Titans brace for trip to Miami as Dolphins come off terrible loss

Reshad Jones had a pick-six against the Titans last year and currently leads the Dolphins with 40 tackles through four games. Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Coming off another game where they had a chance to win and didn't, the Titans hit the road for a game against Miami.

The Dolphins, too, are struggling, though after an ugly Thursday night loss in Cincinnati, they've had an extended rest.

Here are six players to watch, courtesy of ESPN NFL Nation Dolphins reporter James Walker:


Quarterback Ryan Tannehill: Miami's offense has reached its breaking point after scoring just seven points in last week's loss to the Bengals. Tannehill was among the most frustrated players and called it one of the worst offensive performances by the Dolphins in recent years. Tannehill was part of the problem. He's had four turnovers (three interceptions, one lost fumble) in the past two games. Tannehill must play a lot better and take care of the football to beat the Titans.

Center Mike Pouncey: The Pro Bowler is expected to make his regular-season debut Sunday after missing Miami's first four games with a left hip injury. Miami's offensive line mostly struggled without Pouncey and allowed five quarterback sacks in two of its four games. Pouncey can be a difference-maker by calling the right protections and getting more push up the middle in the running game.

Receiver DeVante Parker: Teammate Jarvis Landry gets most of the headlines. But Parker is the X-factor with the potential to make Miami's offense dangerous. The 2015 first-round pick is a three-level receiver who can make plays all over the field. He's averaging 17.2 yards per reception for his career. Last week Parker only received three targets against Cincinnati. Expect that number to increase on Sunday.


Safety Reshad Jones: The Titans are very familiar with Jones. The safety had a monster game in last year's meeting, recording eight tackles and a pick-six off Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota in a 38-10 win for the Dolphins. Jones is one of Miami's few game-breaking talents who can single-handedly change the game. He leads the Dolphins in tackles (40) and is dangerous on the safety blitz.

Middle linebacker Kiko Alonso: It's been an up-and-down start for Alonso. He's been at his best this year using his speed and running sideline to sideline. But Alonso also struggled at times against power running teams, which is where the Titans and running back DeMarco Murray can take advantage. Alonso needs to do a better job getting off blocks against downhill running teams.

Cornerback Tony Lippett: The Dolphins' cornerbacks have been an eyesore through the first quarter of the season. No. 1 corner Byron Maxwell was benched after three games in favor of Lippett, who made his first career start last week. The Bengals picked on Lippett with Pro Bowl receiver A.J. Green, who had 10 catches for 173 yards and a touchdown. The Titans will be wise to test Lippett, as well.