In 2016 the Tennessee Titans went to Miami and dominated the Dolphins on both sides of the ball, but if the next two visits were any indication, then they may have made a deal with the devil that day.
Because Hard Rock Stadium has become a House of Horrors for the Titans since that victory.
Today’s 27-20 loss to Miami was filled with head scratching mistakes, injuries, and questionable calls…
Just like last year.
In 2017 the Titans went to Hard Rock Stadium and lost in excruciating and controversial fashion.
Marcus Mariota did not play in that game, and his 2018 visit was short-lived after injuring his elbow. He did not finish the game.
Pro Bowl left tackle Taylor Lewan injured his knee in that 2017 match up and was unable to finish the game. He suffered a similar fate this year after a questionable hit by Miami’s Andre Branch knocked him out of the game.
And for some unfathomable reason, Branch was not penalized on the play.
In 2017 the Titans had a touchdown called back because of an “offensive pass interference” on tight end Jonnu Smith. The air quotes were meant to be literal because we are still waiting on video evidence of that infraction.
Today, a momentum-changing 62 yard touchdown run by Derrick Henry in the fourth quarter would have tied the game at 17-17, but was negated by a “holding penalty” on tight end Delanie Walker.
Hence the air quotes again.
Upon further review, not only did Walker not hold on the play, but his face mask was clearly grabbed and yanked by the Dolphins’ defender.
Two critical calls that affected the outcome of a one-possession loss.
And to add injury to insult, Walker….Tennessee’s iron man….is feared to be lost for the season after suffering a gruesome ankle injury late in the game.
Losing both offensive starters in Mariota and Walker, as well as Lewan, is far worse than the loss itself.
When the Titans did get momentum swinging their way mother nature intervened.
The first rain delay occurred when the Titans were moving the ball with less than two minutes to go in the half. Mariota and Dion Lewis had things clicking before play was stopped on a crucial third and one.
The next weather delay occurred right after Malcolm Butler made a huge interception in Miami’s end zone to keep the score at one possession.
Mariota threw an interception upon play resuming two hours later and the Dolphins turned their favorable field position into three points.
Not to mention the turf monster that tackled Butler when it appeared his had nothing but green grass and a game-tying touchdown in front of him.
Aside from a possible return trip in January, the Titans should be eager to board their plane…leave Miami..and never look back.
Bad things seem to happen in Hard Rock Stadium….their new House of Horrors.