The much-anticipated return of Miami Dolphins Quarterback Ryan Tannehill to regular season action was a lot longer than expected, with the game between the first and last whistle lasted 7 hours and 8 minutes. Surpassing the 2013 meeting between the Bears vs. Ravens of 5 hours and 16 minutes. There were nearly 4 hours of weather delays due to lightning in the area. The longest NFL game of total play time was back in the 1971 AFC Divisional Playoff game between the Miami Dolphins at Kansas City Chiefs, with 22 minutes and 40 seconds of overtime. Due to it being a playoff game the game could not result in a tie, there that to be a winner out of that meeting.
The Dolphins offense totaled 14 drives with 58 plays of offense. Ryan Tannehill went 20/28 on passing with 230 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. Both touchdowns were to Kenny stills the first was a 10-yard pass in the red zone and the other was a 75-yard deep ball over the Titans newly acquired cornerback from the New England Patriots, Malcolm Butler who intercepted Tannehill on a red zone pass meant for rookie tight end Mike Gesicki. The other interception was an overthrown ball intended for Jakeem Grant caught by safety Kenny Vacarro.
Newly acquired receivers Danny Amendola and Albert Wilson had a good impact to the game. Kenyan Drake rushed for 48 yards on 14 attempts but take into consideration he ran the most when Dolphins were trying to close out the game and kill the clock. The University of Miami legend Frank Gore had 9 carries for 61 yards and had all of Hard Rock Stadium throwing up their U’s and screaming it out. He will have a great season here in Miami. There need to be more complete drives by the offense if they want to be contenders. Only converting 2 out of 10 3rddowns will not cut it in games down the line. Also, only scoring one touchdown when getting to the red zone 5 times will not do either.
It is hard for any team to perform well given the conditions that the two teams were dealt yet the defense held it together and were able to limit the Titans offense throughout the game. Reshad Jones came up with 2 interceptions with a total of 80 yards to return. After the first one, the emotions started to get fired up and a fight broke out. The second interception for Jones he was thrown by Titans tight end Delanie Walker into an interception off of what looked like to be a miscommunication from back up QB Blaine Gabbert after Marcus Mariota left the game with a wrist injury.
Straight out of the second weather delay linebacker Kiko Alonzo intercepts the ball on a halfback screenplay. Rookie safety Minkah Fitzpatrick had one of his first clutch moments by stopping the Titans offense on their first drive on a 4thand goal play. The only weakness the Dolphins looked to have on defense was the ability to contain tight ends and also contain mobile quarterback Marcus Mariota. Down the stretch of the season, Miami will face mobile quarterback if not quarterbacks that can escape the pocket and get some yards if not first downs leaving the defense on the field after crucial first downs.
Miami’s Special Teams
After the Titans tie the game at 10 points Jakeem Grant takes the kick off for 102 yards resulting in a touchdown putting Miami back up on top 10-17. Titans then retaliate with a kick return for a touchdown for 94 yards by Darius Jennings making the score 17-24. Rookie kicker Jason Sanders was perfect going 3 for 3 on extra points and 2 for 2 on field goals. Jakeem Grant has been an explosive returner for the Dolphins since coming into the league and that should continue on throughout the season and don’t expect this to be his last return touchdown of the season.
The Miami Dolphins will be on the road at Metlife Stadium against the New York Jets. With the type of game that the Jets had against the Lions a lopsided 48-17 victory. The Jets forced 5 interceptions 1 for a touchdown and one was fumbled shortly after the interception and lions retained possession. Their defense looked outstanding in this game, but every week is not the same especially in the NFL. Rookie quarterback Sam Darnold threw a pick-six on his first NFL throw. He later followed it up with a pair of touchdowns.
Keys To Victory
Miami’s key to victory on their first road game of the season against a division rival is to stick to the run game early let that set the tone for the rest of the game. If they do that the passing game becomes more open. Detroit only had 15 rushing attempts making their offense very predictable. Miami’s defense needs to focus on the pass rush and force Darnold to get rid of the ball quickly and feel uncomfortable in the pocket.
Final Score Prediction
Miami 24-17 Jets