The Dolphins are back home this Sunday to take on the Tennessee Titans at Sun Life Stadium.
This is a good thing because, as it stands, the Dolphins are a pretty mediocre football team while the Titans are quite crappy.
But can Miami overcome its recent bout of The Suck and bounce back to playoff contention? We think so! But it's going to take a few things falling into place to do so.
Here are our Dolphins keys to the game:
Unleash the Pussyhammer: Reggie Bush has been struggling lately, and that's meant the Dolphins' run game, as a whole, has been a coffee mug filled with shit. Miami has rushed for more than 100 yards only twice, and Bush has been held down by injuries and poor play from his offensive line. HOWEVER, the Titans' run defense is ass, allowing 140 yards per game. So if there was ever a time to get Reggie's groove back, it's at home, this Sunday, against Tennessee.
Dolphins Secondary Needs to Stop Dousing Itself in Lighter Fluid Before Games: The Titans are trotting out second-year QB Jake Locker this Sunday, after he missed five games with a left shoulder injury. They've chosen a good time to get their young quarterback out there, because the Dolphins secondary is putrid. Locker has some monster weapons at his disposal to go full-on reaming on Miami's corners and safeties. The 29th-ranked Fins secondary will likely get torched again this week, meaning the front seven will have to step up and make Locker into minced meat. The Kraken (Cameron Wake) must feast for Miami's defense to make the stops.
Keep the Doctor Upright: At this point, it's safe to say Ryan Tannehill is having himself a fantastic rookie season. Sure he's thrown more INTs than TDs, but the fuck if any of us really knew he'd be as good as he's shown. And he's got himself a pretty strong matchup this week, because the Titans secondary is actually worse than Miami's secondary. Tannehill's shown a propensity to throw ill-advised passes when pressured, thanks mainly to Jake Long going from being the War Hammer to a bag of horse piss seemingly overnight. Long and the rest will have to give Tannehill time and keep Titans defensive ends Derrick Morgan and Kamerion Wimbley's big, meaty paws off him.
Run Defense Needs to Run Defense: The Dolphins run D has been badass all year long. Titans running back Chris Johnson, meanwhile, has been atrocious. He's had an uptick in his last couple of performances (averaging 5.0 yards per carry), but for the most part, he's been taint. Miami hasn't allowed a 100-yard rusher in 22 games, which is both a pretty cool stat and an insanely shocking one too. Johnson has the speed to destroy defenses, so the key is to stop him at the line of scrimmage. Sweet Baby Jesus, help us all if he gets to the secondary.
Prediction Machine Prediction*: Dolphins 31 - Titans 24
(*not so much a machine as a really, really, ridiculously random guess)