The Titans will do anything that is necessary to avoid a 2-3, while the Dolphins really need their fourth match to be a win so that they can even out at a respectable 2-2. They rank last in the National Football League in points (8.3) and yards (249) per game, yards per play (4.2) and third-down conversion (21 percent). Tankersley was picked on frequently by Drew Brees in his first career start against the New Orleans Saints, but the rookie cornerback battled back and finished with a respectable performance against the future Hall of Fame quarterback. Tennessee may lean heavily on a running game that is averaging an NFL-best 5.0 yards per carry, with 2016 AFC rushing leader DeMarco Murray (5.1) rumbling for 121 yards in Tennessee's 30-17 victory over Miami on October 9, 2016. With Kaepernick, Reese says, teams will feel an obligation to "adjust the offense for him to give him a chance". Things will be easier if Mariota doesn't play, but still breaching the Titan defense is a hard task. MarQueis Gray and Jarvis Landry had success last season on drag routes and screens, which is proof that plays that are mere extensions of the run game could very well jumpstart the Dolphins' offense.
Mariota tweaked his hamstring during Tennessee's loss in Houston last week and has been considered a game-time decision by Titans coach Mike Mularkey for Sunday. As of writing, it is still up in the air whether Mariota's hamstring injury will allow him to participate. The Titans were outscored 27-0 in the second half with Matt Cassel playing in the absence of Mariota, who is expected to play this week at Miami.
This week Dolphin fans should root for the ultimate underdog, Jay Cutler, against the Titans. Were it not for a garbage touchdown on the final play of the game, Miami would be coming into this game off back-to-back shutouts.
Facing off against the Texans defense was something which the Titans weren't ready. Cassel led a 48-28 victory, going 30 of 43 for 415 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Woodyard and Williamson will be tasked with cutting off his running space in the middle of the field, which is where he most likely to operate. NFL Network's Ian Rappaport reported that Mariota could miss even more games.