By David Dwork

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MIAMI GARDENS (CBSMiami) – It wasn’t the prettiest of games but the Miami Dolphins will certainly take it.

The Dolphins finally played their first home game at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday, defeating the Tennessee Titans 16-10.

gettyimages 859086614 Strong Defensive Effort Fuels Dolphins In 16 10 Win Over Tennessee

Charles Harris #90, Andre Branch #50 and Lawrence Timmons #94 of the Miami Dolphins celebrate after sacking Matt Cassel #16 of the Tennessee Titans in the fourth quarter on October 8, 2017 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Source: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Miami was scheduled to open the season at home against Tampa Bay on September 10 but the game was moved to November due to Hurricane Irma.

It was an extremely important win for the Dolphins after they lost back-to-back ugly games to the New York Jets and New Orleans Saints.

Miami now holds a 2-2 record, good for second place in the tightly-packed AFC East. New England, Buffalo and the Jets are all tied for first, each holding a 3-2 record.

The Dolphins raced out to a 10-0 lead Sunday, with a Reshad Jones opening quarter 38-yard fumble return, acting as the Dolphins’ first touchdown during the first half of any game this season.

Following a late field goal in the first half, the Titans tied the game on their opening drive of the third quarter thanks to a touchdown pass from Matt Cassel to Phillip Supernaw.

The Dolphins took the lead for good, however,  after an impressive fourth quarter drive ended on a third down touchdown pass to Jarvis Landry.

CHARLES HARRIS

The Dolphins’ 2017 first round pick had perhaps his best game as a pro, recording his first NFL sack while adding a couple quarterback hurries and a pass-defended. Slowly but surely he is working his way towards more and more playing time.

DOMINANT DEFENSE

Miami’s defense continues to look better as they get more practice time together. The Dolphins held Tennessee to just 188 total yards and an ugly 2-for-13 on third down.

Reshad Jones tied for the team lead with seven tackles but added two fumble recoveries, one of which he returned for a touchdown, and a half-sack.

RUN-STOPPING SPECIALISTS?

The linebacking corps of Lawrence Timmons, Kiko Alonso and Rey Maualuga played together for the first time this season and they looked very good, especially against the run.

Tennessee gained just 69 yards on 20 carries, good for an average of 3.5 yards per run.

PASSING GAME STILL NEEDS WORK

Miami attempted 27 passes today (26 by Jay Cutler) and completed just 12 of them.  While many want to point blame towards Cutler, he rarely had any time to throw and was often barely able to get rid of the ball before being hit.

GAME NOTES

  • The Dolphins had more first downs during the fourth quarter (7) than in quarters one through three (5).
  • DeVante Parker left the game in the first quarter with an ankle injury and did not return.
  • Miami’s defense finished the day with six sacks. They had four in three games coming in.
  • Tennessee did not help their own cause, committing 11 penalties for 77 yards. Miami had just 5 penalties for 23 yards.
  • LB Rey Maualuga made seven tackles in his Dolphins debut and looked solid overall.
  • Dolphins kicker Cody Parkey missed an extra point and has now missed two of his four PAT attempts this season.
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