1. The Dolphins could certainly use a break on the injury front regarding Vince Young.
The Titans are 12-5 with Young at quarterback and 1-6 without him over the past two seasons. But he did not practice Wednesday and was limited Thursday due to an ankle injury suffered two weeks ago against San Diego, raising questions about whether he’ll be available and, if he is, how effective he will be.
Now in his sixth NFL season, Young has had a strong start to the season, throwing nine TD passes to two interceptions and amassing a passer rating of 103.1, best in the AFC.
With Randy Moss now in his stable of receivers and the ever-dangerous Chris Johnson as his running back, Young has the tools the ring up a lot of points against a Dolphin team that, as has been well-documented, has struggled all season to score.
2. Jason Allen’s impact on special teams was relatively minimal by the time he left.
Coach Tony Sparano said Thursday Allen was playing on only two-and-a-half special teams – the half comprising his part-time work as a gunner on the punt team. (When he wasn’t used in that role, he worked elsewhere on punt coverage.) That’s a big change from the past. When Allen wasn’t a regular at cornerback, he was on pretty much every special teams unit.
Sparano said Allen had been moved down the depth chart to the point where he was the last defensive back, making him the most expendable when Al Harris was signed as a free agent. Sparano said it would take “a couple guys” to replace him on special teams, but that doesn’t seem as daunting a task as it would have been a year ago.
3. The Dolphins had better beware the turnover against the Titans.
One of the reasons Chad Henne lost his job was the Dolphins’ horrid turnover ratio of minus-7. Tennessee, meanwhile, who line up against Miami Sunday at Sun Life Stadium, is tied for second in the AFC at plus-6, with 19 takeaways compared to 13 turnovers. Sparano said that takeaway success is a big reason the Titans are 24th in total offense but third in scoring.
“That would be a big point in this game,” Sparano said.
Those who recall the Titans’ 27-24 overtime win in Nashville last year will also recall Henne threw three interceptions and the Dolphins also lost a fumble, while forcing two turnovers. The last of those interceptions came in OT and led directly to the game-winning 46-yard field goal by Rob Bironas. That loss, by the way, was the first of three to close the season, turning a promising 7-6 record into a disappointing 7-9 finish.
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