I am filling in this week for the instant reaction piece. These thoughts came to me as the game was playing out in real time. Thus, they are in bullet form and in a stream of consciousness rather than coherent and complete sentences. Nonetheless, it is probably easier to read this way.
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- Jordan Phillips looked explosive through the line of scrimmage on run plays
- On the Titans first drive of the game, Byron Maxwell had the nice hit for the forced fumble but he needs to fall on the ball. Luckily, the Titans didn't complete the next pass but they were able to flip the field. Little things like that add up throughout the game. With a guy like Maxwell, who is already in the dog house, he needs to do everything right.
- The Dolphins finally got a first down in their opening drive. Head Coach Adam Gase made it a huge priority and emphasis this week to get that first one early in the game on their opening drive. Mission: Accomplished.
- The Dolphins offensive line problems were evident on the first drive. It is an absolute disgrace that the Dolphins haven't been able to find an offensive line to protect their franchise quarterback. I don't care what you think of Tannehill - the offensive line is a joke and has been since Tannehill got here.
- Speaking of the offensive line, a lot of people, including myself, foresaw these troubles when the Dolphins announced that Chris Foerster was the offensive line coach. He is not good. Coaching matters. His lines have never been anything special.
- The Dolphins special teams unit on punt returns was great shedding their blocks and making the tackle before the Titans had time to do anything.
- No matter who the head coach is, who the general manager is, who the owner is - the Dolphins always seem to have trouble covering tight ends.
- Based on the first quarter of play, you can see why the coaching staff is down on Byron Maxwell. Seems to be doing his own thing at times out there and quite honestly, probably not playing with a ton of confidence in his abilities.
- Miami's defense did a nice job of forcing the Titans into a three and out in their first possession of the second quarter. They needed it. Of course, they were helped by the penalty of the illegal block in the back but that's the NFL.
- Jakeem Grant had an amazing punt return to put the Dolphins on the board. That is what you need to do when your offense struggles to move the ball. Make things happen on defense and special teams.
- The defensive players on the Dolphins have a lot of trouble tackling. I'm not sure if they are afraid, aren't being taught proper technique, or are just being lazy. They had guys stopped in their tracks multiple times but couldn't seem to bring the runner down on first contact.
- Teams have quickly figured out how to beat Byron Maxwell. Quick slant underneath. He is bad.
- Unfortunately, when you have a quick return for a touchdown on special teams, it puts the defense back on the field right after they left it. It showed on the second drive in the second quarter for the Titans.
- The Dolphins had 30 yards of total offense with five minutes remaining in the first half of play.
- Jay Ajayi did a nice job of making something out of nothing on numerous runs, even going back to the first quarter. He was running with purpose on Sunday, especially the touchdown run.
- I think Byron Maxwell is Miami's worst cornerback.
- In regards to the last drive of the second quarter, Ryan Tannehill, you have to step up in the pocket.
- The Dolphins got lucky on defense with the Titans not getting a field goal. That was a tough penalty for Walt Aikens and the interference on the punter.
- Really bad start for Ryan Tannehill to begin the second half but did you expect anything else?
- The deep pass to DeVante Parker is what this offense needs to be. I understand the problems with the offensive line but take shots early in the game to open up the offense.
- A nice swing pass to Jay Ajayi for a touchdown is nullified by a holding penalty. You can get upset with that, but the reality is that if Jarvis Landry didn't hold, Ajayi would've been tackled. It does push the Dolphins back even further though on the field and that's the part that hurts.
- Maybe the TV cameras aren't showing it, but why doesn't anyone ever help Ryan Tannehill off the ground?
- Ja'Wuan James has regressed every year since he was drafted. I compare him to Ted Ginn. He is an average offensive tackle. It is not his fault that he was drafted in the first round. Miami needs to do better.
- Taylor Lewan's back-to-back penalties killed the Titans offensive drive at the end of the third quarter. Big break for the Miami defense.
- Chants of "We want Moore" can be clearly heard through the television. That's when you know it's loud.
- There isn't much more to say at this point in the game. It is clear the Dolphins have a ton of needs. It is hard seeing this team getting into playoff form until at least 2-3 years from now.
- When talking about picking at the top of the draft, the Cleveland Browns worry me when you're looking at the quarterback. Dolphins need to draft one in 2017.
- The game next week against the Pittsburgh Steelers should be a lot of fun, huh?
Failed third down analysis
You may notice gaps here in the drives. This only recaps failed third downs. If the Dolphins didn't have a failed third down in the drive, it simply won't be listed here.
- First drive, first quarter - Tannehill had way too much pressure in his face. No chance based on the down and distance.
- Second drive, first quarter - Kenyan Drake with a terrible drop, but Billy Turner with the hands to the face penalty. Had Drake caught it, they would've replayed the down with a penalty added on. Bad mistakes on both players.
- First drive, first/second quarter - Sorry, that's on Ryan Tannehill. You need to get the ball up higher in the air. Dion Sims was wide open in the middle of the field.
- Second drive, second quarter - 47 seconds left to make something happen. Ryan Tannehill fails to step up in the pocket on second down and you have to get 12 yards on third down. Simple run play to not risk anything.
- First drive, third quarter - Interception by Tannehill - no chance to fail on third down.
- Second drive, third quarter - Penalties pile up and a brutal sack lead to an extremely tough conversion. Someone had mentioned that Tannehill had Parker open in the endzone but I didn't see it at first glance. Instead, Tannehill checked down and the field goal unit came out.
- Third drive, third/fourth quarter - third and 10, Tannehill shuffle and runs into the sack. Billy Turner needs to finish his block on that.
- I'm sorry, but I stopped keeping track after this. Just a pathetic excuse for an offense.