Mariota will have to spread the ball around, especially if he's limited in his mobility, and will need a big game from Murray and back up running back Derek Henry to keep the pressure off. The Tennessee Titans (2-2) venture inside HardRock Stadium to square off against the Miami Dolphins (1-2).
But what transpired after that was a complete collapse, resulting in three more turnovers from backup quarterback Matt Cassel as the Titans were outscored 27-0 in the second half on their way to being completely blown out. The veteran quarterback capped a 58-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Jarvis Landry for the tiebreaking score.
His best game against the Dolphins came in 2008 while playing for his original National Football League team, the Patriots. This Monday night game at the Houston Astrodome will go down as one of the most exciting in Dolphins history, even if it did end in a loss.
Since going 4 for 4 on field goals to begin the season against the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings, the 11-year pro has missed five of seven attempts, plus an extra point the past two games. The main issue for Tennessee this season has been the defense, which is giving up 31.5 points and 397.8 yards per game. Cassel led a 48-28 victory, going 30 of 43 for 415 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.
Look for the Titans to bring their "A" game to brush off last week's no-show in Houston, and in the process to brush aside the beleaguered Dolphins. Two young quarterbacks just looking to get better.
If Mariota is unable to start, then backup Matt Cassel will start.
Mariota has passed for 792 yards and three touchdowns so far this season, his third in the NFL. After their impressive start to the season, they will want to ensure they keep their noses in front of their fierce division rivals, so a win today is a must for them. As if that weren't enough, they had to do so after an embarrassing loss to division foe the New York Jets.
This week Dolphin fans should root for the ultimate underdog, Jay Cutler, against the Titans.
The Dolphins play at Atlanta next Sunday.