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Dolphins Fall 37-3 To Titans

Posted Nov 11, 2012

Nothing went right in disappointing defeat.

When it rains it pours – even on a sunny afternoon.

The Miami Dolphins could never find their footing against the visiting Tennessee Titans at Sun Life Stadium and a combination of turnovers and untimely penalties resulted in a 37-3 loss. That drops Miami to 4-5 on the season with only four days to regroup before taking on the Buffalo Bills in a Thursday night game in Buffalo.

There is no time to look back with such a pivotal division game coming up so fast and that’s what the Dolphins are hanging their hat on.

“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 running back Reggie Bush, who finished with 21 yards on four carries. “We’ve got to forget about this as soon as possible and get ready for Buffalo.”

Kicker Dan Carpenter’s 40-yard field goal in the second quarter accounted for all of the scoring by the Dolphins, while the Titans scored 20 points off of turnovers and improved to 4-6.

Rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill was intercepted three times, matching his career-high set in the season opener at the Houston Texans, and Bush’s fumble in the first quarter led to the Titans’ first touchdown. That was a 9-yard scoring pass from Jake Locker to rookie Kendall Wright.

From that point on, every ball seemed to bounce in Tennessee’s favor and every penalty call as well. Miami was penalized an uncharacteristic seven times for 67 yards. Left guard Richie Incognito was flagged for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty that erased a 14-yard run by Daniel Thomas in the second quarter that would have moved the ball to the Tennessee 14. Carpenter ended up kicking his field goal on that drive but it easily could have ended in a touchdown and cut the 21-0 deficit to two touchdowns.

“I pulled around on a power and I thought the play was still going on so we were getting up off the ground and I gave the guy a shove,” Incognito recalled. “It was a dumb penalty. It definitely hurt the team. It pushed us out of points and it was a mistake on my part. I made a mistake and (Head Coach Joe Philbin) wanted to address it right then and there and it was handled.”

Philbin directed Incognito to sit on the bench and cool off, sending Nate Garner in to take his place for the remainder of the series, but he was back in the game the next time Miami got the ball. Left tackle Jake Long didn’t feel a need to say anything to his fellow offensive lineman after that and credited Incognito with being mature enough to move on.

Over on the defensive side of the ball, the Dolphins were faced with having to defend a short field a number of times as a result of the turnovers. They also were victimized by the shifty Chris Johnson to the tune of 126 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries and another 36 rushing yards on nine carries by Locker. He was only sacked once on his opening drive by cornerback Jimmy Wilson.

“There were some things that he did that we knew he was capable of and they made some plays and we didn’t make enough,” said defensive end Jared Odrick, who had one tackle for a loss.

There were a lot of long faces in the locker room after the game, which should be expected, but Philbin has preached all season that each week has to be treated individually. So he will quickly turn the focus to the Buffalo game, while still making sure everyone remembers how he felt after this one.

When the game starts Thursday night at Ralph Wilson Stadium, two teams coming off of tough losses will square off as the Bills lost to the New England Patriots. Moving forward is the mantra now for Miami.

“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. We’re going to go back to the facility and we’re going to get to work and we’re going to put together a plan for Buffalo and we’re going to get this thing corrected, no question.”i.
Game Pass: Miami Dolphins