Chad Pennington and Randy Moss were a lethal passing combination back at Marshall, and have remained friends. They'll also be making their 2010 debuts for their respective teams this Sunday. Pennington, who led the Dolphins to an 11-5 record in 2008, takes over for the benched Chad Henne. Moss is in his third organization this season, after getting claimed on waivers from Minnesota. With the Dolphins at 4-4 and the Titans at 5-3, the game has major playoff implications.
Keys for the Dolphins
• Get the running game going. Everyone expected easy running lanes for Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams this season, with Chad Henne stretching the field. It didn’t happen. Now, can either guy find holes if the Titans crowd the box against the weaker-armed Pennington?
• Tackle better. It sounds simple, doesn’t? The Dolphins didn’t do it very well against Baltimore’s Ray Rice. Now they draw an even faster back, in Chris Johnson. Inside linebacker Channing Crowder continues to make more noise off the field than on it.
Keys for the Titans
• Involve Randy Moss early. Kenny Britt is out, so Moss inherits the downfield role. He’s shown over the years that he will drift and pout if he doesn’t touch the ball in the first quarter. He has generally had success against the Dolphins, but he went without a catch the last time he faced this team.
• Continue red zone dominance. The Dolphins get inside the 20 with regularity but are forced to settle for field goals. That’s a major reason Henne lost his spot; Miami hasn't scored more than 23 points in any game. The Titans are first in the league in red zone defense, allowing offenses to score touchdowns only 28.6 percent of the time. That’s largely due to one of the NFL's best defensive fronts.
Pennington should provide a spark, but the Titans still make more plays when it matters. The Dolphins’ home woes continue. Titans 23-20.