Game 16 – Dolphins @ Titans

Every game counts. While every game counts, once you get to this point of the season, to the point where playoff talk is no longer just talk, it’s a reality as the 7th seed in the AFC, the games right now are basically playoff games in and of themselves. There’s no room for error, any loss can potentially eliminate our playoff chances so when we square off against the AFC South division leading Tennessee Titans, this is HUGE. The Titans at 10-5 are one game ahead of the Indianapolis Colts. We are 8-7 and Wild Card #3, the #7 seed. It’s clear how we’ve arrived at this point, it’s the men pictured above that have carried us here. The defense is the unit that is ready for prime time, ready for the playoffs and maybe more. The offense has improved, but without stellar defensive play, this team can’t hang with the big boys.

This week we face a very good team. They’re not the same team without their star RB Derrick Henry, but they’re still a tough team. Derrick was injured in the 8th game of the season with the Titans at 6-2. Since then they’ve gone 4-3 to get to 10-5. They have a good defense, midpack statistically and the same for their offense. They are not nearly as fearsome without Derrick Henry in the lineup. The Titans haven’t scored 30 points since Henry’s departure and they’ve been held to 20 points or lower in 5 of those 7 games. QB Ryan Tannehill misses Henry. Tannehill wasn’t exactly killing it with Henry but he’s dropped off some without him. For comparison, Tannehill had a 90.2 QBR through 8 games with Derrick Henry. 10 TD’s – 7 INT’s, 2002 yards, completing 65.6% of his passes. With Henry OUT, Tannehill’s QBR is 78.6, 5 TD’s – 7 INT’s, completing 68.4% of his passes for 1325 yards. Clearly not as effective without the elite run game. The Titans trio of RB’s (D’Onta Foreman, Jeremy McNichols and Dontrell Hilliard) have managed only 755 yards combined since Henry’s injury. The good news for the Titans is that WR A.J. Brown is now healthy, and he’s the biggest threat in this offense. Tannehill has really had to spread the ball around when A.J. Brown was out. Still, Julio Jones is just a shadow of his former self and still has zero TD’s playing in 9 games.

Not being cocky here, but I like our chances with our defense against Tennessee’s offense. If there’s anything I know about Tannehill (and most QB’s really) is that they don’t do well with lots of pressure. I think if we turn up the heat on Tannehill our secondary could have a day. They will try and run the ball on us, as they should, but if we can hold up like we did against New Orleans and force them into 3rd and long situations, I think we’ll thrive like that. On offense, we have to protect Tua from LB Harold Landry, DE Denico Autry and DT Jeffrey Simmons with 11, 8 and 7.5 sacks respectively. The Titans have 37 sacks as a team, we lead the NFL with 45. The beauty of our defense is our sacks come from everywhere. DT’s, DE’s, LB’s, S’s, CB’s, all of them. DE Emmanuel Ogbah has been the constant throughout his tenure here in MIA. Rookie Jaelan Phillips and LB Andrew Van Ginkel have been coming on strong the second half of the season. Our scheme on defense has been tough to solve for opposing offenses. It’s the old Dolphins QB vs the new Dolphins QB. It’s the new Dolphins era vs the old Dolphins era. Can Brian Flores give this team the intestinal fortitude to step up instead of fold?

Historically over the last couple of decades, games like this have been a nightmare for Dolphins fans. I’d like to think it will be different, and I honestly do feel like it’s different, but it sure would be great to actually see it happen. Just last year it was against the Bills Game 17, and we were shredded by a team who pulled their starters after the 1st half departing after a 28-6 lead at half. We lost 56-26. In 2018, at 7-6, we got crushed by the Minnesota Vikings 41-17. In 2016, it was the Wild Card Playoff game against the Steelers losing 30-12 with Matt Moore in for the injured Ryan Tannehill. In 2013, at 8-7 we go up against the Bills with QB Tyrod Taylor OUT, and QB Thaddeus Lewis (Who???) in for Taylor, and we fall 19-0 as Ryan Tannehill before getting injured was sacked 7 times and put up a 46.7 QBR. These are the nightmares I’m talking about. Oh lord, we need to be different, we need to be better, we need to be tougher. We need our O-line to be mean Sunday. Maybe Duke Johnson and Phillip Lindsay bring the physical nature we need but we need the hogs up front to open holes and keep the defense off of Tua. We need to include DeVante Parker and Mike Gesicki in the pass game. I love Waddle but I’m going to guess that Titans HC Mike Vrabel, much like Bill Belichick will do his best to limit Waddle, which means the other guys I mentioned should have opportunities. Make it happen, make our fans happy, and turn that corner from meek and mediocre to tough and battle tested and winners!

A prayer for our friend Jon (#stangerstrong) Hoping for Godspeed in his recovery.

