National Football League
PRESEASON
12345
REGULAR SEASON
12345
678910
1112131415
1617   
PLAYOFFS
123PBSB
 
                 === Titans try to turn it around in Miami ===
 
 (Sports Network) - It's not every day you can drive an 89-year-old man to
 hyperbolic extremes.
 
 But that's just what the Tennessee Titans managed last week with owner Bud
 Adams.
 
 Atop the franchise's front office since its creation, Adams emerged from the
 Titans' 51-20 loss to the visiting Chicago Bears with as much football-related
 disgust as he's managed in half a century.
 
 "In my 50 years of owning an NFL franchise, I am at a loss to recall a
 regular-season home game that was such a disappointment for myself and fans of
 the Titans," he said. "We were grossly outcoached and outplayed from start to
 finish."
 
 They get a chance to turn their leader's frown upside down this Sunday, when
 they visit the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium. And don't think for a
 second that Adams won't be watching for -- and demanding -- a marked
 improvement.
 
 He said everyone from the front office to the practice squad would be
 evaluated over the final seven games, an admonition coach Mike Munchak clearly
 understood.
 
 "I would probably have said the same thing if I were him," Munchak said. "This
 is his team. He expects us to play well, especially at home. That's our job.
 That's my job to make sure we're out there playing our best and winning games
 at home hopefully every time we line up."
 
 Tennessee committed five turnovers, allowed its most points since 2009 and
 played in front of a "home" crowd in Nashville reportedly more than half-
 filled with Bears fans. To make matters worse, consecutive illegal formation
 penalties ultimately led to a blocked punt recovered for a Chicago touchdown
 and running back Chris Johnson lost a pair of fumbles.
 
 The Titans are last in the league in scoring defense -- 34.2 points per game
 -- and, at 308, are just nine points shy of matching the 317 points they
 allowed all last season.
 
 That said, significant coaching staff changes are not on the immediate agenda.
 
 "We have to win football games right now," Munchak said. "I'm not spending my
 time deciding on making coaching changes. I'm not thinking of doing that."
 
 Expected back under center this week is second-year quarterback Jake Locker,
 who's missed five games after a left shoulder injury during a 38-14 loss at
 Houston on Sept. 30. He'll share practice reps with veteran Matt Hasselbeck,
 who's 2-3 with an 81.3 passer rating as a fill-in, before Munchak makes the
 final call later this week.
 
 "The good news is medically they are very happy with his progress," Munchak
 said. "He has been cleared as far as they are concerned to move forward to the
 next level, which for now is to start taking reps, practicing and getting
 ready for a game week."
 
 On the other side, the host Dolphins seem quite content with their own young
 quarterback.
 
 No. 8 overall pick Ryan Tannehill, who hasn't thrown an interception since
 Week 4, completed 22-of-38 passes for 290 yards and a touchdown last week in a
 losing effort against fellow rookie Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts.
 Still, it was a successful bounce-back for Tannehill, who'd left the previous
 week's game against the New York Jets with a left leg injury.
 
 "We've had some good games, some not-so-good games and some bad games," he
 said. "You have to realize where you are at and push forward. We are at a
 critical point in the season, halfway through, and it can go either way from
 here."
 
 The loss ended a three-game win streak for the Dolphins, who trail first-place
 New England by just a game in a congested AFC East. Miami visits Tennessee
 Sunday, then heads Thursday to slumping Buffalo, which has lost four of five
 -- including a 35-34 verdict to the Titans in Week 7.
 
 "I couldn't ask for a better job out of (Tannehill)," running back Reggie Bush
 said. "He's really poised back there."
 
 Tennessee's Johnson ran for 117 yards and a touchdown against Miami in
 November 2010, but the Dolphins won, 29-17, after Anthony Fasano caught five
 passes for 107 yards and a TD. Miami leads the all-time series, 18-14, and has
 won eight of the last 11 games.
 
 Neither Munchak nor Miami coach Joe Philbin have faced this week's opponent.
 
 WHAT TO WATCH FOR
 
 The Dolphins' 11 rushing touchdowns are one behind the league lead shared by
 Houston, New England and Washington, and their 111.9 yards per game places
 them in the top half of the NFL as well.
 
 Conversely, stopping the run is where the Titans have faced their biggest
 challenges thus far, as a 141.6-yard weekly average for foes -- good for 30th
 in a 32-team league -- duly attests.
 
 Assuming Bush is fully healthy after some first-half nicks, he seems likely to
 maintain the 4-plus yard clip per carry that he's posted in two games since a
 Week 7 bye. Second-year man Daniel Thomas has been an intermittent threat as
 well, with double-digit carries in three games -- two of which ended in Miami
 wins.
 
 OVERALL ANALYSIS
 
 The Titans appeared to be turning a corner until running into Andrew Luck and
 Brian Urlacher in the last two weeks. Likewise, the Dolphins were hearing
 heady playoff talk before a three-game win streak was cut short last Sunday.
 Given the potentially beneficial run matchup with Bush and Thomas, and a
 defense that's been reliably respectable, if not consistently dominant, Miami
 should protect its house.
 
 Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Dolphins 17, Titans 13
 
 
 
 11/09 09:08:23 ET