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Miami Dolphins’ 37-3 loss to Tennessee is one of worst in franchise history

 

Tennessee Titans vs Miami Dolphins 11-11-2012

MIAMI GARDENS — 

There was only one word to describe the Dolphins’ 37-3 loss to Tennessee on Sunday, and it came immediately to quarterback Ryan Tannehill, running back Reggie Bush, linebacker Kevin Burnett and many others in the locker room.

“I’m embarrassed by the way we played,” Tannehill said.

“We got embarrassed today, point blank,” Burnett added.

It was so bad that after speaking to reporters, Bush sent out a message to his 2.7 million Twitter followers.

“I have to apologize to Dolphin Nation,” Bush wrote after rushing four times for 21 yards with a lost fumble. “My performance these past few weeks has been poor & I’m embarrassed right now! You guys deserve better.”

Based on the Titans’ margin of victory, the defeat was one of the most complete in the Dolphins’ 47 seasons. It was:

• Their worst since a 62-7 playoff loss at Jacksonville in January 2000.

• Their worst in the regular season since a 41-0 loss at Indianapolis in December 1997.

• Their worst at home since a 48-3 loss to Kansas City in September 1968.

And it came against a Titans team that now stands 4-6 and lost 51-20 to Chicago the previous week.

“The biggest thing we can do is forget about it – quick,” Bush said.

The Titans jumped out to a 21-0 lead one minute into the second quarter — on a 49-yard interception return — and the Dolphins never threatened the rest of the day. They lost the turnover battle 4-0 and have gone six quarters without scoring a touchdown.

The Dolphins now are 4-5 and have to travel to Buffalo for a Thursday night game.

“We all have to accept responsibility for the performance today,” coach Joe Philbin said. “It’s not a finger-pointing game, but obviously we have to do better.”

The Dolphins “had a good week of preparation, no major changes in that sense,” according to left guard Richie Incognito, but were sloppy in all phases.

Tannehill had his second-worst day as a pro, throwing three interceptions for a 42.4 passer rating. His passer rating was 39.0 in a similar debacle in his NFL debut, when he also threw three interceptions in a 30-10 loss to Houston.

Tannehill had gone four games and 107 passes between interceptions.111112 (Bill Ingram/Palm Beach Post):Miami Gardens: Miami Dolphins outside linebacker Kevin Burnett (56), is greeted by military personnel as the team come on the field before the start of the Dolphins game against the Titans at Sunlife stadium Sunday in Miami Gardens.

“Obviously, it’s frustrating when you can’t get anything going and you’re turning the ball over,” Tannehill said.

Philbin was flippant when asked if he had a message for Tannehill.

“Don’t throw it to the other team,” Philbin quipped. “I hate to be a smart aleck. … We’ve got to study the tape and look at what happened.”

Tannehill’s teammates didn’t do much better. Bush lost a fumble on the team’s second possession – his second lost fumble in three weeks – Tennessee scored four plays later and the rout was on.

Bush didn’t play the rest of the first half and didn’t get another carry all day.

“I’m sure I was benched. I deserved it,” Bush said. “If I was a coach I would’ve benched myself.”

Incognito also did his part to kill any potential momentum with a personal foul early in the second quarter. The Dolphins, trailing 21-0, would have had the ball at Tennessee’s 14-yard line, but Incognito’s late hit put them back at the Tennessee 43. Philbin pulled Incognito from the game but put him back in on the next drive.

“I thought the play was still was going on, and as he got up I gave him a shove,” Incognito said. “I take full responsibility for it. We were in a dogfight early and it was just a dumb mistake on my part.”

The Dolphins converted just 2 of 13 third-down attempts and were uncharacteristically undisciplined with penalties, committing seven for 67 yards with several others declined. They committed four penalties on special teams alone, including three illegal blocks in the back on kick and punt returns.

“Today it seemed like we were just a hair behind a guy or held on a little bit too long,” said cornerback Jimmy Wilson, who earned one of the penalties. “It’s just sometimes they get called, and sometimes they don’t.”

The locker room was empty within 35 minutes of the final whistle. There wasn’t much to say that the scoreboard already hadn’t.

“The best way to describe this day is we got our butts whipped,” receiver Marlon Moore said. “It’s not a good feeling – at all.”

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