Normally, the Dolphins only appear phony versus teams that have winning records. Online sportsbooks had Miami favored by 13 points but the point spread wouldn’t even come into play. The Dolphins would choke and lose straight up on national TV Monday night.
At Hard Rock Stadium, the 5-8 Tennessee Titans won 28-27 to record their first road victory of the year. The fact that the visitors virtually gave the Dolphins two free touchdowns in the fourth quarter by making crucial errors and yet overcame a 14-point deficit in the final three minutes to win made the outcome even more improbable.
With its first home loss of the year, Miami dropped to 9-4 and let a chance to climb up into the AFC’s top slot pass them by.
Tyreek Hill went in and out of the lineup due to an ankle ailment for a large portion of the game, which contributed to the offense’s stagnancy. That justification, however, is limited when facing a Titans club that is finishing up a losing season, as Tua Tagovailoa had a subpar performance that included five sacks and a fumble loss.
With less than seven minutes left in a tie game, Eric Garror botched a punt, giving the impression that the Dolphins would somehow win by sheer luck. Both that and Tennessee’s subsequent possession resulted in a short-field drive score by Raheem Mostert and a botched pitch play by Will Levis to Derrick Henry.
In the closing minutes, a tie game suddenly became a 14-point lead for the Dolphins.
It ought to have been enough to win, but the defense was nonexistent for a nine-play, 75-yard drive that lasted less than two minutes and resulted in a touchdown by DeAndre Hopkins and a two-pointer by Nick Westbrook and Ikhine.
The Titans recovered the ball and marched straight down the field to score what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown on a Henry run after the listless Dolphins offense forced a three-and-out.
With one more chance to win it, Miami failed to execute with any urgency and ultimately gave up the ball on downs in a game where their offense was essentially nonexistent aside from two short-field drives following Tennessee’s errors.
The lone other touchdown for the Dolphins came on a pick-six by Zach Sieler early in the half.
In their upcoming game against the New York Jets, they will try to make things right.