Tennessee Titans vs. Miami Dolphins
Date and Time: Sunday, October 9, 1 p.m. ET
Location: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, FL
Week 5 NFL Odds at BookMaker.eu: Dolphins -3.5, O/U 44
Titans vs. Dolphins TV Coverage: CBS
The Titans have quietly put up some darn good fights this year. They were in it against Houston last week on the road for the full 60 minutes and were poor punt coverage away from likely winning that game, and that came on the heels of a 17-10 loss to Oakland in which Marcus Mariota had the ball in his hands 20 yards from the end zone in what could have tied that game and sent it to overtime.
Still, Mariota is learning to win close games, and the Titans are right there with him as a franchise.
What we love about Tennessee is the usage of this ground game. Derrick Henry and DeMarco Murray aren't exactly thunder and lightning, but they're more or less thunder and thunder, if that makes sense. Both are the same type of powerful back not afraid to ram it up in there between the tackles, and the fact that they have 437 yards and three TDs on the ground between them is really helping out Mariota.
What we hate is that Mariota doesn't have a single run this year of more than 10 yards, and his five picks in four games are just far too much.
The Dolphins have played the toughest schedule in football, but they haven't done themselves any favors either. They turned the ball over twice against Cincinnati last Thursday, and they were one Kenny Stills play away from getting shutout and held to well under 200 total yards of offense.
When you rank No. 29 in rushing and No. 29 in rush defense, you're not going to have a very good record, and that's what we're seeing now. It's almost as if Adam Gase has abandoned his ground game already. Jay Ajayi is the team's leading rusher for the year, and he has 75 yards on the ground. The longest two runs of the season belong to Ryan Tannehill ( 17 yards ) and Jarvis Landry ( 13 yards ).
Quote to Note
"Same thing as last year, same thing as 2012. The way that this offense goes, the longer you're in it, the easier it gets, the faster you can play, the easier the checks are. We're struggling. We're trying to get into the right deal. Somebody makes a mistake. We make the wrong read, we mess up the protection. It's part of the learning process. It's no fun going through this part of it." – Dolphins head coach Adam Gase when asked whether he was surprised about the amount of offensive mistakes the team has made this year
He's right, too. Gase has always been known as an offensive mastermind, but most forecasted problems here for Tannehill. It's a complex offense that puts a lot of strain on the players on the field to make good in-game decisions, and Tannehill just isn't doing that. No one wants to hear that it's going to take time to make a team good again, and though we applaud Gase for his honestly and his desire to install his offense into this Miami team that badly needed something new after the last few seasons, this quote doesn't instill any confidence in us that this is a team worthy of being bet upon any time soon.
Titans vs. Dolphins Free Picks
The Dolphins are set at -4 on the NFL odds at BookMaker.eu, but we don't see the justification here. Sure, Miami's schedule has been tough, but let's remember that this team should have lost its home opener to Cleveland.
Though the Titans haven't figured out how to win yet, they do know how to keep games close. Expect to see a lower scoring defensive battle that is ultimately won by the Fins but covered by the Titans. Take the points.
Titans vs. Dolphins Week 5 ATS Pick: Titans +4 at BookMaker.eu
Titans vs. Dolphins Score Prediction: Dolphins 17, Titans 14