Miami Dolphins

Keys to the Miami Dolphins loss to Kansas City Chiefs

Miami Dolphins linebacker Jelani Jenkins can't stop Kansas City Chiefs running back Joe McKnight in the second quarter at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014.
Miami Dolphins linebacker Jelani Jenkins can't stop Kansas City Chiefs running back Joe McKnight in the second quarter at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014. MIAMI HERALD STAFF

Kansas City pass rush vs. Dolphins pass protection

Who won: Chiefs

The impact: Every Ryan Tannehill dropback should have been accompanied by the dramatic music played in horror films whenever the heroine opens the door to a dark room. The Chiefs rampaged the Dolphins pass protection for four sacks — not including six quarterback hits — and created countless other moments of peril. That is how Dontari Poe, Tamba Hali, Justin Houston and the rest of the Kansas City front seven protected a secondary missing strong safety Eric Berry and seemingly ripe for the kind of deep crosses and fly patterns that rarely had time to develop.

Chiefs special teams vs. Dolphins special teams

Who won: Chiefs

The impact: Both teams had their moments: Jarvis Landry’s 40-yard opening kickoff return and 74-yard kickoff return in the third quarter that set up a field goal. Chiefs punt returner Frank Hammond Jr. had two big returns, but the first was called back on a penalty. The second set up the touchdown that put Kansas City up 27-15 with 4:35 left, a crushing blow. But, ultimately, the nod goes to the Chiefs on special teams because Dustin Colquitt got off two 64-yard punts and had a 48.8 net average to Brandon Fields’ 32.4 net average.


Dolphins short zone vs. Chiefs backs and tight ends

Who won: Chiefs

The impact: Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith isn’t as deep-ball challenged as Ryan Tannehill. But between the Dolphins pass rush and the nature of Kansas City’s offense, eliminating short passes to the tight ends and running backs would ground the Chiefs. Instead, there was tight end Travis Kelce running free on a third-and-2 from the Dolphins 20: touchdown. James McKnight caught two short touchdown passes, six passes overall for 64 yards. Former Dolphin Anthony Fasano caught passes of 10 and 13 yards that kept Kansas City moving.

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