The reborn Miami Dolphins bludgeoned the Tennessee Titans on Sunday 38-10. It was the first win for the Dolphins since week 1 of the season and first win for new interim head coach Dan Campbell. Campbell took over the reigns after former head coach Joe Philbin was let go after their last loss to the Jets in London. The former tight ends coach, Campbell promised to bring a new level of toughness and drive to the team. That forecast of energy was prevalent against the Titans on Sunday and at times it even looked as if Miami may have been running up the score. The team played with a sense of frustration and was extremely aggressive. The anger resulting from the last three losses seemed to be unleashed in a furious fit of rage.
The defensive pass rush finally sprang to life. Star defensive end Cameron Wake racked up four sacks and finally made his presence felt on the field this season. He had been virtually invisible the first four games and was in dire need of a big game. In total the Miami defense tallied 6 sacks on opposing rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota. Mariota was under fire all day and took some big hits. He briefly went down halfway through the game with some kind of leg injury but managed to finish the game until the last few minutes. Turnovers played a huge role as well with Miami forcing two interceptions and two forced fumbles. One of the interceptions even went all the way back for a touchdown.
The Dolphins’ offense also delivered with a new found running game influenced by Coach Campbell’s fresh attitude and commitment to the run game. Running back Lamar Miller rushed 19 times for 113 yards. By far his best game of the season. Miller, like Wake, had also been nearly invisible on the stat sheets this year. Efficiency in the run game allowed quarterback Ryan Tannehill to have a solid game with just a few blunders. He went 22/29 passing with two passing touchdowns. Overall, the offense was much more explosive and consistent.
Miami will look to continue their new sense of energy into next week’s game against the Houston Texans. It will be an opportunity for the Dolphins to get to 3-3 and have a glimmer of hope for making the post season.