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Last week the Houston Texans absolutely demolished the Titans. The Houston defense picked off Marcus Mariota twice and shut him down at every turn. They looked like the Unsullied out there and have left the Titans reeling. Mariota is a game-time decision with a hamstring injury. Suddenly, the Titans are forced to lean on their defense. Luckily this week brings a Miami offense that features Jay Cutler. If the Titans are going to salvage their season the defense needs to lift the offense.

The Miami offense on paper is deadly. In practice, they’ve taken on the disconnected personality of Cutler who was supposed to be the insurance policy for injured Ryan Tannehill. It turns out paying $10 million to a guy who was working for Fox was a colossal mistake. The Titans could struggle up front as the Dolphins have a terrific line. Fortunately, they haven’t been able to get running back Jay Ajayi going. Brian Orakpo should be able to generate enough of a pass rush to shut Cutler down.

Logan Ryan and the rest of the secondary will be charged with keeping Kenny Stills, Jarvis Landry, and DeVante Parker in check. Again, the good news is that Cutler seems checked out. Despite having a cannon for an arm he doesn’t seem to be able to find a target. The Titans defense shouldn’t have much trouble stopping Miami.

The offense is still a gigantic question mark. If Mariota can play it’s likely he won’t run. He can pierce a shaky Dolphins secondary and it’ll be up to the running backs. The Dolphins have a solid front seven and that should make life tough for DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry. Both teams absolutely need this game otherwise its unlikely either will make the playoffs. Tennessee’s season isn’t over yet but it’s not in a great place. If Dick LeBeau can get the defense back together there’s still hope.

Sports Al Dente 2019

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