Week 16 Game Recap: Tennessee Titans 10, Miami Dolphins 24
What you need to know
The Titans have not had much to cheer about all year, and this game wasnít any different. They were dominated on both sides of the ball and couldnít stop Ricky Williams or Chris Chambers from making big plays. They had a chance at the end of the game, but were unable to stop the Dolphins who easily pushed the ball into the end zone against what looked to be a tired defense
Steve McNair was unable to find any rhythm in the game and left before halftime with an injury, completing only five of 13 passes for 34 yards and two interceptions. Billy Volek took his place and did not have much success either besides a 55 yard touchdown pass to Drew Bennett in the fourth quarter. The rest of his passes were poorly thrown and off target.
Bennett was the only player who put up decent numbers, catching four passes for 70 yards and a touchdown. Chris Brown only gained 18 rushing yards and he looked bothered by his shoulder injury. Travis Henry was used for most of the game, but he did not fair much better, gaining only 65 yards since the Titans were forced to abandon the running game.
The Dolphins continue to give their fans a reason to believe that they will be a team to be reckoned with in 2006 by winning their fifth game in a row to ensure a non-losing season after last yearís debacle. The defense was once again aggressive, and the offense scored enough points, without making many mistakes to come away with the win.
Gus Frerotte started despite an injured finger and Sage Rosenfels threatening to take his job, but he performed well enough for the Dolphins to win. He looked in control in the second quarter completing two touchdown passes to Chris Chambers to give Miami a nice cushion going into halftime. Frerotte cooled off in the second half as Miami appeared to play conservative with the lead, and he finished with 151 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Chris Chambers continued to show why he is more than an average wide receiver with two more touchdown receptions in the second quarter, both of which he had to drag his feet in bounds for to complete the reception. Ricky Williams looked like the Ricky of two years ago, carrying the load and wearing down defenses in the fourth quarter, with 63 yards on the final scoring drive alone. He finished with 172 rushing yards, which was the third highest in team history, and one touchdown.
The Dolphins dominated all facets of the game, gaining more yards, creating more turnovers and committing fewer penalties, which basically helped them continue their undefeated streak in December for 2005, which is a very uncommon thing for the Miami franchise.
What you ought to know
Volek replaced McNair in the second quarter and immediately looked for Drew Bennett who he had success throwing the ball to last year when McNair was hurt. They finally hooked up for a 55 yard touchdown strike in the fourth quarter to put the Titans back in the game, but that was the only touchdown the Titans would have in the game. He completed 14 of 24 passes for 132 yards and no interceptions. Even though he did complete a long pass, his deep throws were very seldom spirals and were not very accurate.
|QB Steve McNair, Pass: 5 - 13 - 34 - 0 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 1 - 8 - 0|
McNair was unable to get the Titans offense going and struggled to find any rhythm with a receiver on the team as he often threw the ball behind them. He was removed from the game about two minutes before the half in favor of Billy Volek because of an injury. He finished with 34 yards and two interceptions, completing five of 13 passes.
|RB Travis Henry, Rush: 16 - 65 - 0, Rec: 3 - 10 - 0 (3 targets)|
Henry rushed for 65 yards on 16 carries, but the Titans were forced to throw the ball once they were down in the forth quarter, so he didnít have much of an impact.
Brown rushed for only 18 yards on seven carries and seemed to be hampered by his shoulder injury.
Fleming caught the only pass thrown his way for four yards.
Payton only caught one pass in the game for five yards and was not used until the game was pretty much over.
Bennett was coming off his best performance of the season and he was able to score the Titans only touchdown of the game on a 55 yard reception from Billy Volek in the fourth quarter. He saw the safety confused on the play and came back for the under thrown ball and easily walked into the end zone. He finished the day with leading the team with four receptions for 70 yards.
Roby has emerged as the second receiver on this team behind Bennett and he was targeted seven times in the game, but was only able to come up with three catches for 30 yards, with the longest reception being 14 yards.
|WR Bobby Wade, Rush: 1 - 1 - 0, Rec: 2 - 14 - 0 (2 targets)|
Wade caught the only two passes thrown his way for 14 yards and was not used much in the game.
