Armando Salguero

Dolphins quickie reaction: Defense saves the day

Miami Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler ducks down behind linemen as he looks for a receiver Sunday against the Tennessee Titans.
Miami Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler ducks down behind linemen as he looks for a receiver Sunday against the Tennessee Titans. ctrainor@miamiherald.com

Sometimes a great defensive performance is enough. Sometimes when the other team is playing its backup quarterback and he’s fumbling the ball and those mistakes result in touchdowns, then nothing else factors in the outcome of a game.

And that was the case Sunday for the Miami Dolphins in their good-enough 16-10 victory over the Tennessee Titans.

Look, the Miami offense is in trouble. We all know that. We all see that. The unit has scored two touchdowns in three games.

But when the defense is scoring touchdowns of its own -- as the Miami defense did on a 38-yard fumble recovery by Reshad Jones -- and the unit is doing good work against the NFL’s sixth best rushing offense, well, the results are good.

The Dolphins got a lot of outstanding defensive performances on Sunday.

Jones had his best game of the season that included the touchdown and a sack and him being seemingly omipresent.

Kiko Alonso was outstanding. He had six tackles, a sack and that forced fumble that Jones scooped off the ground and carried for a touchdown. And that Alonso work all came before the first half was over.

The work on the defensive side of the ball helped ease the pain of watching the Dolphins offense.

That unit is troubled. It was troubled before the game. It leaves this win in the same disappointing state.

How bad was it on offense at times?

The Dolphins tried a Wildcat play. It was a pass from MarQueis Gray after a direct snap to the tight end. It fell incomplete.

It was the second Wildcat play the Dolphins have tried the past two weeks and both failed.

Pussycat!

And that failed play in which Gray failed to complete his pass still gave Gray a higher QB rating than Dolphins starter Jay Cutler in the first half.

Cutler struggled the first half, as did all the offense, in completing only 5 of 11 passes for 21 yards. But because he also threw an interception, his QB rating was a dismal 14.6. Gray’s rating was 39.6.

Dolphins coach Adam Gase aggressively defended Cutler last week amid suggestions a quarterback change was logical. Well, apparently scores of fans at Hard Rock Stadium agreed with benching Cutler because numerous times the offense was booed after ineffective possessions.

And on a couple of times a chant of “We want Moore,” echoed around Hard Rock. That was a plea for Dolphins backup Matt Moore.

Cutler finished the game 12 of 26 for 92 yards with one TD (to Jarvis Landry) and one interception.

Not good enough. But on a day the Tians vaunted running back duo of DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry were held to only 67 yards rushing, it was good enough.

Follow Armando Salguero on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

Follow Armando Salguero on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

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