The Miami Dolphins are 4-4 midway through the season and entering a stretch of games that are very winnable and critical to Miami’s playoff hopes. The first of this stretch is at home against the Tennessee Titans and, on paper, a game the Dolphins should win. However, I am going to look at the various pitfalls in this match-up that must be avoided.
1st Way to Lose:
Beware of a potentially reenergized passing game behind Jake Locker. The Titans have had a rough time with an aging Matt Hasselbeck and Locker’s return might reenergize their passing game. Locker is no superstar but the Dolphins pass defense was awful last week. The good news is the only elite receiver on the Titans is Kenny Britt and he has had (in addition to his injury and legal issues) no synergy with Locker at all. The Dolphins do have a nasty habit of making questionable quarterbacks look good.
2nd Way to Lose:
Staying in the offensive rut the Dolphins have been in since the Arizona Cardinals game where the passing game caught fire is a recipe for trouble. The team has had a habit of showing a powerful offense in the second quarter and then go on to have trouble moving the ball in the second half. The only game the offense has succeeded in putting away was the Oakland Raiders game back in Week 2. The Dolphins will be in for another tight game if they once again sputter on offense. They are 2-3 in close games this season so those odds look decent for the Titans.
3rd Way to Lose:
Chris Johnson runs wild. This is the most unlikely scenario due to the Dolphins run defense. However, just one play where Johnson escapes could be deadly in a tight game. Its never a good idea to count a player like Johnson out, even when he has not had a good year.
Overall, the Dolphins are the better team in this match-up and are playing at home. They should win. The biggest hope is that the Indianapolis Colts game made the offense look at itself more critically.
It is a lot easier to be critical after a loss than during a three game winning streak. Let’s all hope for a big offensive day and that the Dolphins avoid the traps listed above on their way to a big win.