It's easy to wonder which quarterback will make the biggest impact on Sunday's game between the Titans and Dolphins.
Yes Ronde Barber Jersey , Falk, a fourth-string rookie who won't even play, has altered preparations by both teams. Miami signed him last week after he was released by Tennessee on cutdown day, and the Dolphins are sure to pick his brain about the Titans' scheme under rookie coach Mike Vrabel.
All of which adds lends another layer of unpredictability to the season opener.
Here are things to know about two teams who didn't excite preseason prognosticators:
Ryan Tannehill returns after missing the Dolphins' past 20 games, and says he'll be ready rather than rusty. He's coming off reconstructive knee surgery that wiped out his entire 2017 season, and says he never doubted he would be ready for the 2018 opener.
"I always felt confident that this would be where we ended up," he said. "It's finally here and I'm ready to go."
While Tannehill has never played in the postseason, counterpart Marcus Mariota is trying to become the first quarterback to lead the Titans to the playoffs in back-to-back years since Steve McNair in 2002-03.
That will require proving wrong the oddsmakers who predict Tennessee will win eight games. Miami, led by third-year coach Adam Gase, is widely projected to repeat last year's 6-10 record.
THE OTHER QB
While Falk will be able to provide the Dolphins some insight into Sunday's matchup, Vrabel says it could have been worse.
The Titans' new coach wanted to install the entire offense during training camp, but offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur 鈥?mindful the team would have to waive some players 鈥?talked him out of it.
"He wanted to hold some stuff," Vrabel said. "I said, 'OK, I'll defer to you on this one.' As it turns out Phillip Dorsett Jersey , he was kind of right. There'll be some things that I'm sure Luke can give them. But then again, I am glad that Matt was adamant about holding some stuff until cutdown day. I think he had been burned by some of that stuff in the past."
The Dolphins kept some of their playbook under wraps during the preseason, too. They're expected to have packages for veteran newcomer Albert Wilson and rookie tight end Mike Gesicki that they didn't show in exhibition games.
"There were a few plays going into Week 3 that Gase wanted to run," Tannehill said with a smile. "I said, 'Hey, those are great plays. Let's save those.' We have some things that we haven't shown that we're excited about."
NFL active rushing leader Frank Gore will make his Dolphins debut, and at 35 he's thrilled to return to South Florida, where he was born and raised and starred for the Miami Hurricanes.
Gore will play in his 113th consecutive game, and he needs 76 yards to become fourth-leading rusher in league history.
HEY, I KNOW YOU
Miami and Tennessee added former Patriots teammates during the offseason. Receiver Danny Amendola joined the Dolphins, while the Titans acquired cornerback Malcolm Butler. The Titans' other starting cornerback, Logan Ryan, is another Amendola friend and former Patriots teammate.
Tennessee's secondary also includes All-Pro safety Kevin Byard and cornerback Adoree Jackson, who started every game as a rookie last year.
"We're super excited to see what we've got," Ryan said. "It's the most excited I've been to start a season off."
STREAKING IN TENNESSEE
The Titans have won five consecutive road openers Thomas Morstead Jersey , the NFL's longest such streak. Three of those came in season openers. The streak includes three coaches, and three of the victories came by 16 points or more, including last year's 37-16 victory at Jacksonville in Week 2.
"The mindset is to win," linebacker Brian Orakpo said. "I mean, it's point blank, period, win. Win ballgames. Take it week by week and win, no matter if it's 50-49 or 3-0."
Teresa M. Walker in Nashville, Tennessee, contributed to this report.
Follow Steven Wine on Twitter: ://Steve_Wine
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Cincinnati Reds have the worst record in the National League at 24-43, but they still have a better record than the Kansas City Royals.
The Reds beat the Royals 5-1 in 10 innings Tuesday. The Royals have dropped eight of their past nine and are 22-45 overall. Only the Baltimore Orioles (19-47) have a worst record.
The Royals are 23 games below .500 for the first time since Sept. 13, 2011, when they were 63-86.
The Reds will go for a sweep of the two-game mini-series in Kansas City on Wednesday night. The Reds’ victory Tuesday was their first over the Royals since June 12, 2010.
Right-hander Tyler Mahle of the Reds and Jason Hammel of the Royals are scheduled starting pitchers for the series finale.
Mahle (4-6 Eli Manning Jersey , 4.33 ERA) is 1-0 in two June starts, allowing 11 hits and two earned runs in 10 innings, while striking out 11 and walking four.
This will be Mahle’s first time facing the Royals, but not his first time on the Kaufman Stadium mound. He threw a mound session before the 2013 draft when the Reds chose him in the seventh round.
“They had a high school workout,” Mahle said. “Pitchers just threw a bullpen off the game mound; that was it. All the scouts were here.”
He said never pitching against the Royals does not change his preparation.
“It’s the same between every start,” Mahle said. “I prepare to go out there and hit my spots and compete. It’s a new team, and I’ve never seen them play before, so I’m going to do my homework and kind of make a game plan out of it.”
He said he pitches not to the Royals’ weaknesses, but his strengths.
“You always play to your own strength,” he said. “We’re going to find out what their weaknesses are and kind of find something there in the middle. I throw a lot of fastballs, but if there’s a guy who likes a lot of fastballs, it kind of collides there.
“But, at the same time, if you hit spots, good things are going to happen. Obviously if you throw it down the middle Jerry Rice Jersey , he’s going to hit it, but if you hit a corner, or something like that, always if you make your pitch, good things are going to happen.”
Good things happened to the Reds in the Tuesday victory. They trailed 1-0 entering the ninth, but Tucker Barnhart led off the inning with a blast off Kelvin Herrera that landed in the Royals’ bullpen.
“That is against one of the best closers in the game, so that was huge,” Reds manager Jim Riggleman said. “Both pitchers are pitching so good it’s probably going to be a home-run type game. Nobody was putting a rally together. They got one and we got one, and our bullpen really did a great job.”
Hammel (2-6, 5.12 ERA) is 2-1 with a 2.59 ERA in his last four starts after a 13-start winless streak in which he went 0-8 with a 7.28 ERA. He has issued two or fewer walks in 10 of his 13 starts this season.
Hammel is 0-3 with a 4.70 ERA in five home starts this year and is winless in his last seven Kauffman Stadium starts dating to Aug. 20.
He is 4-1 with a 3.42 ERA in 12 career outings (11 starts) against the Reds. He has won his last four starts against Cincinnati with a 0.75 ERA, but has not faced the Reds since 2016.
Adidas Claude Giroux Jersey
Aktion Deutsche Sprache, Hannover | Das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache des 20. Jh. | Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung, Darmstadt | Deutsch-Netz.de, Lippstadt | Deutsche Sprachwelt, Erlangen | Die Seiten für Rechtschreibung | Forschungsgruppe Deutsche Sprache e.V., Aschaffenburg | Institut für Deutsche Sprache, Mannheim | Neue Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft zu Köthen/Anhalt e.V. | Sprachkreis Deutsch, Bern | Sprachpflege.info, Erlangen | Stiftung Deutsche Sprache e.V., Berlin | Verein Deutsche Sprache e.V., Dortmund | Verein für deutsche Rechtschreibung und Sprachpflege e.V., Schwaig bei Nürnberg | Woxikon | www.wortpatenschaft.de