Damon Huard threw two touchdown passes and the Dolphins' defense pitched a shutout tonight in Miami.
Sam Madison intercepted Steve McNair three times and Miami won again without Dan Marino, beating the Tennessee Titans, 17-0, in a showdown of AFC co-leaders. The shutout was the first for the Titans in 156 games since they lost 34-0, as the Houston Oilers, at Kansas City in 1989.
"We've got to swallow this bad pill, digest it and let it go," McNair said.
Huard improved to 3-0 as a starter since Marino was sidelined Oct. 17 by a pinched nerve in his neck. Huard was 15 of 25 for 210 yards with four sacks but no interceptions. He became the first quarterback other than Marino to start three consecutive Miami victories since David Woodley in 1982. Marino might return to the lineup Sunday at Buffalo.
"I'm feeling pretty good, but this is a team effort," Huard said. "Our defense is outstanding."
Huard threw touchdown passes of six yards to Stanley Pritchett and 43 yards to Tony Martin, giving Miami a 14-0 lead midway through the second period. The defense did the rest.
The Dolphins, with their best start since 1990, joined Jacksonville as AFC front-runners at 7-1. Tennessee fell to 6-2.
The Dolphins' defenders haven't allowed a touchdown in 14 quarters, and they recovered from a slow start to smother Tennessee. Eddie George rushed for 55 yards on his first six carries but gained only 10 yards in eight carries the rest of the game. McNair was 22 of 42 for 205 yards with four sacks.
Three times Madison stepped in front of passes near the left sideline, but only one turnover led to a score. Olindo Mare kicked a 46-yard field goal at the start of the fourth quarter for a 17-0 lead.
Tennessee reached the Miami 3-yard line in the final minute, but McNair threw incomplete on fourth down. Until then, the Titans' best threat came with the game scoreless. They drove 72 yards before Al Del Greco's 33-yard field goal bounced off the left upright.