DATE: Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012
TIME: 1 p.m. ET
SITE: Sun Life Stadium
TV: CBS (Spero Dedes, play-by-play; Steve Tasker, analysis)
SERIES RECORD: Miami leads 18-15 (including playoffs)
AT MIAMI: Dolphins lead 11-7
AT TENNESSEE: Titans lead 2-1
AT HOUSTON (Oilers/Titans moved to Tennessee in 1997): Teams tied 6-6
LAST MEETING: 2010 at Miami; Dolphins 29, Titans 17
SERIES TREND: This is a series that has swung back and forth since it started in the Dolphins’ inaugural season in 1966, with the one exception being the 1990s when Miami won five straight. What has happened recently is that the meetings usually have been in South Florida. This weekend’s matchup will mark the fifth time in the last six meetings the game has been played in Miami, with the Dolphins three of the previous four.
SERIES HIGHLIGHT: The teams’ last meeting was almost exactly two years ago, and it was a game that became noteworthy for reasons beyond the final score. Chad Pennington replaced Chad Henne as the starting quarterback for that game, but he went out after two snaps with a shoulder injury that — combined with a knee injury sustained the following spring in a pick-up basketball game — would end his career. Henne also didn’t make it through the game, as he left with a knee injury that forced third quarterback Tyler Thigpen into the lineup.
TITANS’ RECORD: 3-6
LAST GAME: Lost to Chicago, 51-20
OVERVIEW: The Titans barely missed the playoffs while going 9-7 last season, but they have taken a major step back in 2012, particularly on defense. Tennessee has allowed 30 points or more in seven of its nine games and its total of 308 points allowed is 60 more than anybody else in the league.
THE TITANS’ STRENGTH ON OFFENSE: After a really slow start that had a lot of people questioning whether he had lost his magic, running back Chris Johnson appears to be back on track. He has averaged 115 yards in the last six games, and has touchdown runs of 83 yards and 80 yards over the past three weeks.
THE TITANS’ QUESTION MARK ON OFFENSE: Relatively speaking, the Titans haven’t been that bad on offense, they just haven’t been good enough to make up for their deficiencies on defense. The Titans have struggled in goal-to-go situations and they also rank last in the league in time of possession.
THE TITANS’ STRENGTH ON DEFENSE: The Titans have given up less than 350 yards only once in nine games, so finding something they’re good at defensively isn’t easy. If anything, they haven’t been horrible in run defense, allowing opponents 4.4 yards per carry.
THE TITANS’ QUESTION MARK ON DEFENSE: Tennessee is ranked 27th in pass defense this season, but that doesn’t do justice to their struggles in stopping opposing passing games. Simply put, the Titans just don’t stop completions. Seven of their nine opponents completed better than 70 percent of their passes and not one of them was under 60 percent. Tennessee has allowed 20 touchdown passes and intercepted six passes, all those factors contributing to opponents compiling a combined 108.4 passer rating.
THE TITANS’ STRENGTH ON SPECIAL TEAMS: For all their problems, the Titans have been pretty good in the kicking game. Tennessee beat Detroit in Week 3 after getting two touchdowns on returns, a 105-yard kickoff return by Darius Reynaud and a 65-yard punt return by Tommie Campbell after he took an across-the-field lateral from Reynaud.
THE TITANS’ QUESTION MARK ON SPECIAL TEAMS: The Titans have allowed two touchdowns on special teams in the last three weeks — a kickoff return by Buffalo’s Brad Smith and a blocked punt against Chicago. Tennessee ranks 30th in the league in kickoff return average allowed.