Happy New Year!!!

GO DOLPHINS!!!

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527 Responses to Game 16 – Dolphins @ Titans

  1. Brian in NY says:

    It was 73 degrees in Nashville yesterday…

  2. Brian in NY says:

    Butler and Jones cleared to play.

  3. pheloniusphish says:

    Brian – I disagree about Tua’s deep pass accuracy. I think it’s more a matter of he doesn’t throw many deep (not enough time). Here’s a good analysis.

    https://sportsnaut.com/tua-tagovailoa-stats-nfl-starts/

    From the article – “Still, when Tagovailoa does pass deep (20 yards downfield or longer), he’s been accurate. Per PFF, his deep completion percentage (52.9%) is second-best, again behind only Murray, this season. However, only 7.3% of his attempts have been deep passes, the third-lowest rate in the league.”

    • Brian in NY says:

      I agree with that Phelon- but I was referring to his DEEP throws. I don’t feel like he gives the receivers a chance on a lot of them.

    • olddolphan says:

      PHELON: I THINK YOU’RE RIGHT ON THE MONEY regarding Tua’s deep pass statistics.
      However, because of our O-Line problems, Tua’s been unable to throw the deep pass as often as many of us would like.
      ————–
      WHEN, and I say “when,” we get our O-Line problems successfully addressed, then we’ll have a larger sampling of deep throws from Tua. I suspect his current accuracy rate will be about the same UNLESS Waddle takes a serious injury.
      ————-
      Tua’s deep pass completion rate (52.9%) is enviable. His so-called “weak arm” is NOT confirmed by PFF’s statistical analysis. But, hey, why let the facts get in the way of a wrong opinion?? Meanwhile, fixing the O-Line remains Miami’s top off season priority. Just like it has for most of the last several years.

      • steveccnv says:

        PFF can write whatever BS they want, but stats starting with 20+ yards downfield isn’t a deep pass

        I’d call a 20 to 35 yard pass intermediate, we’ve seen many Tua passes in this range completed to wide open receivers and jump balls to Parker

        Don’t think the 53% they refer means anything about his arm strength, Pennington completed a lot of those too, because of his accuracy and timing

  4. wyoming85 says:

  5. pheloniusphish says:

    I will say that I think Tua needs to put a little less air under his deep passes. There is a time and place to do that, but not every deep pass needs it. That would keep his WR running in stride and extend how far he can throw. I think he’ll learn.

  6. wyoming85 says:

    For whatever that’s worth????

  7. olddolphan says:

    WHICH TEAM benefits the most from rainy, sloppy, conditions?? I really don’t have a strong opinion on this. Both QB’s played at SEC schools (altho’ Texas A&M may have been in the Big 12 when Tanny was there). Both have played (and practiced) under rainy conditions many times in their college and pro years. That said, my mind is focusing on the FACT that the Dolphins have recorded the most sacks over their winning streak in the NFL and the FACT that TANNY has been THE MOST SACKED NFL QB (according to a local sports broadcaster) during that time. Will the soggy conditions make Tanny hold the ball EVEN LONGER?? Will Tua just throw the ball away in a tight situation (as he has done frequently this season)??? All that is tough to predict.
    ————–
    And could it be that the best running back on either team right now is DUKE JOHNSON???? Duke LOVED the rain and slop during his days at “the U!!” And, right now, he’s healthy and HUNGRY for the ball. Myles Gaskin and Ahmed both played very often in rainy conditions in college at Washington. All this is food for thought.
    ————–
    BUT I SUSPECT it will come down to this: Which defense is playing better RIGHT NOW?? – – NO DOUBT IN MY MIND that the correct answer is MIAMI’S DEFENSE IS JUST KILLING IT!!! –They have the talent to absolutely spoil Tannehill’s day. And they will!! The WORM will be splashing!!
    ————–
    MIAMI DOLPHINS-20
    TENNESSEE TITANS-13

    • steveccnv says:

      Tannehill has small hands, Tua large, that may play a factor

      We may have the better RB, but they surely have the better running game even with their top back out

  8. Dolphins started winning , when the show Dexter New Blood came on Showtime

  9. Rockphin says:

    IT’S GAME DAY BITCHES!!

    GO DOLPHINS!!!

    One play, one quarter one game at a time.
    WIN IT!

  10. son of a son of a shula says:

    Big day Fins Fans get your shit wired tight. POW POW
    💥💥🐬🐧🐽❌🙏🇨🇦🇺🇸8️⃣

  11. game is on paramount plus today

  12. the playoffs start today, any losses from here on out are likely the end of the season

    plus the Titans are number 2 in the AFC seeding

    the stakes get higher, and the opponents are better, the Dolphins will need to play mistake free ball on offense, and lights out blitz and pressure on Tannehill to win today

  13. Kirk Merritt was elevated as a covid replacement, i really hope this guy gets his chance to play

  14. The Flying Pig says:

    Should I wear my tannehill jersey today to curse him?

