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(Sunday, November 14th)
Final Score: Miami 29, Tennessee 17
Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Chad Henne and Tyler Thigpen each a threw a touchdown pass after new Miami starting quarterback Chad Pennington left the game early, as the Dolphins notched their first home win of the season with a 29-17 victory over the Tennessee Titans.
The Dolphins (5-4) had to employ three quarterbacks, four counting Ronnie Brown taking snaps from the wildcat formation, but still rolled up 404 yards of total offense to win for the first time in four tries at Sun Life Stadium and snap a five-game home skid dating back to last season.
Given the starting nod this week in place of a struggling Henne, Pennington's return lasted just two plays. He dropped back to pass on Miami's first offensive play and his right arm hit the back of an offensive lineman as he was being tackled.
Pennington, whose 2009 season ended after just three games because of a shoulder injury that required surgery, remained in the game and threw a short pass to Brian Hartline that resulted in a 19-yard gain, but he left the contest before the next play and Henne took over again.
Henne, who threw for 240 yards with a touchdown and an interception, was hurt in the third quarter and Thigpen replaced him in the fourth. Thigpen added 64 yards passing and a TD toss to tight end Anthony Fasano, who had a career day with five catches for 107 yards.
Tennessee also had its own quarterback problems, as Kerry Collins started in place of an injured Vince Young. Collins hurt his calf late in the second quarter and Young, limited in practice this week by an ankle injury, took over in the second half.
Collins completed just 9-of-20 passes for 51 yards, while Young threw for 92 yards with a touchdown and an interception on 9-of-18 efficiency. Chris Johnson ran for 117 yards on 17 carries for the Titans (5-4), who lost at San Diego on Halloween before their bye last Sunday.
Randy Moss made his debut for the Titans and caught his lone pass for 26 yards with just over 4 1/2 minutes remaining in the contest. Moss was acquired off waivers from Minnesota during the bye week.
"It was actually a bad game for me," Moss said. "I think I just tried to do as much else as I could, just try to stay within the offense. I felt comfortable out there, but I don't think I had a very good overall game."
The Dolphins took the second half kickoff and marched 75 yards before settling for a 26-yard field goal from Dan Carpenter to snap a 10-10 tie.
Young then started behind center for the Titans on their first offensive series of the third quarter and promptly fumbled while being sacked on his third play. The Dolphins recovered at the Tennessee 13 and scored just two plays later when Henne threw a swing pass to Patrick Cobbs, who raced to the right pylon for the touchdown and a 20-10 lead.
The Titans answered with a 74-yard drive for a touchdown. Johnson ignited the series with a 30-yard run on the second play and Young converted a pair of third downs with short passes before finishing the 11-play set with a 14-yard strike to a leaping Nate Washington in the end zone.
Henne was then hurt on Miami's next offensive play and the Dolphins went to the wildcat offense. A double-reverse pass from receiver Brandon Marshall fell incomplete on the first play, but Ricky Williams followed with runs of 14 and 23 yards to end the third period. The drive stalled at the Tennessee 24 after an incomplete pass by Thigpen and Carpenter booted a 42-yard field goal for a 23-17 lead just 90 seconds into the fourth.
The Dolphins got the ball back at their own 15 after a Tennessee punt and Thigpen directed a nine-play march for the game-sealing touchdown. He hit Fasano for 31 yards on the third play and the two hooked up for nine yards on the score with 5:15 remaining.
Young was intercepted in the end zone by Reshad Jones with just under 3 1/2 minutes remaining and Miami ran out the remaining time.
"I knew I had to take advantage of my opportunity to help my team win the game," Thigpen said. "It's not about when I got out there, it wasn't about my stats, it wasn't about any of that. It was about getting us in the end zone and winning the game."
The Dolphins took advantage of a Bo Scaife fumble on the game's opening possession to score first. After Scaife lost the ball trying to stretch for extra yardage, Miami took over on the Tennessee 31 and needed six plays to find the end zone.
Pennington left after the second play and Henne converted a 3rd-and-11 with an 11-yard pass to fullback Lousaka Polite, setting up a first down at the two, and Brown scored on the next play.
The Titans followed with an 80-yard drive to tie it. A 33-yard interference penalty against Miami's Vontae Davis, who failed to turn around on a deep pass to Moss, gave Tennessee a first down at the Miami 44 and Johnson followed with a 19-yard run before scoring from 17 yards away on 3rd-and-2.
Miami then tried to run a fake punt and Tennessee stopped it short of a first down. The Titans took over at the Miami 28, but managed only a 40-yard field goal from Rob Bironas for a 10-7 lead.
The Dolphins tied it early in the second quarter when a 54-yard pass from Henne to Hartline led to a 23-yard Carpenter field goal.
Henne tried to go deep again just after the two-minute warning on 3rd-and-1 from the Miami 44, but he overthrew Marshall and Cortland Finnegan made a diving interception inside the Tennessee 20-yard line.
Johnson reached 100 yards rushing for the ninth time in his last 10 road games...The Dolphins had just 16 yards rushing in the first half and finished with 88 for the game, led by 64 on 11 carries from Williams...Hartline had five catches for 98 yards...Miami was 9-of-17 on third down...Al Harris made his Dolphins debut after being signed this week following his release by the Green Bay Packers and the veteran defensive back had one tackle...The Dolphins have a short week with a visit from Chicago on Thursday, while Tennessee next week hosts Washington.
11/15 02:12:22 ET
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