Monday Morning Blitz: Dolphins outlast Titans in longest game in NFL history
The Miami Dolphins wanted to get off to a fast start in 2018, but Mother Nature had other plans. We were all hyped up for the 1pm kickoff after 9 months without football, ready to see if the Dolphins could be as good as we hope they can be…..that lasted for a little over an hour before 2 separate 2-hour lightening delays killed all momentum and energy the game had going for it. Ultimately, the Dolphins would do enough to hold on to a 27-20 victory (and really, that’s all that matters people).
Each week, following the Dolphins game, we’ll post our Monday Morning Blitz, which is a series of one-liners about the game. Some will be about the good things the Dolphins did…..and some will be about the crappy things the Dolphins did. Here you go:
- Reshad Jones doesn’t care who you are, he’ll intercept your pass and steal your soul. The guy is a playmaker and solidified that on opening day.
- After an adversity stricken 2017, Adam Gase wanted to fill his locker room with leaders who could adapt and perform under adverse conditions (i.e. a hurricane eliminating opening day and their bye week, a starting linebacker going to Chuck E Cheese instead of showing up for a game, etc.). He jettisoned guys he didn’t think could act like professionals when times got tough. What we witnessed yesterday was a bizarre game with two 2-hour intermissions. The Dolphins gutted it out and came away with a win. I’d say the new ‘culture’ Gase is developing is off to a good start.
- Speaking of Adam Gase, please take the 3 points when you are in field goal range late in the 2nd quarter. Take the lead from 4 to 7, especially when you are about to get the ball back after halftime. Score before the half and before receiving the 2nd half kickoff is something the Patriots have done very well over the years.
- The Dolphins offensive line went largely unnoticed, but did a solid job opening holes in the running game and allowing only 1 sack in the passing game. This unit is improved for sure.
- Ryan Tannehill was more good than bad in his return to real games. He completed 20 of 28 for 230 yards, 2 TDs and 2 INTs. For the most part, he looked in control of the offense and was accurate with his throws.
- Tannehill’s 2 interceptions were as disgusting as Miko Grimes (is she still suspended on Twitter?). The fade route was under-thrown, which wasn’t helped by Mike Gesicki falling down and being unable to fight to prevent the goal line interception. The 2nd….I have no words.
- Kenny Stills made Dolphins fans say ‘DeVante who?’. Stills was targeted 5 times (1 drop) and caught 4 passes for over 100 yards and 2 TDs. Stills and Jones were the MVPs of Sundays win over the Titans.
- Jakeem Grant and the Dolphins return did a great job answering the Titans game-tying touchdown in the 4th quarter. As soon as he got into the open field, everyone knew he was going the distance.
- Frank Gore and Kenyan Drake look like a nice 1-2 combo in the Dolphins backfield. The Dolphins ran the ball pretty well, a trend we hope continues.
- The Dolphins defensive line generated no sacks on the day, which is worrisome because the Titans were missing 2 starting tackles. Robert Quinn, Cameron Wake, and crew have to do a better job of getting to the quarterback.
- The Titans went to the playoffs last year because they played a very physical style of football. On Sunday, the Dolphins out-physicalled (is that a word) the Titans to the point that the Titans were dropping like flies. The Dolphins knocked out a number of Titans starters including Marcus Mariota, playing the type of physical football we’ve been hoping for.
- Unfortunately, the Dolphins special teams also allowed the Titans to counter a Dolphins TD a little while later. After taking a 24-17 lead, the Dolphins kick coverage allowed Darius Jennings to scamper 94 yards for on the kickoff immediately. Darren Rizzi’s unit must be more consistent.
- We’re giving a standing round of applause for all of the Dolphins fans that stayed for the entire 7+ hour game (including @kathleen_noa !). People say Miami fans are fickle (we are at times), but you have to give props to die-hards that sit through two 2-hour intermissions and cheer their team on to the end.
- It was an interesting week on Twitter to say the least. Watching Dolphins fans and Titans fans spar in a war of words was pretty entertaining. The Dolphins Twitter Coalition (#DTC) brought passion and energy to the fight and have been doing a good job rubbing salt in the wounds of the Titans fans since 8pm Sunday night!
All in all it was a great day/night for the Dolphins. You can’t ask for much more than coming out with a win in such an unorthodox game. Now it’s on to the Jets!
Follow us on Twitter @PhinNation!