Miami, FL, United States (4E Sports) – Jake Locker threw two touchdown passes in his return after missing five games with a left shoulder injury, leading the Tennessee Titans to a 37-3 beating of the Miami Dolphins Sunday at Sun Life Stadium.
Locker, who initially injured the shoulder in the season opener against New England and re-injured it on Sept. 30 at Houston, completed nine of 21 passes for 122 yards as the Titans notched their fourth win in 10 games.
Running back Chris Johnson tallied 126 yards on 23 carries with a touchdown while tight end Jared Cook and wide receiver Kendall Wright caught Locker’s two scoring heaves.
Kicker Rob Bironas added three field goals and set a new franchise record with his 230th consecutive successful point after try (PAT), erasing Al Del Greco’s former record of 229 consecutive PATs.
The Titans defense gave up only three first-half points for the second time in three weeks in a repeat of their Oct. 28 performance against the Indianapolis Colts. In the first half, the defense forced three total turnovers and limited the Dolphins to one conversion in eight attempts on third down.
In the second quarter, linebacker Colin McCarthy intercepted a Ryan Tannehill pass that was initially tipped by fellow linebacker Akeem Ayers.
McCarthy caught the ball and raced 49 yards for his first career touchdown and the team’s first interception for a touchdown since Jordan Babineaux’s 97-yarder at Cleveland on Oct. 2, 2011.
Tannehill finished 23-for-39 for 217 yards and three interceptions for the Dolphins (4-5) while their rushing corps was limited to just 54 yards on 15 carries, with Daniel Thomas leading the way with 21 yards on five carries.
Locker opened the first quarter with a nine-yard touchdown pass to Wright and Johnson added a 17-yard run for a 14-0 Titans lead.
In the second quarter, McCarthy picked a Tannehill pass and returned it for a 49-yard touchdown before the Dolphins finally got on the board with a 40-yard field goal from Dan Carpenter. Bironas then made a 37-yard field goal to close the first half with the Titans ahead by 24-3.
Locker connected with Cook for a 26-yard touchdown pass in the third period before Bironas put the finishing touches in the fourth with field goals from 38 and 53 yards.