Titans at Dolphins: Six Things to Watch


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Titans travel to Miami on Sunday to face the Dolphins.

Here's a look at six things to watch:


Fast start?**

The Titans have been slow out of the starting gate so far this season. Through four games, the team has just three field goals, and has been outscored 30-9. It was 14-0 and 17-3 early last week in Houston. This needs to change, of course. Coach Mike Mularkey said the team needs an aggressive mindset at the start, and this week discussed how coaches are looking for ways to provide a jumpstart.

Mariota and the receivers

One of the biggest themes this week centered on Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota and the team's receivers. Coaches have challenged the receivers to run more precise routes, so they'll be in a better position to make plays on Sunday. Mariota, of course, will need to do his part delivering an accurate football as well.


Running game**

The Titans have enjoyed success running the football through four games, especially with DeMarco Murray, who is on pace for 1,360 rushing yards. Despite Murray's success, some fans have been clamoring for more Derrick Henry. The Dolphins are ranked 29th in the NFL in run defense, so this could be a week when the Titans force the run.

Protect the QB

Last year's game at Nissan Stadium was ugly for a lot of reasons. The Titans got beat down (in a 38-10 loss), and Mariota got beat up (he was sacked six times). The Dolphins have some beef up front, with defensive linemen Cameron Wake, Ndamukong Suh, Jordan Phillips and Mario Williams. Pro Football Focus ranked the Tennessee o-line No.1 in its most recent rankings, and they'll need to play well on Sunday.


Sack attack**

Titans linebacker Brian Orakpo has four sacks in four games, but the Titans have just six sacks as a team. Orakpo this week said he believes the team is close to a breakthrough. Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill has been sacked 11 times in four games, but a banged-up Miami offensive line is expected to be back at full strength. So the Titans will need to turn it up.

More Delanie, Kendall?

Receiver Kendall Wright made his 2016 debut last week, when tight end Delanie Walker also returned after missing a game with a hamstring injury. But they didn't play a lot of snaps, so their impact was minimal. Look for the two players to play more snaps on Sunday, when the Titans will need others to step up and make plays as well.

TitansOnline.com looks back at the team's all-time series against the Miami Dolphins. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)

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