DOLPHINS: Dolphins vs Titans Preview
mbischoff10 at bellsouth.net
Sun Dec 20 18:46:08 GMT 2009
Tony Soprano, did I just hear that right?
Great preparation by Fouts
From: dolphins-disc-bounces at phins.com
[mailto:dolphins-disc-bounces at phins.com] On Behalf Of John C. Hoover
Sent: Friday, December 18, 2009 3:44 PM
To: Miami Dolphins Discussion
Subject: Re: DOLPHINS: Dolphins vs Titans Preview
Dick Enberg and Dan Fouts are the CBS announcers.
You have been forewarned.
----- "Curt Fennell" <curt at phins.com> wrote:
> GAME TIME: 1:00 PM EST on Sunday, Dec 20th. The game will be
broadcast regionally on CBS TV, on DirecTV channel 707, on Sirius
radio 123 and on WQAM radio.
PLACE: LP Field, Nashville, TN
WEATHER FORECAST: A chance of flurries before noon. Mostly cloudy,
with a high near 39. West northwest wind between 5 and 10 mph.
FIELD CONDITIONS: LP Field has a natural grass surface that should be
in good shape. However, there is a significant chance of rain and
snow from today until gametime. This could make the field wet, cold
STANDINGS & STATS: The Dolphins are 7-6 and tied for second place in
the AFC East with the Jets, but own the tie-breaker over them, so are
effectively in 2nd place. The Titans are 6-7 and tied for third in the
AFC South, but hold the tiebreaker over the Texans.
Dolphins Pts/Game Rank Titans Pts/Game Rank
Scored 22.5 15 Scored 22.5 14
Allowed 23.5 24 Allowed 24.8 27
Dolphins Yds/Game Rank Titans Yds/Game Rank
Total Offense: 328 18 Total Defense: 358 23
Rushing: 150 3 vs Rush: 99 7
Passing: 178 26 vs Pass: 259 31
Total Offense: 360 10 Total Defense: 340 19
Rushing: 165 2 vs Rush: 106 13
Passing: 195 21 vs Pass: 234 22
Sacks Made (Avg/G) Allowed (Avg/G)
Dolphins 38 2.9 27 2.1
Titans 27 2.1 12 0.9
Individual Skill Position Stats:
QB: QB Henne: 194-330-2067-9-9-74.9
Rush: RB Williams: 200-975-4.9-10
Rush: FB Polite: 30-105-3.5-0
Rec: WR Bess: 62-570-9.2-1
Rec: WR Camarillo: 39-452-11.6-0
Rec: WR Ginn,Jr: 28-314-11.2-1
QB: QB Young: 113-183-1383-7-3-90.9
Rush: RB Johnson: 272-1626-6.0-11
Rush: RB White: 63-221-3.5-1
Rec: RB Johnson: 42-391-9.3-2
Rec: WR Britt: 38-641-16.9-3
Rec: TE Scaife: 38-386-10.2-1
HISTORY: The Dolphins have won seven of the past nine meetings, and
have a 17-14 overall series edge, including the playoffs. This
includes the days when the Titans were the Houston Oilers.
PROBABLE: C Jake Grove (ankle)
LB Joey Porter (knee)
OT Vernon Carey (back)
LB Reggie Torbor (hamstring)
WR Davone Bess (ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Eric Bakhtiari (Concussion)
DT Tony Brown (Knee)
LB Keith Bulluck (Not Injury Related)
C Kevin Mawae (Back)
TE Craig Stevens (Concussion)
LB David Thornton (Shoulder)
WR Nate Washington (Ankle)
PROBABLE: QB Vince Young (Hamstring)
QB - 7 Chad Henne LE - 70 Kendall Langford
RB - 34 Ricky Williams NT - 96 Paul Soliai
FB - 39 Lousaka Polite RE - 94 Randy Starks
WR - 83 Greg Camarillo SLB - 99 Jason Taylor
WR - 82 Brian Hartline ILB - 51 Akin Ayodele
TE - 80 Anthony Fasano ILB - 52 Channing Crowder
LT - 77 Jake Long WLB - 55 Joey Porter
LG - 65 Justin Smiley LCB - 21 Vontae Davis
C - 64 Jake Grove RCB - 24 Sean Smith
RG - 75 Nate Garner SS - 37 Yeremiah Bell
RT - 72 Vernon Carey FS - 28 Gibril Wilson
K - 5 Dan Carpenter P - 2 Brandon Fields
PR - 15 Davone Bess KR - 19 Ted Ginn,Jr
NOTES: All of the players were back at practice on Thursday and it
looks like everyone will be available. Who will actually start on
the offensive line is open to question, because Joe Berger and Nate
Garner have been getting a lot of playing time. In fact, last week
Nate Garner played left guard, right guard and right tackle at various
points in the game. Coach Sparano is trying to figure out the best
combination of offensive linemen now that Garner has proven himself.
