The Miami Dolphins lost to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, falling to 1-4 on the season. The team again struggled, both offensively and defensively, and they are looking more and more like a 1-4 team rather than a team that should be anything better than that record.
Every week, we take a look back the Dolphins’ most recent game, finding the good, the bad, and the ugly from the game. This morning, it is time to do that for the contest against the Titans.
- Jakeem Grant - Mighty Mouse gets the nod as the good for this week for his one punt return, which went 74 yards for a touchdown. That was the rookie’s first career touchdown and it appeared - at least briefly - it could provide the spark to get Miami rolling. The Dolphins have not yet gotten him involved in the offense, but Grant showed his speed on the return and deserves the good category.
- Ryan Tannehill - Tannehill continues to be among the biggest enigmas in the league. He has plays where he looks stellar. He has plays that just leaves you shaking your head. The problem is, he continues to end up laying flat on his back on way too many plays. Adam Gase pointed out that on 18 drop backs this week, Tannehill was hit on nine of them. That’s not a good thing, and Tannehill has a part of that - either holding the ball too long or not stepping into the pocket where it is clear - but it makes it very hard to figure out exactly who Tannehill is. Fans want to see Matt Moore, but there probably was not anything Moore could have done under the onslaught that included six sacks on Sunday.
- Offensive line - Yes, there were injuries, including the pre-game injury to Laremy Tunsil that forced him to miss the game and led to Billy Turner and Dallas Thomas starting on the left side of the line, but the line is just playing horribly right now. Ja’Wuan James continues to struggle for some reason, and the return of Mike Pouncey was not enough to spark the line into being able to block. You could probably put two of the sacks on Sunday on Tannehill, but there were four more where someone on the line was simply beat - and multiple quarterback hits that came just as Tannehill released the pass. It is hard to say Tannehill should do something different when he is being hit as he reaches the end of a three- or five-step drop. And, it is not like the line is killing it in run blocking, where they struggled - again - to open running lanes.
- Run defense - Anyone know the secret to beating the Miami Dolphins? Everyone in the NFL does - run the ball. Then, run it again. Finally, run it some more. The Dolphins simply cannot stop a running back. On Sunday, they led to DeMarco Murray tallying 121 yards on 27 carries, Marcus Mariota picking up 60 yards on seven attempts, and Derrick Henry added 54 yards on seven carries. That means, Miami’s best rush defense was against Murray, who averaged 4.5 yards per attempt. As a whole, the Titans picked up 5.7 yards per rushing attempt, and they could have run the ball more than the 41 attempts they had. At some point, opponents are just going to give up on the passing game against the Dolphins, not because the pass defense is any good, but because it is not needed against a Miami defense that is allowing a league worst 150.8 yards rushing per game - four yards more than the 31st ranked San Francisco 49ers, and 20.8 yards more than the 30th ranked Washington Redskins.