Levis strikes late as Titans stun Dolphins after Hill injury

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill left the game for much of the second and third quarter due to an ankle injury before returning in the fourth; the Tennessee Titans scored twice in the final three minutes to snatch a shock victory

Last Updated: 12/12/23 7:50am

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Highlights of the Tennessee Titans’ clash with the Miami Dolphins in Week 14 of the NFL.
Highlights of the Tennessee Titans’ clash with the Miami Dolphins in Week 14 of the NFL.

Rookie Will Levis threw for a career-high 327 yards and directed two touchdown drives in the final four and a half minutes as the Tennessee Titans rallied to stun Miami 28-27 on Monday night, knocking the Dolphins out of the top spot in the AFC.

The Titans (5-8) held Tua Tagovailoa and Miami’s explosive offense in check for most of the game but still fell behind by two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, thanks to critical mistakes that gave short fields to the Dolphins (9-4). Raheem Mostert ran for scores of three yards and five yards to put Miami ahead 27-13.

Levis, a second-round draft pick making his sixth career start, took over from there. He led a nine-play, 75-yard drive that took 1:54, capping it with a three-yard touchdown pass to DeAndre Hopkins and a two-point conversion throw to Nick Westbrook-Ikhine.

The Titans got a stop and Levis quickly went to work, hitting Hopkins for 28 yards and Chigoziem Okonkwo for 16 yards to get into scoring position. Derrick Henry scored on a three-yard rush before the extra point gave the Titans a one-point lead.

Levis ripped off his helmet, screamed for joy and embraced coach Mike Vrabel on the sideline.

Stats leaders:

Tennessee Titans

  • Passing: Will Levis, 23/38, 327 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
  • Rushing: Derrick Henry, 17 carries, 34 yards, 2 TDs
  • Receiving: DeAndre Hopkins, 7 catches, 124 yards, 1 TD
  • Tyjae Spears, 6 catches, 89 yards

Miami Dolphins

  • Passing: Tua Tagovailoa, 23/33, 240 yards
  • Rushing: Raheem Mostert, 21 carries, 96 yards, 2 TDs
  • Receiving: Jaylen Waddle, 6 catches, 79 yards

The Dolphins took over with no timeouts left and got to their own 45, but Harold Landry III sacked Tagovailoa to put the game away. Miami lost at home for the first time this season as its three-game winning streak was snapped, leaving Baltimore with a one-game lead for the best record in the conference.

Miami played much the game without star receiver Tyreek Hill, who sat out the second quarter and majority of the third after injuring his ankle in the first quarter. He returned and caught passes of 23 and 25 yards to set up Jason Sanders’ 31-yard field goal that tied it at 13-13 at the beginning of the fourth.

Hill, who leads the NFL in receiving yards, was in and out of the game from there and finished with 61 yards.

Tagovailoa was 23 of 33 for 240 yards and had his streak of 21 consecutive games with a touchdown pass snapped.

Levis went 23 of 38 with a touchdown pass and an interception while Hopkins had seven catches for 124 yards, and Henry ran for two scores.

A grind-it-out game took a wild turn in the fourth quarter, beginning when Tennessee’s Eric Garror tried to field a bouncing punt with the game tied at 13-all with 6:16 remaining. The ball caromed off his hands and Elijah Campbell recovered for the Dolphins at the seven.

Mostert punched it in, then scored again after the Titans fumbled on their next possession on a botched pitch by Levis to Henry. Mostert leads the NFL with 16 rushing touchdowns.

Henry, who finished with 34 yards, moved to 15th in NFL history in rushing yards when he scored his 87th career rushing touchdown in the first quarter that tied the game at seven going into the half.

Miami’s top-ranked offense was held scoreless in the first half against a Titans defense that has given up the fewest red zone touchdowns in the NFL.

The Dolphins were two of five in the red zone and lost a fumble at the Titans two on a bad quarterback-center exchange on their first possession.

Miami went ahead 7-0 when defensive tackle Zach Sieler intercepted Levis at the five and took it to the end zone. The Dolphins have had a pick-six in three straight games for the first time in franchise history.

Tagovailoa faced more pressure than usual with the Dolphins missing three starters on their offensive line. Left tackle Terron Armstead (knee/ankle) and right guard Rob Hunt (hamstring) did not play, and center Connor Williams injured his knee in the first quarter.

Sanders converted a 20-yard field goal that tied the game at 10-10 in the third quarter. He also had a 44-yard field goal blocked by Denico Autry.

Scoring summary

Scoring summary

Titans 0-7 Dolphins Zach Sieler five-yard interception return (extra point)
Titans 7-7 Dolphins Derrick Henry one-yard rushing TD (extra point)
Titans 10-7 Dolphins Nick Folk 28-yard field goal
Titans 10-10 Dolphins Jason Sanders 20-yard field goal
Titans 13-10 Dolphins Nick Folk 23-yard field goal
Titans 13-13 Dolphins Jason Sanders 31-yard field goal
Titans 13-20 Dolphins Raheem Mostert three-yard rushing TD (extra point)
Titans 13-27 Dolphins Raheem Mostert five-yard rushing TD (extra point)
Titans 21-27 Dolphins Will Levis three-yard TD pass to DeAndre Hopkins (successful two-point conversion)
Titans 28-27 Dolphins Derrick Henry three-yard rushing TD (extra point)

What next?

The Titans are next in action at home to the playoff-chasing Houston Texans (7-6) next Sunday, while the Dolphins welcome the New York Jets (5-8) to Miami.

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Source : Sky Sports