All week, Chris Johnson heard the stat: No running back had gone for 100 yards against the Dolphins defense in 22 games.
On Sunday, Johnson flaunted a few figures of his own: 23 carries, 126 yards and one nifty touchdown run that had seemingly as many cuts as it went for yards (17, for the record).
“Everybody wanted me to have 100 yards against them,” Johnson, the Titans’ star tailback, said shortly after his team annihilated the Dolphins 37-3 Sunday.
Well, probably not everybody. The Dolphins defense would have been just fine without it. Their now-broken streak was the longest in the league, and a source of pride for a Dolphins front seven that had carried the defense through the season’s first eight games.
Yet Johnson not only topped the century mark, but did so with a quarter to spare.
“He really killed us on the backside,” defensive tackle Randy Starks said. “We knew that coming in, but we still couldn’t stop it.”
Added Dolphins linebacker Karlos Dansby: “We didn’t make tackles. We weren’t disciplined in certain calls, and it showed. He made us pay.”
Not so special
Even the Dolphins’ normally dependable special teams had a rough day — a sign of just how off the rails Sunday’s game went.
Miami’s return and coverage teams combined for four penalties for 32 yards, and had a fifth declined by Tennessee. The Dolphins had three illegal blocks above the waist, and Marlon Moore was called for both running untouched out of bounds and running into the kicker.
Moore was particularly bemused by the latter call, which came late in regulation.
“I don’t know what happened,” he said. “I just tried to block it, didn’t block it, and [punter Brett Kern] stepped on my arm. And they called it on me? That’s just the way it goes.”
All told, the Dolphins finished with seven penalties for 67 yards, plus several others that were declined.
Colin McCarthy has made a lot of plays for the Titans since they took him in the fourth round last year.
But for the first time Sunday, McCarthy did so in the stadium where he played his college ball.
McCarthy, the former Miami Hurricane, returned an interception 49 yards for a touchdown against the Dolphins, starting at linebacker for the Titans.
“It was great,” McCarthy said. “I have a lot of family, friends, guys I went to school with here at the game, and to get a touchdown and pick-six, it was good. It was a homecoming.”
Sunday was Veterans Day, and tributes to servicemen and women were everywhere. Soldiers made a human tunnel that Dolphins players ran through for pregame introductions, the Maneuver Center of Excellence Band performed the national anthem, and members of the military station in Afghanistan filmed their own spoof of the Dolphins’ cheerleaders’ “Call Me Maybe” parody — which has more than 14 million views on YouTube.
This And That
• Dolphins inactives: Pat Devlin, Anderson Russell, Will Yeatman, Michael Egnew, Rishard Matthews and Jeron Mastrud. Mastrud has been battling a hamstring injury.
• There was change in officials before kickoff; referee Walt Anderson replaced Scott Green.
Don Shula attended Sunday’s game, chatting up Dolphins owner Stephen Ross on the sidelines beforehand.
• The announced paid attendance Sunday: 60,165.