  15. bailbondmike says:

    Sleet/snow mix has already reached Jackson, TN which is 129 miles WSW of Nashville.

  16. wyoming85 says:

  17. days64 says:

    Lets open it up, show them we are not afraid to throw, back their db’s up a bit then give Duke a chance to bulldoze. It is a sloppy field, had 2″ of rain the last 24hrs.

  18. Rockphin says:

    WOW everyone is picking Miami except the blond bitch.

  19. bailbondmike says:

    Future cast shows light rain in the area and mix precip about 40-50 miles to the west at game time.

  20. Brian in NY says:

    One of the reasons I want us to win is so everyone can shut the fuck up about who we’ve beaten. It’s exhausting.

  21. Rockphin says:

    We are 8-6-1 against the spread this season

  22. wyoming85 says:

  23. Ken says:

    Piggy:
    No jerseys please. You are cursed when it comes to Jerseys

  24. Mike E. says:

    Bri – Channing Crowder was just ripping folks a new asshole who say Dolphins win streak was against an easy schedule. He was spot on. The entire AFC East plays the same damn schedule with the exception of one game, we played the Giants, the Patriots played the Cowboys, the Bills played the WFT. No one bitches about the Patriots schedule or the Bills schedule, just ours. FUCK YOURSELF!!! lol

    • days64 says:

      Wings… check. Beer… check. Bourbon… check.

      Locked and loaded,

      Let’s Go Dolphins!!!

    • steveccnv says:

      It’s not the schedule per say, it’s how each of those teams were, when we played them

      Most of those teams we played have had some good games during the season, but when we played them they weren’t at a good place

      I say we had something to do with that

      I’ve used their same excuse to say why our rivals aren’t as good as they say, it’s never been how it was though

      To win 7 straight you have to be consistant, Tua is as consistant as any QB in the league

    • Rockphin says:

      We played BALT and the Pats played the Browns too!

  25. Rockphin says:

    I love when Waddle was asked about the record he shrugged it off and said the W was more important to him.

  26. Ken says:

    Starting to feel very hulk like and the game hasn’t started yet 🤢

  27. steveccnv says:

    Usually when they do a tribute you can tell the guys are just saying what people want to hear

    With the Madden tribute before he died I don’t get that feeling, seems everyone is tearing up and showing lots of emotion

    In the 70s I hated no team more than those damn Raiders, but never hated John, after he left coaching I respected him as much as anyone in football

    RIP big guy

  28. bailbondmike says:

    Futurecast shows light steady rain in Nashville by 12:30 central time. Maybe as early as 12:20. Mixed precip still 30-40 miles west.

  29. Rockphin says:
    January 2, 2022 at 12:02 pm
    I mean, who are the titans anyway? they lost to the dolphins…..

    lol

    yea, they might not give the Dolphins much credit, BUT

    the TItans are currently the number 2 seed in the AFC

    time to take them down a few notches, lol sorry Tanny!

  30. bailbondmike says:

    I think we will see a lot of ripping at footballs when the weather gets nasty. Just don’t sacrifice extra yardage trying to do so. This will also be a field position game.

  31. Rockphin says:

    Black Widow kills me.

  32. steveccnv says:

    Not real concerned with the weather temp or rain, the wind is the real deciding factor and at 10mph it shouldn’t be much of a factor

  33. Mike E. says:

    GAMEDAY BLOG UP!!!

  34. herdfan says:

    WTF? My daughter just texts and says she and her boyfriend are coming by around 3. She should know better than to do this. I’m always happy to see her but I’m happier when it’s not during a game. 🤷🏼‍♀️🙄🤦🏼‍♀️

  35. CavalierKong says:

    The Titans don’t have Henry
    The Titans don’t have Jones
    The Titans had the sun in their eyes
    A bird flew by right when the Titans had the ball
    The Titans ate too much last night
    A beautiful woman walked by right when the Titans where trying to score
    The Titans used too much starch in their jerseys
    The Titans had a pebble caught in the bottom of their cleats
    The Titans moms forgot to pack them puddings and they were grumpy

    Does that cover all the excuses?

  36. The Flying Pig says:

    Let’s Go!

  37. Brian in NY says:

    No bull shit, I’m watching that screen develop and I’m thinking “Jackson is going to be ineligible downfield “

  38. days64 says:

    I like the way we are attacking.

  39. days64 says:

    Treat Tannehill like Marsha… Smack him in the face.

  40. days64 says:

    *tap tap tap* I think……. I think I broke….. my internet connection.

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