Dolphins' defense blanks Chargers as Tannehill throws 3 TDs
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) With his Miami Dolphins leading by 27 points in the third quarter, coach Joe Philbin stomped along the sideline, angrily waving his fist and screaming in disagreement with an official's ruling.
At the end of an emotional week, Philbin wasn't ready to let up.
The Dolphins channeled their coach's intensity with impressive results Sunday.
Ryan Tannehill threw for 288 yards and three scores, and Miami forced four turnovers to rout the San Diego Chargers 37-0.
Philbin missed two days of practice leading up to the game to be with his father, who died Friday in Massachusetts.
Following a moment of silence for the elder Philbin before kickoff, the Dolphins won one for their third-year coach, whose iffy job security has been bolstered by recent results.
The Dolphins (5-3) earned their third consecutive victory as they began a stretch of four games in a row against playoff contenders.
The Chargers (5-4) lost their third game in a row and remain winless in South Florida since January 1982, a stretch that includes eight consecutive losses to the Dolphins.
Every Miami victory this season has been by double digits, and this was the most lopsided yet. San Diego was shut out for the first time since 1999, and the Dolphins earned their first shutout since 2006.
Tannehill had a career-high passer rating of 125.6 when he called it a day after three quarters. He went 24 for 34 with no turnovers and threw touchdown passes to Charles Clay, Rishard Matthews and Jarvis Landry. He also ran for 47 yards on four carries.
Meanwhile, Miami's front four dominated the Chargers' line, harrying Philip Rivers into a lost fumble and three interceptions, two to Brent Grimes. Rivers passed for only 138 yards and had a quarterback rating of 31.0, his lowest since 2007.
Miami's final takeaway set up a touchdown drive that took five seconds to make the score 37-0 late in the third quarter.
With that, Rivers went to the bench for good, ending his Chargers-record streak of at least one touchdown pass in 28 consecutive games.
The Dolphins, prone to slow starts this season, broke that habit and mounted touchdown drives of 77 and 61 yards on their first two possessions. Reshad Jones then intercepted Rivers to set up a field goal that made it 17-0 after just 21 minutes.
The onslaught continued from there.
In the Dolphins' first seven possessions, the only time they didn't score was when Caleb Sturgis missed a 45-yard field goal at the end of the first half.
Tannehill played so efficiently that the conservative Philbin was calling pass plays in Dolphins territory in the final minute of the first half with a 20-0 lead.
The final score could have been even more lopsided, but the Dolphins stalled four times inside the Chargers 10-yard line, and those possessions netted a total of only nine points.
Things went wrong for the Chargers from the opening possession, when coach Mike McCoy gambled by going for a first down on fourth and 1 at the Miami 22. Branden Oliver was stopped for a 1-yard loss, and Miami marched for a touchdown.
On San Diego's next series, Rivers had a clear path to a first down on a third-down scramble but slid prematurely and came up inches short, and the Chargers had to punt.
Then came Rivers' first interception, starting the flurry of turnovers. The Chargers totaled only five in their first eight games.
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