they still have some games to play yet, one of which is at home tomorrow against the Tennessee Titans. The Titans are 3-1 on the road while the Fins are 0-3 at home. This is a must-win situation for the Dolphins, as is every game from here on out if they wish to stay in the playoff race.

The team has made all of the moves that they think will get them into the playoffs, so if they backfire, look for the season to derail quickly, and the team to try and figure out who exactly is their quarterback, and whether or not Chad Henne can be the guy.

Tennessee comes first though, and it will not be easy. The Titans are described as one of the most physical teams in the league, as well as one of the dirtiest. The Dolphins will match with a physical, smart team of their own with Chad Pennington leading the charge this week.

3. Protect Pennington:

The Dolphins have finally made the switch from Chad Henne to Chad Pennington, and like Henne, CP10 is very immobile, and is more of a pocket passer than a scrambler.

With this being Pennington’s first game back, it will be all the more important to keep the pressure off of him as he settles into the groove of the game. The Titans secondary is dangerous if you allow them to be, so the added pressure could lead to some headaches in Pennington’s return.

2. Establish the Run Early:

This seems like a repetitive theme for me over the past couple of weeks. Every week the chances for the run game to get going get slimmer and slimmer as the run defenses start to stiffen up as the season goes on. The Dolphins got off to a great start last week with Ronnie Brown getting into the endzone on the opening drive with a rushing touchdown, only to see the ball 3 more times the rest of the game. The game planning needs to be more consistent as well as the playcalls. This coaching staff seems to have an inability to adjust their schemes during the game, which allows their weaknesses to be exposed.

This week the coaching staff, specifically offensive coordinator Dan Henning should try to get the run going early and often during the game, and try to reinvigorate his run-offense that has struggled mightily this season. With the Titans looking to blitz the quarterback all day, a couple of halfback draws could open up the game with some big gains.

1. Stingy Secondary?:

Titans quarterback Vince Young is the 2nd most accurate quarterback in the league, with a QB rating over 100. The tandem of Sean Smith and Vontae Davis will have to step up to the plate tomorrow, and show that they have taken the next step as a duo. When Smith is in the game Davis is the one that is picked on by opposing quarterbacks, so he will be given opportunities to make plays, especially lining up against Randy Moss, who will be looking for vengeance, as Moss was shut out by Davis the last time the two matched up in Week 4. The performance of the secondary in tomorrow’s game will go a long way in how much success this team has on the field tomorrow.

Final Prediction:

I think this is the week the Dolphins pull out their first home win. Pennington is back as the starting quarterback, and let’s face it, this offense is fit to cater to his strengths. With Brandon Marshall still looking to make an impact in the red-zone this year, look for the aerial attack to be improved as Cp10 is the most accurate quarterback in NFL history. With that in mind, I think the Dolphins pull out the win, 24-17.

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