Tannehill leads Dolphins past Jaguars 24-3By STEVEN WINE, AP Sports Writer Monday, Dec 17, 2012
Tannehill made the most of his mobility, passing for 220 yards—often on rollouts—and running for 52 Sunday to help the Miami Dolphins beat the Jaguars 24-3.
“His ability a couple of times to scramble really helped,” coach Joe Philbin said.
Tannehill carried twice on read-option keepers, sliding to the turf before a defender arrived to level him.
“It was good to see him do a little running,” teammate Reggie Bush said, “and thankfully he learned how to slide.”
The multi-threat rookie quarterback led an offense that mounted clock-eating drives of 76, 60, 64 and 85 yards on the Dolphins’ first four possessions of the second half to help them pull away.
While Tannehill threw for two scores and had a season-high passer rating of 123.2, counterpart Chad Henne failed to reach the end zone playing in Miami for the first time since he departed as a Dolphins bust last offseason.
Tannehill went 22 for 28 for 220 yards with no interceptions. Bush rushed for 104 yards, including a 53-yarder, while Dan Carpenter kicked field goals of 53, 30 and 31 yards.
Miami (6-8), ranked near the bottom of the league in points and yards, had a season-high 26 first downs and won for only the second time in the past seven games.
“It feels good to go out and execute the game plan, have some fun, have some long sustained drives and convert third downs,” Tannehill said. “It was a lot of fun.”
The Jaguars (2-12) tied the franchise record for losses, set in their inaugural 1995 season.
“We were not as disciplined as we have been—or we will be,” coach Mike Mularkey said. “Every time we take a step forward, we take two steps back. I take total blame for that.”
Miami held a 10-3 lead at halftime, when Tannehill discarded the left knee brace as a protective measure since Week 8.
“It definitely felt good to move around a little bit without it,” he said.
The Dolphins totaled 280 yards in the second half, with 43 coming on five carries by Tannehill. He also hurt the Jaguars on rollouts, the last coming on a 2-point conversion when he swung right and then threw back to the left to a wide-open Anthony Fasano in the end zone.
“We knew this guy was very athletic,” Mularkey said. “We can’t let him get out of the pocket and let him make the plays with his legs that he did.”
With the score tied, an illegal-substitution penalty cost Jacksonville a touchdown in the second quarter. Henne threw a 20-yard scoring pass to Justin Blackmon but the play was negated because Guy Whimper had entered the game as a third tackle—as he had done five times earlier—without reporting as an eligible receiver.
Whimper said he did report, but the officials apparently failed to understand him.
“He reported to the offense a hundred times this year, and 400 times in practice,” Mularkey said. “Today, for some reason, I was told he didn’t report. He said he reported, but the official has to confirm it.”
Instead of the score, the Jaguars retreated to their 25 and eventually lost possession when Henne was stopped for no gain on a fourth-and-1 sneak.
“That turned the whole game around,” Miami linebacker Karlos Dansby said.
Jacksonville had another touchdown taken off the board in the final two minutes. Cecil Shorts’ 4-yard scoring reception was instead ruled incomplete when a replay review determined he failed to come down in bounds.
On the next play, Henne threw incomplete on fourth down.
“It was one of those days where it was tough,” Henne said. “There are some plays out there I wish I could have back.”
NOTES: Miami CB Nolan Carroll (left knee) and TE Charles Clay (right knee) were hurt in the second quarter. … The 1972 Dolphins, celebrating the 40th anniversary of their perfect season, were honored at halftime. … Blackmon had six catches to increase his season total to 51, the most by a Jaguars rookie.
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