REPORT CARD

Here's a look at how every unit performed in the 31-7 loss to the Tennessee Titans.

QUARTERBACKS — It should now by evident that Brian Griese is not a savior for the Dolphins offense. He threw some good passes against the Titans, but most of his completions were short throws. More importantly, he continues to show no ability whatsoever to avoid a pass rush, as he was sacked four times and fumbled twice. He wasn't to blame for the first fumble, but the second fumble came on a marginal hit where he absolutely has to hang on to the ball. Sage Rosenfels cleaned up in garbage time and threw some nice passes. Grade: D

RUNNING BACKS — Ricky Williams said he was going to run harder, but it really didn't make much of a difference. He had two nice runs the entire day. He was more of a factor in the passing game. Travis Minor had a nice 19-yard run, but that came with the outcome already decided. Rob Konrad wasn't used much in the passing game, and the Dolphins have to get everybody involved right now. Grade: C

RECEIVERS — The Dolphins did very little damage outside in the passing game. New wideout Kendall Newson had a very nice diving catch that resulted in a 37-yard gain, but he also had a drop and a pass interference on the same play and later tipped a catchable pass right into the hands of Tennessee cornerback Samari Rolle. Chris Chambers and Randy McMichael were way too quiet for guys who need to be major factors. Outside of Newson, there were no drops. Rookie tight end Donald Lee caught two passes, including the Dolphins' only touchdown. But, really, big whoop. Grade: D

OFFENSIVE LINE — Different week, same story. Wade Smith got beat for two more sacks, Todd Perry got beat for another, Todd Wade had a holding penalty that nullified a tremendous catch by Derrius Thompson. And there were no holes opened for the running game. Other than that, a tremendous performance. Grade: F

DEFENSIVE LINE — The Dolphins pretty much contained the Tennessee running game, but they needed to get pressure on Steve McNair and they flat-out didn't do it. No one on that unit really stood out, but that was a common theme for the defense. Grade: D

LINEBACKERS — The Dolphins really missed Zach Thomas, in part because Tommy Hendrick looked like he had a terrible game, starting with his slipping while he was supposed to be covering Tyrone Calico on Tennessee's first touchdown. Junior Seau had a couple of tackles for losses or no gain in the first quarter, but was invisible after that. Morlon Greenwood didn't do much to be noticed either way, although he did one nice tackle. Grade: D

DEFENSIVE BACKS — The absence of Patrick Surtain hurt as much as, if not more than, that of Zach Thomas. Terrell Buckley started in place of Surtain and didn't look very good. Then again, neither did Sam Madison, Brock Marion, Sammy Knight, Arturo Freeman, Jamar Fletcher or Trent Gamble, who actually was on the field early and really looked back. But there was poor tackling and poor coverage by everybody. Grade: D-

SPECIAL TEAMS — Matt Turk had a decent day punting, but that was about it. Right now, the Dolphins need some kind of spark anywhere to help the offense and they're not getting anything close to it from the return game. Charlie Rogers was released on Saturday, but Travis Minor has looked very, very average on kickoff returns and Sam Simmons had no chance on punt returns against Tennessee. Grade: C-


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