Tennessee Titans vs. Miami Dolphins: Final Report Card, Player Grades for Miami

Thomas GaliciaFeatured Columnist IVNovember 11, 2012

Tennessee Titans vs. Miami Dolphins: Final Report Card, Player Grades for Miami

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    The Miami Dolphins were embarrassed by the Tennessee Titans 37-3 in a game that the United States government will likely ban on the grounds of being a snuff film. 

    Miami lost due to their four turnovers and seven penalties that accounted for 67-yards. This was so terrible that in these grades, you will not see a single A or B for any of these players.

    Miami moves to 4-5 on the season, which makes their drive to the playoffs that much more difficult. But after a game like this, they have no business even uttering the word playoffs. Miami will now likely have to go 6-1 in order to have a shot at the postseason, which is hard considering they still have two games left against New England and games against the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers

    Tennessee moves to 4-6 going into their bye week, and now actually has an outside shot for a playoff berth if they go undefeated the rest of the season.

Offense — F

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    Overall Game Grade F

    Find something good about Miami’s offensive performance, seriously.

    Alright, let’s not count Brian Hartline, who was decent. We’re not counting Daniel Thomas either, he was alright too.

    Tannehill was terrible, the offensive line was worse, Reggie Bush found himself out of the game for a good quarter, and Anthony Fasano even gave Tennessee the ball. This was terrible! This offense was beyond being a joke, it was the easiest punchline in comedy. Carlos Mencia wouldn’t even steal this joke of an offense for his comedy routine!

    Fourth Quarter F

    Ryan Tannehill giveth in Miami’s first drive of the fourth quarter. He moved the ball down the field well despite being victimized by two dropped passes and tremendous coverage on Brian Hartline that prevented a touchdown.

    Tannehill taketh away on the drive, throwing an interception. This by far was his worst throw of the season, and this time it was all on him. No excuse here. It was great to see the offensive line come out to play though, Miami could’ve used them about three quarters ago.

    The first team offense would have one more series, going three-and-out. Matt Moore would take over on the final drive to finish it out.

    Third Quarter — F

    You’re never going to believe this but Miami’s first drive of the third quarter started off with Tannehill throwing the ball well, then just as they got some momentum going, a dumb penalty on the offensive line (this time Mike Pouncey, proving bad offensive line play is apparently contagious throughout the whole line), followed by a sack would lead to Miami being forced to punt!

    I know, shocking! With the way this game has gone you would think Miami would have an offensive series go right for once!

    Miami can’t seem to get anything right. So this is how it feels to be a Jets fan.

    Second Quarter F

    Miami’s offense had major issues to start the second quarter. First we had a Ryan Tannehill pick-six (courtesy of the offensive line allowing the pass to be tipped), then just as the Dolphins offense was gaining momentum on their second drive of the quarter (where Tannehill went seven-of-eight for 72 yards), a personal foul penalty on Richie Incognito after Daniel Thomas broke off a run of 14 yards would end the momentum, forcing Miami to settle for a field goal (of course!).

    The next drive would go three-and-out, with the Dolphins only able to gain eight yards on a pass on third-and-10.

    First Quarter— F 

    Already the Dolphins are off to an adventurous start to the game, and not in a good way. The Dolphins offense looked good in their first four plays of the game, as Tannehill would gain 11 yards through the air, followed by Bush gaining nine yards on the ground. Miami would turn to Jorvorskie Lane to gain the one yard needed, but Lane would be stuffed behind the line of scrimmage, forcing Miami to punt.

    On the next drive the Dolphins would again start off well with Bush gaining 15-yards on a run, but on that same run he’d fumble the ball to the Titans as the Dolphins’ own 27-yard line, giving Tennessee a short field (and the eventual touchdown).

    The next drive for the Dolphins would see them shoot themselves in the foot. Two penalties (one of them declined) were called on Jake Long and Anthony Fasano), and the offensive line wasn’t able to protect Tannehill well enough. This felt like there was nothing the Dolphins offense could’ve done correctly in the first quarter, and that feeling was correct.

Ryan Tannehill — F

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    Overall Game Grade F

    Let me make this clear to everyone: I like Ryan Tannehill. He’s the quarterback of the present and future, and has managed to bounce back well from his mistakes. This team has four wins because of Tannehill, and would’ve won them the fifth one had it not been for his offensive line and receivers dropping the ball and setting him back against Indianapolis.

    Even in this game, Tannehill was hosed by a bad offensive line performance, and receivers that dropped the ball. The only reliable receiver: Brian Hartline (who else).

    With that said: he was terrible against the Titans, by far his worst performance in the NFL. Yes, this was worse than his first game against the Texans, due to the fact that he has the experience now and played against one of the worst defenses in the league.

