Miami Dolphins vs. Tennessee Titans: Back to Square One


Nov.11, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Tennessee Titans cornerback Jason McCourty (30) blocks a pass intended for Miami Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline (82) during the second half at Sun Life Stadium. Tennessee won 37-3. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

The Miami Dolphins horrific 37-3 loss to the Tennessee Titans leaves a lot of heads spinning and a sense of curiosity. That curiosity entails whether the Miami Dolphins will ever get over the hump of being an average team.

Over the past three years, the Miami Dolphins have shown signs of inconsistency in their game including quarterback production, defensive complications, and running game troubles.

This week’s embarrassing display doesn’t support those aspects.

Ryan Tannehill’s Bump in the Road:

The first-year quarterback has been contributing average statistics early in this 2012 NFL season. There needs to be a time where he flourishes. Aside from a high caliber outing in week four against the Arizona Cardinals, Tannehill has displayed complimentary performances.

There is no excuse why Miami is 4-5, 2-2 at home on the season. The former Texas A&M Aggie has struggled to place the ball in the hands of his wide receivers with accuracy. Whatever happened to the go-rout with Brian Hartline? Besides a couple of 10- yard gains, Tannehill has not targeted Hartline down the field for the big play.

If this first-year quarterback wants to put a good stamp on his rookie season, he needs to start posting elite quarterback numbers like 300 yards and three touchdowns, not 200 yards and one touchdown. Miami’s defense can only hold down the fence for so long.

Miami’s Defense Struggles Against Young Quarterbacks:

In back-to-back weeks, Miami’s defense has showed complications competing against rookie quarterbacks in Andrew Luck and Jake Locker. The main cause to nonproductive performance by Kevin Coyle’s defense is mobility.

Mike Munchak and the Tennessee Titans did their homework, and received an A. In week nine, Miami struggled to keep Luck inside the pocket, this week the same scenario. Jake Locker definitely displayed movement outside of the pocket. The rookie quarterback used the blitz Miami was applying to his advantage.

Pointing out players is usually not the right thing to do, but once again Miami’s cornerback Sean Smith could not vision the pigskin to save his life. This is the second consecutive game where a mishap involving the “elite” secondary figure cost the Dolphins six points.

Reggie Bush’s and Daniel Thomas’ Troubles:

Miami’s running game has not lived up to the preseason expectations. Specifically, Bush and Thomas are just not reading the holes correctly.

Time and time again, Miami calls the running backs’ numbers to make a big run, and subsequently they show up empty in their tanks. The former USC Trojan has the potential to break through with long yardage wrong, but has not performed.

General manager Jeff Ireland and company drafted University of Miami Hurricane running back Lamar Miller in the 2012 NFL Draft. If Bush and Thomas don’t pick up the production, they could see themselves on the sidelines and a change in the depth chart with Miller in the mix.

Miami needs to bring productivity across the board on Thursday against the Buffalo Bills (3-6) if they want a crack at a wildcard spot or AFC East division title.