Last week before the Tennessee Titans blinked they were down 31-2 to the Chicago Bears before losing 51-20 at home. Titan’s owner Bud Adam put the whole organization on notice following what he called the worst home performance in the team’s history.
This week the Titans were on the flipside of that defeat and before the Dolphins blinked the Titans were up 31-3 on their way to a 37-3 victory that moved the Titans to 4-6 as they obviously responded to the fire that Bud Adams lit under them.
The Titans forced four turnovers that they were able to convert into 20 points.
“I think it’s a credit to these guys,” said Coach Munchak. “The way they responded to a very hard week for everybody. It went bad for us last Sunday and we stuck together, hung together, came out and knew how important the game was and came out and made the plays on both side of the ball.”
The first turnover was when Titans cornerback Jason McCourty forced a fumble by Dolphins running back Reggie Bush by ripping the ball out as he was going to the ground. Bush was benched for the rest of the half and only ended up with four carries for 21 yards.
“We’ve got to get back to work very quickly and we don’t have time to sulk and kind of think about this loss too much,” said Bush. “We’ve got to forget about this as soon as possible and get ready for Buffalo.”
Titans quarterback Jake Locker returned to the starting lineup and gave the offense the spark it needed with his mobility to make plays. After a nice run by Chris Johnson, Locker then connected with rookie receiver Kendall Wright on a nine-yard touchdown.
While Wright leads the Titans and all rookie receivers with 43 receptions, the touchdown was his only reception of the day.
Locker made plays all day with his legs, such as the Titans second drive where he turned a busted play where he fell to the ground and got up for a long gain and then converted a 4th and 2 for a 5-yard gain. That set up Chris Johnson’s electrifying 17-yard touchdown run where he took a handoff to the right side, was met by a convoy of Dolphin defenders, cut back to the left then followed a block by Kenny Britt up the middle into the end zone to put the Titans up 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.
“I was trying to hit the hole and I saw color.” said Chris Johnson. “I tried to bounce outside and I saw color again. Instead of me just dropping and taking a 1 yard loss, I was just trying to make a play and those guys up front kept grinding and gave me an opportunity to come back to the outside and score.”
On a 3rd and 1 in the second quarter Ryan Tannehill was picked off by former Miami Hurricane Colin McCarthy who took it the distance to extend the Titans lead to 21-0.
Tannehill was 23 of 39 for 217-yards and threw three interceptions. All three of Tannehill’s interceptions were made by Titans Linebackers McCarthy, Akeem Ayers and Zach Brown.
In the third quarter with the Titans up 24-3, Locker threw the ball way up in the air to a wide open Kenny Britt before connecting with tight end Jared Cook on a 26-yard touchdown pass.
While Locker was effective with his legs (4 rushes for 36 yards) he completed only 9 of 21 passes for 122-yards, but with two touchdowns. Chris Johnson looks to be back to his old self as he had another effective day running the ball with 126-yards on 23 carries and a touchdown.
The Dolphins haven’t allowed a 100-yard rusher since they allowed Ben Tate to run for over 100-yards in Week 2 of 2011, which is something Chris Johnson said he was well aware of going into today’s game.
“I was asked that question all week. I know they (Dolphins) have not given up a 100 yard rusher in like…two years ago. Everybody wanted me to have 100 yards against them. It was really a best man win type scenario.”
After winning three in a row the Dolphins have now dropped two in a row to fall to 4-5 and are looking for answers to turn the team around.
“We all have to accept responsibility for the performance today,” Philbin said. “It’s not one person’s fault. It’s a team loss. We win as a team and we lose as a team. A team consists of players and coaches. It’s not a finger-pointing game, but obviously we need to do better. It starts with me.
The Titans head into the bye week before going to Jacksonville for a division game against the Jaguars while the Dolphins have to travel to Buffalo for a Divisional game of their own on a Thursday Night Football game against the Bills.
- The Titans’ 37-3 victory over the Dolphins gave them their first victory at Miami since 2004. The Titans had won only one time in their previous six trips to Sun Life Stadium, including losses in the most recent three games at the venue.
- With 53 receiving yards vs. Tennessee (11/11), Davone Bess now has 3,152 receiving yards. Bess passed Irving Fryar and is now in tenth place all time for most receiving yards in team history.
- Tennessee’s Rob Bironas set a franchise record for most consecutive extra points without a miss, breaking Al Del Greco’s mark. Bironas has made 232 in a row
- Jimmy Wilson recorded his second sack of the season (and career) on Jake Locker in the first quarter vs. Tennessee (11/11). He is currently tied for the NFL lead for most sacks by a defensive back.
- The Titans trimmed their defensive scoring average from 34.2 points per game to 31.1. They’re no longer on an NFL-record pace.
- With eight receptions vs. Tennessee (11/11), Brian Hartline set a single season career-high with 49 receptions in 2012. He surpassed his career-high of 43 receptions set in 2010. Hartline is on pace for career-highs in receptions (87) and yards (1,317).
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