    He will learn from this as he takes on another terrible defense on Thursday against Buffalo; at least that’s the hope. But if there’s one thing Tannehill has done well, it’s been putting bad performances behind him. Consider this game a learning experience for him.

    Fourth Quarter F

    This fourth quarter is more about how Ryan Tannehill plays than anything else. They’re not going to win the game, the team themselves gave up on all hope, why should I hold on to it?

    Tannehill started off the drive very well, moving the ball down the field. But it wound up ending up in an interception. Tannehill did get the tackle, so he does have that going for him.

    Third Quarter C-

    One of Ryan Tannehill’s most admirable qualities is how he manages to bounce back from adversity. His mistakes don’t seem to affect him on the next play or series. His resiliency is the reason why he’s Miami’s quarterback of the present and future.

    The way he started the third quarter would go on to prove that. Working against the Titans defense and the clock, Tannehill knew the ball would be in his hands. The drive started off well, but would get a setback thanks to a Mike Pouncey holding penalty at midfield. Of course this was after a great run by Reggie Bush that gained some positive yards.

    The next pass play would go for a sack, then Charles Clay would drop a pass.

    Now Ryan Tannehill would face third-and-28, but because the Titans pass defense (which I should mention was one of the worst in the league going into this game) had the Dolphins receivers covered well, Tannehill would have to check down to Daniel Thomas.

    Second Quarter F

    What the (insert your own curse word) Tannehill? You were the one “bright spot” for the Dolphins in the first quarter, then you follow that up with a horrible start to the second quarter?

    A dropped gimme interception by Tennessee was followed by an actual interception that was tipped (that old problem he had against Houston), that wound up scoring a touchdown for the Titans.

    Tannehill would settle down a bit in the next drive, as Tannehill was able to spread the football all over the field, completing seven passes for 72 yards. One would think this meant Miami would score a touchdown, but instead would have to settle for Dan Carpenter attempting to kick a field goal into the winds. Carpenter would make the field goal to give Miami their first three points of the game.

    The next drive though would go three-and-out, with Ryan Tannehill going one-of-two for only eight yards.

    Tannehill’s final drive of the second quarter would result in a Titans interception, but some of the blame for this is on Fasano. No, wait, that’s not fair to Fasano, why was that ball passed there? Tannehill hasn’t made too many bad decisions this season, but that had to have been his worst.

    First Quarter — C

    Tannehill would begin the afternoon doing well on his first drive, going two-of-two for 11 yards.

    Unfortunately, those would be the only yards gained on the drive, as Miami would be forced to punt.

    Miami’s second drive would also end prematurely with Tannehill not completing a pass, but he only had one attempt. He can blame Reggie Bush’s fumble at the Dolphins’ 27-yard line after running for 15 yards.

    Tannehill’s third drive of the third quarter would see him get failed by Miami’s offensive line (not giving him enough time to throw the ball), and his receiving corps (Davone Bess dropped a very well-thrown pass that hit him right in the numbers).

Running Backs

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    Reggie Bush — F

    After the fumble, Bush would sit out the entire second quarter. He came back in the third quarter but didn’t do much to improve. I get the feeling that part of this was Coach Philbin resting Bush for the Thursday Night Football game against Buffalo, but it might have been a bit of an overreaction because he was running the ball decently save for the fumble.

    Daniel Thomas — C+

    Daniel Thomas was decent for the ‘phins, even though he only ran for 21 yards on five carries. He was a threat to receive the ball out of the backfield though, ending with five catches for 34 yards.

    Lamar Miller — C+

    Lamar Miller took up some of Bush’s carries, well at least two of them. He gained nine yards on those carries though, and will likely see more action against the Bills.

    Jorvorskie Lane — F

    This was his worst game. Failing to get the first down on a third-and-one early in the game was the beginning of this blowout, but the play calling was terrible (everyone knew what they were doing, but hey it’s not like the Dolphins’ quarterback does well out of the play-action and third-and-one is a great down for play-action).

Wide Recievers

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    Brian Hartline — C+

    His game wasn’t terrible. Had it not been for some superb pass defense, he would’ve tacked on a garbage time touchdown. He finished the game with eight catches for 79 yards. By no means was it great, but it wasn’t terrible.

    Davone Bess — C+

    Bess, like Hartline, had a decent game despite everything going wrong, finishing with four catches for 53 yards.

    Jabar Gaffney — F

    Gaffney, dude, you were very good last season with Rex Grossman and John Beck as your quarterbacks. Since it was a Mike Shanahan offense, everyone figured you’d pick up this offense. What the heck happened? Why can’t you make a catch to save your life? Yes, you did get one catch for 11 yards, but you should have more.

