The Tennessee Titans blanketed the Miami Dolphins’ offense like a coating of snow in Sunday’s 34-3 win, keeping the Dolphins out of the red zone for the entire contest and limiting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa to 18 completions in 38 attempts.
It marked the second time in the last four games the Titans had held an opponent without a touchdown. They also blanked Jacksonville 20-0 on Dec. 12.
There were a number of defensive standouts for the Titans against the Dolphins, but Pro Football Focus gave its top grade on that side of the ball to linebacker David Long. Playing for the first time since suffering a Week 9 hamstring injury, Long earned a 78.3 grade after making four tackles, intercepting a pass and posting one pass defensed.
Here’s a look at the Titans highlights from Pro Football Focus:
• Top five offensive grades (at least 20 snaps) – After carrying 26 times for 132 yards and a touchdown, running back D’Onta Foreman earned PFF’s top offensive grade at 82.7, followed by tight end Anthony Firkser (74.7), tight end Geoff Swaim (72.7), center Ben Jones (72.5) and right tackle David Quessenberry (66.9).
• Top five defensive grades (at least 20 snaps) – Long led the way at 78.3, followed by edge rusher Bud Dupree (74.6), cornerback Elijah Molden (74.2), safety Kevin Byard (71.5) and safety Amani Hooker (68.1). Dupree’s PFF grade was his highest of the season.
• Protecting Tannehill – The Titans only attempted 18 passes but did a good job protecting quarterback Ryan Tannehill against a Miami defense that led the NFL with 45 sacks entering the game. Running back Jeremy McNichols allowed the only sack, per PFF. The Titans surrendered just four pressures (a combination of sacks, hits and hurries) – one each from Quessenberry, Swaim, Foreman and McNichols.
• Short and sweet – Tannehill was perfect when it came to passes of 10 yards or less, going 10-for-10 with 64 yards and a touchdown. He wasn’t as successful with medium and deep passes, going three-for-eight 10 or more yards downfield for 56 yards and a touchdown.
• Crushing from clean pocket – Tannehill put up efficient numbers when he had a clean pocket, going 13-for-15 for 120 yards and two touchdowns, posting an NFL rating of 139.6. When pressured, Tannehill was zero-for-three and was sacked once.
• Breaking through contact – Foreman totaled 71 of his 132 yards after contact, an average of 2.73 yards after contact per carry. He totaled three runs of 10-plus yards.
• Putting the heat on Tua – The Titans sacked Tagovailoa four times and posted 15 pressures (combination of sacks, hits and hurries). Dupree recorded a season-high five while five of his teammates – edge rusher Harold Landry, defensive lineman Naquan Jones, defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons, defensive lineman Kyle Peko and defensive lineman Denico Autry – produced two pressures each.
• Clean coverage – Cornerback Jackrabbit Jenkins returned to the starting lineup with a good performance. He was targeted 10 times in coverage but allowed just three completions (two other passes were dropped) for 20 yards. On the other side, cornerback Kristian Fulton was targeted seven times in coverage, allowing two completions for 34 yards. Fulton also broke up two passes.
• Quieting the big names – As a team, the Titans limited rookie receiver Jaylen Waddle (99 catches this year) to three catches on seven targets (two passes were dropped) for 47 yards. They held DeVante Parker (38 catches in nine games) to four catches on 13 targets for 46 yards.