MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Dolphins have spent much of the week preparing for both Sunday’s opponent – the visiting Tennessee Titans – and the destructive force known as Hurricane Matthew.
Now that the storm has passed, the battle between the struggling 1-3 clubs will be played at Hard Rock Stadium.
As for matters on the field, Ryan Tannehill was sacked five times in the Dolphins’ 22-7 setback to Cincinnati on Sept. 29 and faces a Tennessee contingent that blitzes on an NFL sixth-best 33 percent of opposing snaps.
“It was one of the worst performances I’ve seen from our offense in a long time,” said Tannehill, who wouldn’t mind a repeat of his last showing versus the Titans when he threw for two touchdowns in a 38-10 romp last year.
While Miami’s fourth-worst rushing attack is going nowhere fast, Tennessee’s DeMarco Murray paces the NFL’s fourth-best ground game with 340 yards on 5.2 yards per carry. The sixth-year back rushed for 95 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday in the Titans’ 27-20 setback to the AFC South rival Houston Texans.
Murray’s team-leading 19 receptions have been a boon for Marcus Mariota, who has connected on just 57-of-107 throws to his wide receivers and tight ends for just 53.3 percent, third-worst in the NFL. Mariota completed a career-low 44.8 percent versus the Texans last week with grizzled veteran Andre Johnson reeling in a team-best three of the 13 completions by the second overall pick of the 2015 draft.
Coach Mike Mularkey ripped his receivers by telling reporters that they “need to be where they are supposed to be,” with a returning Kendall Wright drawing his ire for running a pair of wrong routes last week.
The Dolphins’ Jarvis Landry reeled in seven catches versus the Bengals to increase his season total to a league second-best 31 while his 375 yards receiving has him in fourth in the NFL. Fellow wideout DeVante Parker has recorded 12 receptions for 250 yards and two touchdowns in his last three games at home.
Veteran running back Arian Foster (hamstring), who has missed the majority of the last three contests, has been a limited participant in practice on Wednesday and Thursday.
1. Miami has been slow out of the blocks this season, getting outscored 59-23 in the first half and has trailed at intermission in each of its four games.
2. Tennessee LB Brian Orakpo has four sacks in his last three contests.
3. The Dolphins’ 26.7-percent success rate on third-down conversions is the worst in the league.
PREDICTION: Titans 20, Dolphins 17
By SportsDirect Inc.