Two AFC playoff prospects face off this week, as the Miami Dolphins travel to Nashville to face the Tennessee Titans. The Titans 10-5 currently hold the second seed in the AFC and can take their division with a win. The Dolphins, meanwhile, came in last wild card spot earlier this week with a victory over the New Orleans Saints. But, they will probably have to win to get an official seat.
Ryan Tannehill faces his former team for the first time since moving him to Tennessee. The quarterback spent his first seven seasons in the NFL with the Dolphins and ranks third in franchise history in passing yards and passing touchdowns. You know Tannehill wants to outsmart Miami’s new flagman at Tua Tagovailoa this week.
Before we get into the details of that game, here’s how you can watch Sunday.
All NFL odds are via Caesars Sportsbook.
How to watch
Dated: Sunday January 2 | Time: 1 p.m. ET
Site: Nissan Stadium (Nashville, Tennessee)
TV: CBS | Flux: Paramount + (click here)
To follow: CBS Sports app
Chances: Titans -3.5, O / U 39.5
What to watch
Ryan Tannehill vs. Dolphins Defense
The Dolphins statistically have the No. 15 defense in the NFL when it comes to yards allowed per game, but this unit is one of the best in the league when playing with juice. Miami blitzed 38.2% of opposing dropouts, which is the highest rate in the NFL. The Dolphins also lead the NFL in push-back pressures. It could be a fun game for them, as Tannehill has been sacked 45 times this season, who ranks second in the NFL.
If the Dolphins effectively bomb Tannehill, he won’t have enough time to find AJ Brown downstream. Brown caught career-high 11 assists for 145 yards last week against the San Francisco 49ers and resumed the game on his own. Wreaking havoc in defense is the key to victory for Miami.
Tua Tagovailoa and Jaylen waddle
If the Dolphins are to make the playoffs, they have to continue working with rookie Waddle. The Alabama product caught 96 assists, which is tied for sixth in the NFL this season. Waddle is also six times breaking the 2003 rookie receiving record set by Anquan Boldin. Tagovailoa leads the NFL with a 70.1% completion rate, and his relationship with Waddle is all about timing over the short. journeys. Waddle is averaging 9.8 yards per receive – the fewest players this season with 90 or more receptions. About 76 of Waddle’s 96 receptions were from throws of less than 10 yards from the air. Only Cooper Kupp (95) has more this season.
Tennessee defensive backs will need to consider Waddle in every game. It’s all about lineup, free field tackles and who Mike Vrabel decides to use to cover him. Remember, Tennessee did an exceptional job taking out George Kittle last week. He only caught two passes for 21 yards.
Latest odds: Tennessee Titans -3.5
Both teams come out of big wins, but the Titans are the better team. The Dolphins have the most impressive winning streak, but add the fact that this is Tannehill’s revenge game and the skinny is for the Titans. I imagine it will be a close and fun affair.
Take: Titans 28-23 vs. Dolphins