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VOL. 42 | NO. 36 | Friday, September 7, 2018

Titans at Dolphins: What to watch

By Terry McCormick

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The Titans’ first-team offense got only limited work in the preseason, and the unit’s “dress rehearsal” two weeks ago against the Steelers was decidedly lacking. Now that things are for real with the regular season opening, it will be interesting to see just how much Marcus Mariota has soaked in the new scheme and what Matt LaFleur has up his sleeve.

Special teams play

The Titans special teams units appear to be more solid than they have been in a while. It would not be shocking to see a big play out of the special teams unit in the season opener via a return or maybe even a block.

The pass rush

This was already a bit of a concern before camp began. Now it looks as though Derrick Morgan and Harold Landry probably won’t be available for the season opener.

That leaves Brian Orakpo, who battled his own injury (shoulder) in preseason, to lead the way with help from Aaron Wallace and newcomers Sharif Finch and Kamalei Correa. Will it be enough to generate consistent pressure on Ryan Tannehill?

Matchups to watch

Dolphins DE Cameron Wake vs. Dennis Kelly

Wake is one of the NFL’s top pass rushers, often operating under the radar on some mediocre Dolphins teams. But his skills have to be a concern for the Titans, who may have to keep tight end help for Kelly, while Taylor Lewan is singled up against Robert Quinn on the other side.

Mariota vs. Dolphins secondary

The Titans have tailored their offense to be more friendly to Mariota’s skill set, and that means that the onus will be on the Tennessee QB to step up and deliver, beginning Sunday. The good news is that Mariota should have his most trusted targets back in Delanie Walker and Rishard Matthews. But progress may be measured in how trustworthy the combination of Mariota and Corey Davis can be.