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Jake Locker returned to the lineup, his defense forced four turnovers and the Tennessee Titans (4-6) picked up a road win in a 37-3 pummeling of the Miami Dolphins (4-5).
â€śOur defense put us in some good situations all day,â€ť said Locker. â€śIt wasn’t pretty at times, but we found ways to move the chains.â€ť
A dislocation to his non-throwing shoulder had sidelined Locker for the previous five games. In his first game back, the second year quarterback threw for just 122 yards on nine completions. Two of the nine completions, however, were touchdowns.
Chris Johnsonâ€™s 17 yard touchdown run late in the first quarter put Tennessee ahead 14-0 following a nine yard touchdown catch made by rookie receiver Kendall Wright. That drive needed only four plays to reach the end zone following a fumble by Reggie Bush that Tennessee recovered at the Miami 28 yard line.
Johnson ran all over the Dolphins defense with 126 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries.
Tennessee extended its lead to a three touchdown margin when linebacker Colin McCarthy intercepted Ryan Tannehill and returned it 49 yards to paydirt. Only three plays earlier, McCarthy was forced to leave the game due to a re-aggravation of an ankle injury he was battling.
â€śI just needed to settle down a little bit,â€ť said McCarthy. â€śI got turned a little bit. I just had to take a couple plays off, but I got back in there.â€ť
McCarthyâ€™s pick was the first thrown by Tannehill in six weeks. He went on to throw two more, which resulted in field goals.
Tannehill completed more than twice as many passes as Locker, 23-9, and threw for nearly 100 yards more, 217-122, but it was Lockerâ€™s ability to preserve possessions by not turning the ball over that made all the difference in the final score.
Jared Cookâ€™s 26 yard touchdown reception capped off an 85 yard drive to open the second half and gave the Titans a 31-3 advantage.
Dolphins coach Joe Philbinâ€™s impatience grew thin, and he benched Bush and offensive lineman Richie Incognito for stretches following a fumble and a personal foul penalty, respectively.
â€śIt was embarrassing, to say the least,â€ť Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake said of his teamâ€™s performance. â€śThere’s no explanation, no excuse.â€ť
Tennesse now enters its bye week, while the Dolphins will look to rebound up in Buffalo on a short week, as they face one of their AFC East rivals on Thursday night.
Image Courtesy :Â Official Tennessee Titans