    Anthony Fasano — F

    He had a reception which would’ve been a third down conversion. Somehow it turned into an interception. This after I stated earlier this week that Fasano would likely be resigned in Miami. Now, I’m thinking the Dolphins should just draft Notre Dame’s Tyler Eifert, and let Fasano go on his merry way.

    Charles Clay — C+

    One catch, 15 yards. Considering that was the only time he was targeted, I’ll take it. Clay should get more targets as the season goes on.

Offensive Line

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    Jake Long — F

    Richie Incognito — F

    Mike Pouncey — F

    John Jerry — F

    Jonathan Martin — F

    No words to say for this terrible line play. Even Mike Pouncey was terrible. Mike Pouncey, one of the best centers in the league, on his way to the Pro Bowl, was terrible.

Defense — F

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    Overall Game Grade F

    Third-and-long conversions? Check! Lack of sacks (only one)? Check! Losing the most games without a 100-yard rusher? Check!

    The Dolphins defense was just as bad as the offense, probably worse considering they’re supposed to be the strong aspect of the team. It was sickening to watch this defense just fold the way they did.

    I know, the offense put them in a bad position, but good defenses can come out of those and make plays. This defense didn’t do that, and even looked like they quit in the third quarter.

    Fourth Quarter C-

    We could play a drinking game with this Dolphins secondary. Sean Smith drops an interception (take two shots!).

    On their first fourth quarter drive, the Dolphins defense forced the Titans into a three-and-out. Unfortunately due to the Tannehill interception, Tennessee got the ball in field goal range, which allowed them to kick the field goal.

    After that, Tennessee just killed the clock against them. Terrible performance on their end.

    Third Quarter F

    First drive of the third quarter was a slow-kill drive. The Titans offensive line continued to out-muscle Miami’s defensive line, which allowed Jake Locker to find Kenny Britt on a third-and-one for a 28-yard pass. It looked like the Dolphins would get some momentum in forcing a fumble, but you will never believe this, but an official made a bad call that hurt the Dolphins (a common theme this season)!

    This would lead to Miami’s first third-and-long of the third quarter (the other two third downs were third and short). A Titans false start penalty turned a third-and-10 into a third-and-15. So would the Dolphins defense stop them?

    Of course not! A touchdown pass from Jake Locker to Jared Cook would punctuate the drive.

    Sun Life Stadium should’ve provided barf bags at halftime. In all honesty at this point, I’m glad the Dolphins had a bad call go against them, with the way their defense played to start the quarter, they deserved to get scored on!

    The Dolphins defense would get another drive to attempt to stop Tennessee, leading to the remaining sub-plot of the game: will the Dolphins defense finally allow a 100-yard rusher after 22 straight games of not doing so? And how come when the streak is mentioned, no one discusses the fact that teams don’t run against the Dolphins as much because their secondary is made out of swiss cheese!

    The streak is over by the way, and so is this game.

    Second Quarter B-

    When did this team forget how to tackle? When? First it’s Chris Johnson making them miss, which would be understandable if it was 2009, then you have Jake Locker making them miss.

    I kid you not, Jake Locker has 29 yards rushing. Jake Locker. Yes, he’s a mobile and athletic quarterback, but for him to have 29 yards rushing? He’s not Robert Griffin III, he’s not Michael Vick pre-2012, he’s Jake Locker! He should have 29 yards rushing!

    On this first drive Tennessee would again be faced with another third-and-long, and this time the Dolphins would actually get a stop!

    Let us pause for a moment to reflect on this.  

    The next Dolphins defensive drive was another three-and-out, assisted greatly by one great pass breakup by Karlos Dansby, and a dropped pass by Tennessee’s Jared Cook.

    The Dolphins defense would allow Tennessee to score three points in the quarter, however this was on a three-and-out. A Ryan Tannehill interception gave Tennessee the ball with the field position to attempt a field goal, which allowed the field goal to be kicked.

    Overall the defense did well in the second quarter after a horrible start to the game. Let’s see if the offense can pick things up in the third quarter.  

    First Quarter F

    I can’t really blame the defense for seven of the points on the board, but I can blame them for going one-of-three when stopping Tennessee on third down. What makes it worse is once again both third-downs were of five yards or more, and both were converted in the air, with one of them leading to a touchdown pass from Jake Locker to Kendall Wright.

    The next drive would see the Dolphins get a gift in Jake Locker slipping, however he was able to get up and run for a first down. It feels like this team isn’t even trying right now! Locker slipped a good 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage, and yet not a single Dolphin was there to even so much as touch him? Poor job by the Dolphins defense! That play by itself gives them an F for the quarter, and if I could give them a lower grade for their failure to stop the Titans on fourth-and-two, I would.

Defensive Line

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    Cameron Wake — C-

    Wake’s day was a bit too quiet for my liking. Like the rest of the Dolphins, he couldn’t make a tackle to save his life.

