It’s week 1 of the regular season for the NFL with a matchup between a pair of AFC teams down in the Sunshine State. The Tennessee Titans are on the road as they travel to face the Miami Dolphins Sunday afternoon. Tennessee finished the 2017 season 9-7: they beat Kansas City 22-21 in the wild card round of the playoffs before losing 35-14 to New England in the divisional round. Miami was 6-10 in 2017 and missed the postseason. The Dolphins lead the all-time regular season series 20-16, including a 16-10 win here in the last meeting on October 8, 2017.
Tennessee Titans Look to Improve On Last Season
Tennessee reached the postseason last year as a wild card team for their first playoff appearance since 2008. The Titans started the year 8-4, lost three straight games and only made the postseason by besting Jacksonville 15-10 in week 17 action. Tennessee trailed 21-3 at the half in the wild card game against the Chiefs on the road before rallying with 19 unanswered second-half points. While the season ended the next week with a loss to the Patriots, the Titans have raised their expectations for 2018 as they look to reach the postseason once again.
Marcus Mariota is back under center after he completed 281 of 453 passes for 3,232 yards with 13 touchdowns and 15 interceptions on the year. He added 312 yards and five scores on the ground as well. Blaine Gabbert is his backup this season after he spent last season with the Cardinals. Demarco Murray announced his retirement in the offseason, so Derrick Henry (176 carries, 744 yards, five TD) is going to be the lead back in the ground game. He’ll split time with free agent signing Dion Lewis (180 carries, 896 yards, six TD, 32 receptions, 214 yards, three TD), who came over from New England. In the passing game, the Titans will rely on tight end Delanie Walker (team-high 74 receptions, team-high 807 yards, three TD) over the middle. Rishard Matthews (53 catches, 795 yards, four TD), Corey Davis (34 catches, 375 yards) and Taywan Taylor (16 grabs, 231 yards, TD) are going to be looked to in order for plays to be made on the outside. Ryan Succop connected on 31 of 33 extra points and 35 of 42 field goal attempts last season with a long of 52. He was just two of five from beyond 50 yards but hit 16 of 20 between 40 and 49 yards.
Miami Dolphins Hope to Rebound After Tough 2017
Miami’s 2017 season went down the drain when Ryan Tannehill suffered a torn ACL during a non-contact drill during training camp last August. The Dolphins scrambled and signed Jay Cutler to a one-year deal but in all honesty, you could have played just as well, if not better, than he did last season. The team jettisoned a ton of big names in the offseason and easily could be a bunch of doormats this year unless some miraculous events transpire. Tannehill is back under center but there are a lot of pieces that have been a staple in the aqua and orange who are no longer around.
The last time that Tannehill was on the field, back in 2016, he completed 261 of 389 throws for 2,995 yards with 19 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Let’s just say the depth chart doesn’t inspire much confidence with Brock Osweiler the #2 man. Kenyan Drake (133 carries, 644 yards, three TD) is expected to be the lead back in the ground game. He’ll split time in some fashion with free agent pickup Frank Gore, who ran the ball 261 times for 961 yards and three scores for the Colts last season. Rookie Kalen Ballage could be a big play guy. In the passing game, Danny Amendola (61 receptions, 659 yards, two TD) and Albert Wilson (42 grabs, 554 yards, three TD), who came from New England and Kansas City, look to produce. They’ll try to offset what Jarvis Landry brought to the table as he was dealt to Cleveland. Kenny Stills (58 grabs, 847 yards, six TD) and DeVante Parker (57 catches, 670 yards, TD) are going to be counted on as well. Julius Thomas retired, so rookie Mike Gesicki will get first crack at the targets for the tight ends. Jason Sanders becomes the third Opening Day kicker in as many years for Miami after he won the job in camp.
- Dolphins are 2-7-2 ATS in their last 11 games overall
- Dolphins are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games in September
- Titans are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games on grass
- Titans are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overal