Dolphins rout Titans in Campbell's debut
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Dan Campbell wanted Miami to have fun again and play physical football. Well, Reshad Jones and the Dolphins nearly ran out of ways to celebrate.
Cameron Wake got his first four sacks this season and also forced two fumbles – all in the first half – and the Dolphins beat the Tennessee Titans 38-10 on Sunday in Campbell’s debut as interim coach.
The Dolphins (2-3) had lost three in a row, costing coach Joe Philbin his job Oct. 5. But the rout was on after Jones made a twisting leap into the end zone while finishing off a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown that made it 24-3 early in the third quarter.
With Campbell preaching a much different approach, the Dolphins finished with six sacks and intercepted Marcus Mariota twice. The rookie quarterback needed a knee brace and was replaced by Zach Mettenberger after the 2-minute warning.
Miami had been one of two teams in the NFL without a rushing touchdown. Jarvis Landry ended the drought on the opening drive, and Lamar Miller ran for 113 yards and a TD.
The Titans (1-4) lost their fourth straight, and their home skid is up to eight dating to last season. Fans booed heavily before heading to the exits.
Campbell made a couple of lineup changes, benching right guard Jamil Douglas for Billy Turner and started Kenny Stills over Greg Jennings.
Then the Dolphins opened by scoring their first TD in the first quarter this season with an old play in the Statue of Liberty. Campbell won a replay review, challenging a Mariota incompletion ruled a fumble on review. The Dolphins outgained Tennessee 434-299.
In between, they pounded Mariota.
Dolphins defensive end Olivier Vernon was flagged twice for roughing the passer, the first coming when he hit the rookie low in the left leg. Mariota didn’t miss a snap, but he did put on a brace over his left knee between series. Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt benched rookie right tackle Jeremiah Poutasi after one of Wake’s sacks, but veteran Jamon Meredith didn’t fare much better.
The Titans also lost Titans center Brian Schwenke to a dislocated left ankle in the second quarter, an injury gruesome enough a teammate immediately waved to the sideline for help. Schwenke was carted straight to the locker room and replaced by rookie Andy Gallik.
After Tennessee kicked a field goal on its opening drive, the Titans only managed a Mariota TD pass to Dexter McCluster at the end of the third quarter. The Titans held Miami to a three-and-out while trying to rally, but cornerback Brent Grimes intercepted Mariota at the Miami 3 on the next play.
Wake finished the first half by sacking Mariota for the fourth time, making him the first person in the NFL with four sacks in a half since Chris Clemons had four for Seattle against Green Bay in Week 2 in 2012.
Miami had been outscored 37-3 in the first quarter. Those numbers changed when Tannehill faked a pass, and then handed off to Landry who ran up the right side for a 22-yard TD.
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