MIAMI (CBSMiami) – After grabbing control of their own playoff destiny, the Dolphins came up flat in a must win in Tennessee.
On a cold, wet day in Nashville, the Titans went old school with a punishing defense and power running game to hammer the Dolphins 34-3.
The loss ends the seven-game winning streak and all playoff hopes as the Dolphins lost for the first time since Halloween in Buffalo.
Don't Blame The Defense
While the Titans ground game did have a big afternoon pounding and protecting the ball, it was simply just too much pressure on the Dolphins defense. They held the team in the game until about 10 minutes to go. Tennessee's offensive line overwhelmed the Dolphins at the line of scrimmage, but a big factor was the offense giving the defense no help. Former Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill managed the game well in leading Tennessee to the playoffs with the win.
When the Dolphins did finally get moving in the second half, two drives inside the Titans 30-yard line failed to produce any points. One drive ended on a Jason Sanders missed field goal while the other on downs. The Dolphins did get the short end of the stick when the referees missed a fourth down pass interference call against DeVante Parker at the 10-yard line. But no excuses. With the season on the line, it was a failure by Miami's offense.
Hang On Tua
The Dolphins quarterback simply had trouble holding onto the football on this wet day. He put it on the ground a few times and in games like this, that are tight and are basically playoff games, you just can't not afford those types of mistakes. While he got going a bit in the second half, Tua failed to get points on the board and produce in the biggest game of the season. There were too many turnovers and rare for Tua was inaccuracy.
Coming Back To Bite
It is extremely difficult to lose seven games in a row at any point in the season and still make the playoffs. The Dolphins did a solid job getting back into the playoff race, and taking care of business against numerous teams they are better than. While they deserve considerable credit for that, the fact is the margin of error was just too thin to complete the miracle run. That losing streak that include games given away to Jacksonville and Atlanta came back to bite them in the end.
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