By Karen Christensen //@ksc47
Miami Dolphins 27 – Tennesee Titans 20
In a game that took a total of seven hours and eight minutes to finish due to weather delays, the Titans had their usual highs and lows.
Tennessee scored a field goal during their first possession. It could have been a touchdown, but wide receiver Taywan Taylor dropped the pass. Heartbreaking.
— Titans Film Room (@titansfilmroom) September 9, 2018
The Titans were having trouble stopping the Dolphins running game during the second quarter, specifically running back Frank Gore. At 35 years old, there is no question that Gore still has “it”. In the second half, Titans cornerback Malcolm Butler was called for an unnecessary roughness penalty after tackling WR Jakeem Grant. I’m still unsure about this call.
— Josh Reinbold (@JoshReinbold) September 9, 2018
The game was delayed by lightning right before the end of the half. This was the first of two weather delays.
Things got messy in the third quarter. Not because of the Florida weather, but due to questionable officiating and injuries. Quarterback Marcus Mariota got hit by defensive end William Hayes and suffered an elbow/hand injury. Back up QB Blaine Gabbert came in for one snap, and Mariota was back in. He then threw an interception. Mariota later stated that he couldn’t feel his fingers or grip the ball well. Gabbert was QB for the rest of the game.
Mariota injured on this DIRTY play by Williams Hayes. He had the ball out for more than a second and Hayes didn’t hold up pic.twitter.com/DetOOREOTz
— Abdul Memon (@abdulamemon) September 9, 2018
A brawl broke out between the teams after DE Andre Branch hit left tackle Taylor Lewan with a crackback block. Lewan appeared to be knocked out cold. Lewan was taken off the field and never returned. The refs did not penalize Branch at all but did call offsetting penalties. It was interesting that Branch didn’t get reprimanded for his “body bag” comment.
So Andre Branch illegally hit and knocked Taylor Lewan unconscious, taunted him when he was laying on the ground and then yells “body bag” as he left the field and these refs don’t eject him, or even penalize him? What happened to player safety? @NFL @HoHighlights @NFLonFOX https://t.co/c99whF9f5M
— Shane Toriscelli (@st_ladro) September 9, 2018
The Titans did have some good moments during the game. RB Derrick Henry had a 62-yard touchdown. Unfortunately, it was called back due to a holding call against tight end Delanie Walker. On replay though, a Dolphins player had Walker by the face mask.
WR Darius Jennings returned a kick for a 94-yard touchdown, safety Kenny Vacarro intercepted Tannehill and linebacker Kamalei Correa sacked Tannehill. Tennessee was not going to hand the game to Miami, but then disaster struck. Fan favorite Delanie Walker sustained a broken ankle with ligament damage and will be out for the rest of the season.
Then came the second lightning delay that lasted two and a half hours. It messed up Fox regular TV schedule and they cut off the end of the game in Tennesee.
This game begs the question, who will be able to play next week against the Texans? Mariota? He is still being evaluated. Lewan? He is under concussion protocol. Cornerback Adoree Jackson? He was hurt when a teammate ran into him and injured his shoulder.
Fans are still waiting on the Titans first two draft picks, LBs Rashaan Evans and Harold Landry to play. Will they see any action next week? The Titans really need some defensive pressure and pass rushing. These two players need to be active ASAP.
The Titans did sign TE MyCole Pruitt from the Houston Texans on Monday to help cover Walker’s spot. The weather in Nashville for next Sunday is supposed to be 87 degrees and partly cloudy with only 10% chance of rain, so there’s no worry of any weather delays.
Tennessee needs to be pulling their team together to work as a well-oiled machine. Rookie head coach Mike Vrabel has his work cut out for him.
Talk Titans with Karen on Twitter @ksc47