News & Analysis

NFL Week 5 Preview: Titans at Dolphins

By PFF Analysis Team
Oct 7, 2017

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HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 01: Jack Conklin #78 of the Tennessee Titans and J.J. Watt #99 of the Houston Texans go one on one at NRG Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Houston won 57-14. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Each week, the PFF analysis team will bring you break downs of the most important matchups for each game of the NFL season.

Coverage by: Sam McGaw

Matchup: Tennessee Titans offense vs. Miami Dolphins defense

  • WR Rishard Matthews vs. CB Bobby McCain – Matthews has been the go-to receiver for the Titans this year. He’s second on the team behind tight end Delanie Walker with 2.02 receiving yards per route run. While Matthews is primarily used on the outside, he’s found a lot of success when used out of the slot. He’s averaging 3.08 slot receiving yards per route run, which ranks second among receivers that ran a minimum of 36 routes out of the slot. When he kicks inside Sunday, he’ll likely see the coverage of cornerback Bobby McCain. McCain has given up 11 catches on 11 passes into his coverage for 101 yards out of the slot in 2017. Quarterbacks targeting him have registered a passer rating of 104.9.

  • T Jack Conklin vs. Edge defenders William Hayes Cameron Wake – Conklin has rebounded strong in pass protection recently. Since Week 2, he’s tied for 13th among tackles with a pass-blocking efficiency of 96.6. During that span, he’s given up only one quarterback hit. He hasn’t allowed a sack this season. While he’s improved in pass protection, his run-block grade has taken a dip to 70.3, still good for 36th among tackles however. This week, he’ll take on Dolphins defensive ends Cameron Wake and William Hayes. Hayes ranks ninth among edge defenders with a pass-rushing productivity of 14.1, while Wake is 22nd with a 12.5 PRP. The duo has combined for 18 total pressures this season, all of which came from the left edge.
  • HB DeMarco Murray vs. LB Mike Hull – Murray has struggled to get rolling to start the season. He ranks 33rd among running backs with a PFF overall grade of 68.4. In addition, he’s 40th in elusive rating with a mark of 25.6 and his average of 2.05 rushing yards after contact is tied for 41st. Hull has a PFF run defense grade of 47.0, which is 57th among linebackers. He’s made four stops against the run this season, and his 7.3 combined tackling efficiency is 46th for his position group.

Coverage by: Cyrus Geller

Matchup: Miami Dolphins offense vs. Tennessee Titans defense

  • WR Jarvis Landry vs. CB Logan Ryan – Landry has had a subpar season thus far, as his overall grade of 69.9 puts him tied for 55th out of 108 qualified receivers. Traditionally he has been dangerous in the slot, but while he is 11th out of 48 qualified receivers in catch rate in the slot at 76.5, he is only 27th in yards per route run at 1.29. Logan Ryan has been good in the slot, ranking 10th out of 53 corners in coverage snaps per target at 9.4, and 13th in coverage snaps per reception at 13.0. How this matchup plays out will go a long way towards deciding who comes out victorious in this matchup.
  • T Laremy Tunsil vs. Edge Brian Orakpo – Orakpo this year has a pass-rushing grade of 83.2, which is tied for 13th best among 101 qualified edge defenders. He is also tied for the third most total pressures among 3-4 outside linebackers at 19, and he has the seventh highest pass-rushing productivity rating at 13.4. He will have a favorable matchup against Laremy Tunsil, whose pass-blocking efficiency rating of 93.1 is tied for 46th out of 65 qualified offensive tackles this season.
  • HB Jay Ajayi vs. LB Wesley Woodyard – Jay Ajayi has been solid this year, ranking sixth out of 48 running backs in elusive rating at 72.5, and he has broken 14 tackles on rushes, which is tied with Jordan Howard for the fifth most. He will have a tough opponent in Wesley Woodyard, who has been stout stopping the run in 2017. Woodyard has 11 run stops this year, which is tied for the fifth most among 56 inside linebackers, and in 97 run snaps, he has only missed one tackle. He also has a run-stop percentage of 11.3, which is 11TH among inside linebackers.

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