QB - 10 Vince Young RDE - 93 Kyle Vanden Bosch
RB - 28 Chris Johnson RDT - 97 Tony Brown
FB - 45 Ahmard Hall LDT - 75 Jovan Haye
WR - 85 Nate Washington LDE - 95 William Hayes
WR - 18 Kenny Britt RLB - 53 Keith Bulluck
TE - 80 Bo Scaife MLB - 55 Stephen Tulloch
LT - 71 Michael Roos LLB - 50 David Thornton
LG - 54 Eugene Amano RCB - 31 Cortland Finnegan
C - 68 Kevin Mawae LCB - 20 Nick Harper
RG - 73 Jake Scott SS - 24 Chris Hope
RT - 76 David Stewart FS - 33 Michael Griffin
K - 2 Bob Bironas P - 6 Brett Kem
PR - 35 Alvin Pearman KR - 35 Alvin Pearman
NOTES: The biggest question right now is whether or not Vince Young
will play. His hamstring could be a problem for him and a Vince Young
with limited mobility is probably no better than Kerry Collins.
1. Dolphins vs Themselves: Once again last week, the Dolphins
had to overcome their own mistakes to beat the Jaguars. Fortunately,
the Dolphins were up to the task, but if they fumble 5 times again
this week, the outcome will likely be very different.
2. NT Paul Soliai vs C Kevin Mawae: Soliai has been
improving since he took over the starting job, but has not faced a
player like Kevin Mawae. If Miami wants to slow down Chris Johnson,
they will have to be able to keep the middle of the defense solid.
3. Dolphins' Linebackers vs Chris Johnson: Johnson accounts
for 43% of the Titan's offensive yards and almost half its touchdowns.
His principal weapon is speed and the Dolphins' linebackers will have
their hands full trying to contain him.
4. LB Keith Bulluck vs Ricky Williams: Bullock is the Titans'
best defensive player and leads the team in sacks. Miami still relies
on Ricky to anchor the running game.
5. Dolphins WRs vs Titans pass coverage: Two weeks ago, Bess
caught 10 passes for 117 yards. Last week, Greg Camarillo caught 7
passes for 110 yards. And Brian Hartline has caught 3 touchdowns.
On the other side, the Titans' pass defense is 31st in the league.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
On the offense, OL Nate Garner played 3 different offensive
line positions at one time or another. It looks like that rotation
will continue this week and if it does, it will be interesting to see
how they use Garner. Chad Henne is improving a little each week and
completed 17 passes in a row at one point in the game last week. And
with his improvement, both Greg Camarillo and Davone Bess are starting
to be much more productive. And while Brian Hartline is still not
catching a lot of passes, when he does catch one, it tends to be for a
Joey Porter is still playing hurt, but will be in the lineup
this week. Jason Taylor has cooled off a little in the last couple of
games, but Randy Starks is still red hot. Cameron Wake does not seem
to be getting any more playing time, but he has made two big plays in
the 4th quarter of each of the last two games. Yeremiah Bell leads
the team in tackles, while Gibril Wilson is second. It will be Paul
Soliai who will have the biggest challenge this week.
RB Chris Johnson is the biggest portion of the Titans' offense
and is very tough to contain. QB Vince Young has been put back into
the starting job and has played very well there since getting his job
back. C Kevin Mawae anchors the Tennessee offensive line which has
allowed only 12 sacks this year, while WR Kenny Britt and TE Bo Scaife
are tied for the team lead in receptions with 38 each.
The defense is strongest against the run with LB Keith Bulluck
in the middle. Bulluck has over 100 tackles already this year and 3
interceptions. There are 5 Titans with 3 or more sacks this year, but
the leader is DT Tony Brown, who has 5. There are also 4 Titan
defenders with 3 or more sacks this year. CB Cortland Finnegan leads
that group with 5 picks.
On special teams, Ted Ginn,Jr is 6th in the NFL in kickoff
return average (for players with at least 10 returns) averaging 28
yards per return return. Dan Carpenter still has one of the highest
accuracy rates in the NFL as a field goal kicker, but did miss what
should have been a chip shot last week. Titans' receiver Kenny Britt
averages 31.3 yards per kickoff return, but has only returned 9 kicks
this year. The Titans' kicker, Rob Bironas, is pretty good, having
converted 85 percent of this field goal tries.
