Dolphins fall 34-15 to Chiefs
Chiefs RM McKnight finds the endzone with trailing LB Jason Trumsik.
Chiefs RB Knile Davis ran 32 times for a career-high 132 yards and a touchdown, contributing to the 174-yard rushing by the Chiefs in their 34-12 over the Miami Dolphins at SunLife Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014
By Dedrick D. Henry, Sr.
One team came in winless, with a struggling quarterback and without running back Knowshon Moreno. The other team came in with one win, a struggling quarterback and without its star running back. While the Kansas City Chiefs found solutions for all that ailed them Sunday, the Miami Dolphins walked away losers, looking nothing like the team I saw two weeks ago celebrating a victory over New England.
To be fair, the Dolphins did some things right Sunday. The defense had five sacks, including a safety. Special teams, which has been mediocre to say the least, provided a 74-yard kickoff return. The offense without Knowshon Moreno, out with a dislocated elbow, got a spark from Lamar Miller who responded with a career-high 108 yards on 15 carries (a 7.2-yard average).
With such run support, it was a perfect time for Tannehill to jump-start his offense. This didn’t happen. He completed 21-of-43 passes for 205 yards and one touchdown, suffering four sacks, including a back-breaker on third-and-1 in the fourth quarter that helped set up a Kansas City touchdown possession for a 27-15 lead. Tannehill’s rating for Sunday: 70.4. His season rating: 74.1. That’s lower than even his career 79.1 entering the season.
Smith entered the game the lowest-rated passer in the NFL, but completed 19-of-25 passes for 186 yards and three touchdowns, a 136.0 rating that doubled his season total.
While Smith was efficient through the air, the Kansas City running game didn’t suffer any too much despite the absence of Jamal Charles, who sat out the game with an ankle injury. Knile Davis ran 32 times for a career-high 132 yards and a touchdown, contributing to the 174-yard rushing by the Chiefs.
They need to run and pass consistently. Over the past two weeks, the Dolphins’ offense has managed a total of only two touchdowns. Sunday’s TD, a 1-yard pass from Tannehill to Brian Hartline, came after a drive of 19 yards following a strip/sack/fumble in the third quarter.
“You’ve got to do better than that on offense,” Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said. “You can’t expect to win a lot of games if your longest touchdown drive is 19 yards.”
The result still hung in the balance in the fourth quarter when, on third-and-1 from the Kansas City 47, but Tannehill was sacked. Philbin was thinking that Miami might go for it on fourth down, but the 3-yard loss led him to punt.
Frankie Hammond, Jr. returned the punt 47 yards and with an illegal substitution penalty tacked on, the Chiefs were on the Miami 44, needing nine plays to find the end zone.
The touchdown, to Mc-Knight, found linebacker Jason Trusnik trailing on the play. On Kansas City’s second touchdown, a 20-yard pass to tight end Travis Kelce, defensive end Olivier Vernon was the closest defender. McKnight scored his first touchdown on an 11-yard reception in which defensive end Cameron Wake appeared to be in pursuit.