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  Dolphins vs Titans Preview
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GAME TIME: 1:00 PM EST on Sunday, Nov 14th. The game will be broadcast regionally on CBS TV, on DirecTV channel 704, on Sirius radio channels 113 and on XM radio channel 109.

PLACE: SunLife Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL

FORECAST: Mostly sunny, with a high near 79. North wind between 7 and 10 mph.

FIELD CONDITIONS: SunLife Stadium has a grass surface. There is no serious weather in the forecast and baseball season is over, so the field should be in good shape.

STANDINGS & STATS: The Dolphins are 4-4, in 3rd place in the AFC East. The Titans are 5-3, tied for first in the AFC South with the Colts.

Dolphins       Pts/Game  Rank   Titans         Pts/Game  Rank
Scored          17.9      28    Scored          28.0       1
Allowed         21.9      17    Allowed         18.8       9

Dolphins       Yds/Game  Rank   Titans         Yds/Game  Rank
Total Offense:	 337      17    Total Defense:   344      20
      Rushing:   106      16          vs Rush:   105      14
      Passing:	 231      14          vs Pass:   239      23

Titans                          Dolphins
Total Offense:	 311      24    Total Defense:   321      13
      Rushing:   123      10          vs Rush:   107      16
      Passing:   188      26          vs Pass:   214      12

Sacks		Made (Avg/G)	Allowed (Avg/G)
Dolphins         21    2.6        12      1.5
Titans           26    3.2        15      1.9

Turnover differential:
Dolphins         -7
Titans           +6

Individual Skill Position Stats:
Dolphins                        
**QB: QB Pennington:     17-28-156-2-0-99.7
Rush: RB Brown:               101-433-4.3-2
Rush: RB Williams:             78-336-4.3-1
Rec:  WR Marshall:            52-618-11.9-1
Rec:  WR Bess:                44-451-10.3-3
Rec:  TE Fasano:              20-260-13.0-2

** - Pre-season stats

Titans      
QB:   QB Young:        72-122-998-9-2-103.1
Rush: RB Johnson:             178-721-4.1-8
Rush: RB Ringer:               33-173-5.2-1
Rec:  WR Britt:               23-434-18.9-7
Rec:  RB Johnson:               22-90-4.1-0
Rec:  TE Scaife:               19-179-9.4-2

Legend 
     QBs: completions-attempts-yards-touchdowns-ints-rating
     RBs: rushes-yards-average-touchdowns
     WRs: receptions-yards-average-touchdowns
HISTORY: Miami leads the series 17-15 and have won 6 of the last 10 meetings. Last year, however, they lost to the Titans in overtime. These stats include the days when the Titans were the Houston Oilers.

INJURIES:

DOLPHINS: 
Questionable: S  Tyrone Culver (ankle)
              WR Roberto Wallace (knee)
Probable:     LB Karlos Dansby (elbow)
              OT Jake Long (knee)
              S  Chris Clemons (groin)
              TE Anthony Fasano (chest)

TITANS: 
Out:          WR Kenny Britt (hamstring)
Doubtful:     QB Vince Young (ankle)
Questionable: CB Ryan Mouton (hamstring)
Probable:     DT Tony Brown (knee)
              RB Chris Johnson (thigh)

DOLPHINS' STARTERS:
Offense:		     Defense:
QB - 10 Chad Pennington      LE  - 70 Kendall Langford
RB - 23 Ronnie Brown         NT  - 96 Paul Soliai
FB - 36 Lousaka Polite       RE  - 94 Randy Starks
WR - 19 Brandon Marshall     SLB - 55 Koa Misi
WR - 15 Davone Bess          ILB - 52 Channing Crowder
TE - 80 Anthony Fasano       ILB - 58 Karlos Dansby
LT - 77 Jake Long            WLB - 91 Cameron Wake
LG - 68 Richie Incognito     LCB - 21 Vontae Davis
C  - 67 Joe Berger           RCB - 24 Sean Smith
RG - 74 John Jerry           SS  - 37 Yeremiah Bell
RT - 72 Vernon Carey         FS  - 30 Chris Clemons

K -   5 Dan Carpenter        P   -  2 Brandon Fields

PR - 15 Davone Bess          KR  - 28 Nolan Carroll
NOTES: There do not seem to be any changes to the starting lineup this week - other than Chad Pennington, of course.
TITANS STARTERS: 
Offense:                      Defense: 
QB -  5 Kerry Collins         RDE - 98 Dave Ball 
RB - 28 Chris Johnson         RDT - 97 Tony Brown
FB - 45 Ahmard Hall           LDT - 91 Jason Jones
WR - 85 Nate Washington       LDE - 93 Jason Babin
WR - 84 Randy Moss            RLB - 92 Will Witherspoon
TE - 80 Bo Scaife             MLB - 55 Stephen Tulloch
LT - 71 Michael Roos          LLB - 51 Gerald McRath
LG - 64 Leroy Harris          RCB - 31 Cortland Finnegan
C  - 54 Eugene Amano          LCB - 20 Alterraun Verner
RG - 73 Jake Scott            SS  - 24 Chris Hope
RT - 66 Michael Otto          FS  - 33 Michael Griffin

K -   2 Bob Bironas           P -    6 Brett Kern 

PR - 83 Marc Mariani          KR -  83 Marc Mariani
NOTES: Vince Young is questionable at this time with an ankle injury. Veteran Kerry Collins will start at QB if Young can't play. As of this writing (Saturday morning), it looks like Collins will start.

