The Dolphins offense still looks like the “garbage’’ that coach Adam Gase dubbed it a few weeks ago, but their defense is beginning to look like an absolute treasure.
It certainly played like one on Sunday, when a pair of fumble recoveries by safety Reshad Jones set up two of Dolphins three scores during a 16-10 victory over the Titans at Hard Rock Stadium.
Jones first fumble recovery led to a 41-yard Cody Parkey field goal and the second resulted in the Dolphins first touchdown in three weeks when Jones returned the ball 38 yards for a score.
The Dolphins offense, which had produced six points the past two games and was limited to 62 total yards through the first half Sunday, chipped in with the game-deciding score, however.
Finally finding itself after three inefficient quarters of play, the Dolphins attack reached the end zone with 10:33 left in the fourth quarter when quarterback jay Cutler hit Jarvis Landry with this 6-yard TD pass:
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Parkey missed the extra point, but the Dolphins defense made up for the miscue as it forced the Titans to go three and out on its next series and got off the field after five plays one series later.
The latter of those two possessions ended with a sack by rookie defensive tackle Charles Harris, who had one of the six sacks the Dolphins scored against Titans quarterback Matt Cassel.
Cassel started the game in place of an injured Marcus Mariota (hamstring) but he was never allowed to get the Titans attack in rhythm as the Dolphins limited Tennessee to 69 yards rushing.
The Dolphins offense began the game playing like the “garbage’’ Gase has dubbed it. Not even running back Jay Ajayi, who finally caught fire late in the game, was immune to mistakes as he coughed a fumble two plays into the Dolphins fourth possession.
That led to a 45-yard Ryan Succop field goal but even that constituted a win for a Dolphins defense that absolutely suffocated the Titans, particularly through the first 30 minutes of play.
That defense set up Parkey field goal and accounted completely for the second when Jones recovered a Davon Godchaux-forced fumble (on the hit above) and wisely ran the ball back 38 yards for a touchdown.
Jones’ score was challenged initially but a video review confirmed that Alonso’s hit knocked the ball loose from quarterback Cassel just before his arm began to move forward to throw.
Miami’s record evens at 2-2 with the win.