AFC East: first half
November, 11, 2012
By James Walker | ESPN.com
MIAMI -- Here are some thoughts on the Dolphins' embarrassing 37-3 loss to the Tennessee Titans:
What it means: It means the Dolphins (4-5) lost their second straight game and likely any chance of making the playoffs. True contenders do not get crushed by the lowly Titans (4-6) at home. The Dolphins experienced some success in the first half of the season but haven't been able to maintain it. Miami will have to play the spoiler role the rest of the year.
Tannehill lays an egg: Miami rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill finally showed his inexperience and had a bad game. Tannehill played like a rookie against Tennessee. He threw for 217 yards and three interceptions; his second interception was a pick-six in the first half. He was due for a bad game after playing most of the year above expectations.
Rare sight: Miami’s usually stout run defense had trouble against Tennessee tailback Chris Johnson, who rushed for 126 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries. The Dolphins had held individual runners under 100 yards in 22 straight games before Sunday. It was the longest streak in the NFL.
Bush benched: It wasn’t a banner game for Dolphins starting running back Reggie Bush. He was benched in the first half after a costly first-quarter fumble. That set up Tennessee’s first touchdown and a lead the Titans never relinquished. Miami went with young tailbacks Daniel Thomas and rookie Lamar Miller the rest of the first half. Bush eventually returned in the third quarter but didn't have many opportunities. He finished with just 21 yards on four carries.
What’s next: The Dolphins have a quick turnaround and a short week of practice. They will travel to Buffalo to play the Bills on Thursday night in a nationally televised game on NFL Network. Considering how competitive Buffalo was against New England and how bad Miami looked, the Bills should be the favorites at home.