KEY MATCHUPS:

  1. The Dolphins vs Themselves: Mistakes, mental errors and poor execution have plagued the Dolphins all year. If the Dolphins don't start executing better, they will be on the losing end of another game.
  2. Vontae Davis vs Randy Moss: Moss vs Davis was just starting to become an interesting rivalry when Moss got traded by the Patriots. And now Moss is back. He has not had much time to learn the Titans' system, but he is always a threat.
  3. Chris Johnson vs Karlos Dansby: Johnson is currently one of the premier running backs in the league, while Dansby is the Dolphins' best inside linebacker since Zach Thomas.
  4. Dolphins' pass blocking vs Titans' Pass Rush: The Titans currently lead the NFL in sacks, averaging 3.2 sacks per game, while the Dolphins have only given up 12 sacks this year.

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

This week, QB Chad Pennington will start in place of Chad Henne. With a new gunslinger in town, fans will be watching to see if Brandon Marshall, Brian Hartline and Davone Bess make any more of an impact in this game.

On defense, the Dolphins acquired Al Harris this week, so it will be interesting to see if he gets significant playing time. Vontae Davis will have an unexpected reunion with Randy Moss and Cameron Wake now leads the AFC in sacks with 8.5.

Titans' QB Vince Young has been having a great year, but injured his ankle against the Chargers for the second time this year and is listed as questionable. It will be interesting to see if he plays. If he doesn't start, veteran Kerry Collins will take his place. RB Chris Johnson is a a very dynamic and gifted runner and, of course, the Titans will add Randy Moss to the lineup this week.

MLB Stephen Tulloch leads the Titans with 79 tackles, while their defensive ends, Jason Babin and Dave Ball have combined for 13 sacks this year. And, if that's not enough, FS Michael Griffin has 4 interceptions.

On special teams, Titans' return man Marc Mariani is averaging 26.6 yards per kickoff return, 10.9 yards per punt return and has one kickoff return for 98 yards and a touchdown.

MY ANALYSIS:

The Dolphins faced the Titans last year in a very similar do-or-die situation for Miami. Last year, the Dolphins needed a win to keep their playoff hopes alive and this year, they also need a win to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot.

In the game last year, the Dolphins lost 27-24 in overtime, mostly on the play of Chad Henne, who threw 3 interceptions, one of which gave the Titans the ball deep in Miami territory in overtime. That pick put the Titans in position for their game winning field goal.

This year, however, Chad Henne won't be starting for the Dolphins against the Titans. Following a bad outing against the Ravens, Head coach Tony Sparano has announced that Chad Pennington would be starting against the Titans on Sunday.

Chad Henne was supposed to give the Dolphins a better passing game this season, because of his stronger arm. However, with the Dolphins trading away their only legitimate deep threat in Ted Ginn before the draft, the team either can't or won't throw the ball deep and so the one thing that was supposed to make Henne a better choice than Pennington is no longer relevant.

But that's not the whole story. If you look closely at the Titans' stats, you'll see that they lead the NFL in sacks with 3.2 sacks per game and I'm sure the coaches are concerned about the Titans' pass rush. Based on the fact that almost all the Dolphins' passing formations have been keeping 7 or 8 blockers in, the coaches apparently don't trust Henne to handle the pass rush. They believe Pennington will be better in the face of the Titans' pass rush.

When Miami has the ball this week, they will do what they've been doing all year - run the ball, throw the short to intermediate passes and stay conservative. I do think that you will see more shotgun and spread formations than you would if Henne were still the starter, but overall, the play calling is not going to change.

The Titans' defense this year is a pressure defense, that thrives on sacks and turnovers. However, they are only 20th in the league in yards allowed, so if the Dolphins can avoid turning the ball over and work through the pass rush, they should be able to move the ball against the Titans. Last year, Miami was able to run and pass against Tennessee and they should be able to do that again this year.

The Titans' offense is based around Chris Johnson, who already has over 700 yards rushing and 8 touchdowns in 8 games this year. That is unlikely to change this weekend, even with the addition of Randy Moss. The Titans will use Moss this weekend, but as new as he is to the team, he won't have had time to learn most of the playbook, so his use will be limited.

With Kerry Collins likely to start and Moss being brand new, the Titans will not be as explosive as they would with Vince Young in the lineup. The Titans' best big-play receiver, Kenny Britt, is out this week, so while Moss will provide a threat, I don't think they will be as dangerous as they would be if Britt and Young were playing.

For the Dolphins' defense to slow down the highest scoring offense in the league, the key will be to limit the big plays. Chris Johnson is a great running back, but he averages 4.1 ypc, which, while very good, is not outstanding. So as long as they can keep him from breaking any big runs, they should be able to contain him.

And while Randy Moss is very dangerous, the Dolphins know as much about defending him as any team in the league right now. So, hopefully, they can keep him from being a big part of the game.

One thing that will really help the defense will be to get pressure on Kerry Collins. Collins is very inconsistent and a big pass rush by Cam Wake and Koa Misi could force some turnovers.

If the Dolphins can put pressure on Collins, avoid the big plays by the Titans' offense and special teams and play consistently on offense, they stand a good chance of beating the Titans on Sunday.

If, on the other hand, they turn the ball over, score field goals instead of touchdowns and give up a couple of big plays on defense, it will be another long afternoon for Dolphins' fans.

PLACES TO WATCH:

To watch the game on TV, you may go to one of the sports bars listed on my "Places To Watch" web page.

To listen to the game live over the Internet, you must now pay the NFL for the privelege. They are charging $9.99 (US) per month or $39.99 for the season for something you used to get for free. If you want to sign up for that, go to the following link NFL Field Pass.

Also, here is a list of some websites that have live scores and updates. Both the Official Website and NFL.com have almost live applications that run in your browser and give you current stats and play-by-play information.

Related Info:
     
   
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