    Paul Soliai — F

    Chris Johnson had his way with the Dolphins defense. Some of this is on Soliai since he does anchor their run defense.

    Randy Starks — F

    Starks is another run defense anchor. Again, look at Chris Johnson’s stats to see why he got an F.

    Jared Odrick — C-

    Odrick wasn’t half-bad and in fact nearly forced a fumble (it should’ve been a fumble but the officials made a mistake on that play). Other than that, not a bad game from Odrick.

Linebackers

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    Kevin Burnett — C+

    Burnett played decently, recording six tackles. Even in a victory this isn’t an A-day, but compared to the rest of this team, Burnett was alright.

    Koa Misi — C+

    Four tackles, including one for a loss, and a pass deflection. Not too bad of an afternoon, considering the circumstances.

    Karlos Dansby — C+

    The Dolphins linebacking unit was the best part of the game. Dansby had a great pass deflection to go along with six tackles.

Secondary

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    Sean Smith — D

    Five tackles, but along with that came dropped interceptions. He wasn’t killed like he was against Indianapolis, but this wasn’t a good game for any Miami Dolphins.

    Jimmy Wilson — C-

    Wilson had a bad penalty on special teams, but other than that he did record four tackles and a sack.  

    Reshad Jones — F

    Only two tackle? Two tackles for a safety? Let’s move on from here.

    Chris Clemons — C

    Four tackles, and one for a loss. In other day that’s at least a B. But no one deserves anything hire than a C today, so Clemons will just have to settle for this grade.

Special Teams — F

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    Overall Game Grade F

    Fields and Carpenter were actually good this afternoon, but there were far too many special teams penalties for my liking.

    Fourth Quarter — C

    Good news: no penalties this time around, and Brandon Fields was actually pretty decent! I can’t write the letter A for anything pertaining to this game though.

    Third Quarter F

    Alright this is getting out of hand with these block in the back penalties. Olivier Vernon had one called against him! The best special teams player the last two weeks gets flagged! Can this team do anything right? They’re even screwing up on special teams!

    Second Quarter — C

    The first significant special teams play of the quarter came courtesy of a Dan Carpenter 40-yard field goal that gave Miami their first points of the game. It was a tough one to kick, and Miami actually lucked out by calling a timeout before the ball was snapped.

    The next special teams play would see Marcus Thigpen get off a decent return, followed by an illegal block in the back penalty on Jimmy Wilson. It’s like this team decided to take one step forward and two steps back in this game. It’s now even permeating to the special teams unit, which has been their best unit throughout the last two weeks.

    The next punt from the Titans would again see the Dolphins commit a stupid special teams penalty, this time a hold on the return. This backed Miami all the way back to their own seven yard line.

    First Quarter — C

    With winds swirling at around 15 miles per hour, we knew that it would affect the special teams for both teams.

    For Miami we would see one great special teams sequence on Brandon Fields’ first punt, which would back the Titans up to their own  nine-yard line.

    The second punt would be heavily affected by the winds, both times they attempted to punt (yes, there was a penalty on the punt, thanks Marlon Moore). This gave Tennessee decent field position.

Coaching — F

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    Overall Game Grade F

    What I like about Joe Philbin is that he’s a firm believer in “The Buck Starts Here.” He took the blame for their performance, which he should.

    This team was unprepared, unfocused, and just terrible. Now since Philbin has done a good job thus far, I do trust him to rally around his troops in the next three days before their next game against the Buffalo Bills.

    But after seeing the Bills come close to defeating the Patriots, Miami knows they can not afford to play another game like this one. The Dolphins have to start preparing for the Bills right now, and have to come out similar to how the Titans came out today. They embarrassed themselves, their fans, and their city with this performance, and the coaches are as much to blame as everyone.

    Now if you excuse me, the Heat are about to play the Memphis Grizzlies. I’m going to check out how a well coached team (in a different sport) plays as hopefully the Heat will force a Tennessee split.

    ***UPDATE***

    Boy, um, this is awkward...The state of Tennessee seems to own Miami this Sunday.

    Fourth Quarter F

    When you see the overall game grades this staff got, it will explain EVERYTHING!

    Third Quarter F

    This coaching staff, and this team, should be ashamed of themselves! I have nothing else to say on this matter.

    Second Quarter F

    No discipline, lack of execution, overall, I’m not impressed. I expected more from Coach Philbin and his staff, but this team just doesn’t look ready out there. Hopefully their halftime adjustments will improve the situation, but based off of how Miami has played, they’re lucky to only be down 21.

    First Quarter — F

    Penalties, penalties, more penalties. A very inexcusable quarter of play from the Dolphins, one that gives me the feeling that the coaching staff didn’t prepare them for this game well enough. It was a comedy of errors out there, and a very depressing thing to watch.