Calico was targeted twice but caught only one pass for nine yards.
Scaife caught three passes for 18 yards, but they came when the game was pretty much over.
Kinney was only targeted twice, ending the game with one reception for six yards.
Troupe was targeted twice and did not have a reception in the game. He tried to make a play on a ball thrown behind him, but he tipped it and it ended up getting intercepted.
Bironas made a 24 yard field goal in the first quarter to give the Titans their only lead in the game. He also made the only extra point attempt he had.
The Titans rush defense had a rough day, allowing Ricky Williams to run for the third highest yards in Dolphins history with 172 and a touchdown. When they were down by seven late in the fourth quarter, they had no chance of stopping Williams, who rushed for 63 yards on the final series alone. Keith Bulluck led the team with six tackles and three assisted along with one sack in the game.
The Dolphins had a tough time with the Titans pass rush as they struggled to protect Frerotte and score early in the game, but that changed in the second quarter when Chambers caught two touchdown passes to put the Titans down for good. They recorded three sacks in the game and were engineered by Randy Starks who recorded one and a half sacks. Lamont Thompson grabbed the lone interception, but it wasnít enough to make a difference in the game.
|QB Gus Frerotte, Pass: 14 - 30 - 151 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 4 - 4 - 0|
Even though Sage Rosenfels brought the Dolphins from behind for the second time in three weeks last week, Frerotte got the start and played well. He continued his connection with Chris Chambers, finding him for two second quarter touchdowns. He also found Booker for a nice deep pass and continued to try and hit him down the field. The offense seemed to stall out in the second half once they got the lead before halftime and it affected Frerotte's numbers, completing 14 of 30 passes for 151 yards. But he only threw one interception and was efficient when he needed to be.
Williams looked like the old Ricky carrying the load for the Dolphins as he rushed for the third most yards in Miami history. He finished the game with 172 yards, averaging 6.6 yards a carry. When the Titans were attempting to get the ball back, Miami handed the ball to Williams and he was unstoppable, rushing for 63 yards and the finishing touchdown on the drive. Wearing down defenses in the fourth quarter is what Williams did before he took one year off and the only thing he looks to have lost is some weight.
Brown did not play in the game because of a knee injury.
Chambers seems to be solidifying himself as a top notch receiver in the NFL over the past few weeks and today was no exception as he was targeted 12 times ending the day with five receptions for 51 yards and two touchdowns. Both touchdowns involved him making beautiful catches and dragging both feet in to make sure the Dolphins got the score. Both of his touchdowns came in the second quarter to give Miami a comfortable lead and he didnít have a problem with dropped balls like he has in the past.
Booker has started to make himself known on the team by making some clutch catches on deep passes. Chambers is definitely the go to guy on the team, but Booker could become the deep threat. He finished the day with three catches for 50 yards, but one was for a 23 yard gain in one of the Dolphins scoring drives. He was also targeted down the field a few more times even though Frerotte was unable to connect.
Welker was only targeted once and did not come away with a reception and was used mostly for kickoff and punt returns.
McMichael was targeted seven times and he finished the day with four catches for 42 yards which is what he has been averaging lately. His longest play was for 19 yards and his looks in the end zone have decreased since the emergence of Chris Chambers as a huge touchdown threat inside the 20 yard line.
Mare kicked a 25 yard field goal in the second quarter to put the Dolphins on the board and he made all three extra points that he attempted.
The Titans running game was non existent with the injured Chris Brown struggling. Travis Henry finished the game with 65 rushing yards and didnít have much of an impact on the game. Zach Thomas had six tackles and five assisted, while rookie standout Channing Crowder recorded seven solo tackles in the game.
The Dolphins brought pressure on McNair and Volek which prevented the Titans from establishing a productive offense. Sam Madison and Donnie Spragan recorded interceptions in the game to give the Dolphins scoring chances and ultimately the win. Vonnie Holiday and Jason Taylor each recorded a sack as Miami finished the game with four sacks. Miami has had trouble stopping the passing game all year, but they did well today besides the one touchdown pass to Drew Bennett.