Dolphins struggle on offense despite big plays in loss to Titans
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) -- When unhappy Miami Dolphins fans chanted "We want Moore," it was clear they didn't want more Ryan Tannehill.
Matt Moore is the Dolphins' second-string quarterback, and even though he last started a game in 2011, he's the team's most popular passer at the moment. Tannehill and the Miami offense endured another dreadful outing Sunday in a 30-17 loss to Tennessee.
The Dolphins (1-4) totaled eight first downs, and six of their 41 plays ended with a sack. Fans began to boo in the second quarter, and when they started chanting for Moore in the fourth quarter, Tannehill heard them.
"Do I like it? No," Tannehill said. "But it doesn't affect how I play or how I think about myself."
First-year coach Adam Gase quickly attempted to end any debate about Tannehill's status.
"He's not coming out," Gase said. "You can ask me 100 times. He's going to be in there the rest of the season."
Tannehill finished 12 for 18 for 191 yards but was intercepted twice , and if not for three big plays, Miami would have been shut out. Rookie Jakeem Grant scored on a 74-yard punt return, Damien Williams had a 58-yard catch-and-run to set up a touchdown, and DeVante Parker made a 50-yard reception that led to a field goal.
But leading receiver Jarvis Landry had only three catches for 28 yards. Starting receiver Kenny Still was shut out. The sputtering ground game netted 51 yards on 17 attempts, or 3.0 per carry. And five of the Dolphins' 10 possessions were three and out.
"It was a tough day all around offensively," Tannehill said. "We have to do better. Every man has to be better, starting with me."
Gase came to Miami with a reputation as a play-calling wiz , but his team is averaging less than 18 points a game. He agrees the issue is a collective one.
"We're inept right now," he said. "We can't get out of our own way."
Tannehill, who is in his fifth season, fell to 30-39 as a starter. He has been sacked 201 times, the most of any quarterback over the past five years, and protection was again a problem in the latest loss.
It didn't help that the Dolphins were without both starters on the left side, with rookie guard Laremy Tunsil sidelined after he hurt an ankle during the pregame. Tackle Branden Albert sat out because of a virus that caused him to lose 12 pounds, Gase said.
Dallas Thomas replaced Tunsil at guard, and Billy Turner started at tackle.
"It's tough," Tannehill said. "It puts those guys in spots they're not used to playing. It puts our offense in a little bit of a tough position, but you have to be able to adapt."
Brian Orakpo had two sacks to increase his season total to six, and Derrick Morgan and Jurrell Casey added two apiece. In addition, the Titans had seven quarterback hits.
"They had some of their guys that were out," Tennessee coach Mike Mularkey said. "We all do. And that's the case when you have to step up, and we took advantage of it."