Of all the games this Sunday, the Dolphins -Titans match-up is particularly intriguing. Not only because there are severe playoff implication, but the game also puts two teams that have overcome potentially disastrous starts.
First, the Titans began the season with an abysmal 0-5 record. After getting blown out by the Patriots 59-0, they went into a bye week and came out a different team. Since then, they've gone 6-1—their only loss coming at the hands of the undefeated Colts.
Then there are the Dolphins. The Dolphins came into the season with high hopes after snagging their first division crown in eight years. But things went downhill after losing their first three games, including their starting quarterback, Chad Pennington.
Now both teams are in the thick of a playoff hunt, which might only have room for one of these teams. The interesting thing is that both teams bounced back by inserting a new quarterback. Miami's Chad Henne is 7-3 as a starter, and Tennessee's Vince Young is 6-1 since regaining his starting position, something that he lost in the offseason.
With Indianapolis and New Orleans, two powerhouses that might go into the post season with perfect 16-0 records, this year's playoff promises to be very exciting. But when I'm looking for a sleeper, I'm looking for a team that's blitzing their way into the post season, not waltzing in.
The other teams in AFC Wild Card hunt cannot say the same:
- Denver, which would take the first Wild Card spot at this point, is 2-5 since their bye week.
- Jacksonville, which would take the second spot, is 1-2 in their last three weeks and they play Indianapolis and New England in the next two weeks.
- Baltimore is just flip-flopping, week after week. Since their bye, they've gone 4-3, but have not pieced together a two game winning streak.
- The Jets seem to be rebounding after winning three straight, but look who they beat: Carolina, Buffalo, and Tampa Bay.
- Pittsburgh has lost five straight—enough said.
- Houston is 1-3 since coming off their bye week.
The Dolphins and Titans are two teams on a tear, and that's encouraging when December and January roll around. Whoever wins this game will have an inside track to upsetting one of the AFC's elite.