The Dolphins face their toughest opponent of the final 3 games
of this season when the play the Titans this Sunday. The Titans got
off to a miserable start this year, but have pulled themselves
together and are now playing very good football. Their offense, as
you may have guessed if you've read the rest of this preview, leans
heavily on RB Chris Johnson, who was on track for a 2000 yard rushing
season and is already over 2000 combined yards from scrimmage.
Johnson's main weapon is amazing speed and quickness that
allows him to avoid tackles and take advantage of gaps in the
defense. Between that and an excellent offensive line, anchored by
former Jet Kevin Mawae, the Dolphins will have their work cut out for
them on defense.
Johnson, while an excellent player, can be stopped. In the 4
games this year where Johnson rushed for less than 100 yards, the
Titans lost all 4. And even when he does rush for 100 yards, the
Titans are not guaranteed a win.
The best way to stop a rushing attack is to clog the line of
scrimmage with the defensive line. This then allows the linebackers
and defensive backs to flow to the ball carrier. If, on the other
hand, the defensive line lets offensive linemen open holes and get
downfield, the running backs can pick their way through the holes and
the offensive lineman can get downfield to block the linebackers and
In this case, Miami's defensive line will have to have one of
their best games of the year in order to contain Chris Johnson and the
Titans' running game. Paul Soliai, in particular, will need to step
up and stand firm in the middle of the line, keeping Kevin Mawae from
controlling the line of scrimmage.
I don't think that there is any secret that the Dolphins' game
plan will be focused on Chris Johnson. Their biggest challenge will
be to contain him and not allow him to break off big runs. If the
Dolphins' defense can contain Johnson and prevent him from making any
big plays, they can control the Titans' offense.
The other big factor in the Titans' offense is QB Vince Young,
who has played very well since taking over for Kerry Collins. In
addition to his passing, he also runs the ball very well. This year,
the Dolphins have not been consistently able to contain scrambling
quarterbacks and have given up chunks of yards to David Garrard and
To contain both Young and Johnson, discipline will be key this
week. All of the defense must stay with their assignments to close
running lanes and contain both Johnson and Young. Players that
over-pursue or get out of their assigned gaps and positions will allow
When Miami has the ball, they will once again turn to Chad
Henne to create a passing attack that can take advantage of the
Titans' porous pass defense. The Titans' pass defense ranks 31st in
the NFL and the Dolphins should be able to take advantage of that to
move the ball.
The danger, of course, is turning the ball over. The Titans'
defense is tied for 6th in the NFL in interceptions and has 4
defensive players with 3 or more picks. Chad Henne has been throwing
the ball well, but his tendency to throw picks late in the game has
been troubling. He must avoid that this week in order for the
Dolphins to win.
When the Dolphins run the ball, it will tough to pick up
yardage against the Titans, who are ranked 7th in the league in run
defense. Nevertheless, the Dolphins will try and run the ball, if
only to set up the play-action pass.
If the Dolphins can avoid the mistakes they made last week
against the Jaguars, they should be able to move the ball effectively
through the air against the Titans' defense.
As strange as it may seem with two teams dedicated to the
running game as much as Miami and Tennessee, I believe that this game
could easily turn into a high scoring affair. If the Dolphins'
defense has trouble containing Chris Johnson while Chad Henne gets
into a groove like he did last week, both sides could put up a lot of
Overall, games like this are decided in the trenches. For the
Miami defense to control the Titans' offense, Miami's defensive line
must control the line of scrimmage. And on the other side of the
ball, Miami's offensive line must give Henne time to throw for the
offensive to be successful.
PLACES TO WATCH:
To watch the game on TV, you may go to one of the sports bars
list on my "Places To Watch" web page at http://www.phins.com/bars.php.
To listen to the game live over the Internet, you must pay
the NFL for the privilege. They are charging $9.95 (US) per month or
$39.95 for the season for something you used to get for free.
If you want to sign up for that, go to the following link:
Also, here is a list of some websites that have live scores
and updates. Both the Official Dolphins Website and NFL.com have
almost live applications that run in your browser and give you current
stats and play-by-play information.
Miami Dolphins Website: From the Game - Almost Live Play-by-Play
NFL.com: NFL Official Scoreboard
ESPN: Ascent Sportszone Scoreboard
Miami Dolphins Website: Dolphins at Titans
NFL.com: Miami Dolphins at Tennessee Titans
ESPNet Sportszone: Game Preview
The Sporting News: Preview
CBS Sports: Preview
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