Eric Gay, Associated Press
DAVIE, Fla. — During a collision-free flight home — one area of improvement for the Miami Dolphins — coach Joe Philbin visited the back of the plane to chat with quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
"Look," Philbin says he told the rookie. "Now you know where you're at."
This is all new to Tannehill, but for the Dolphins, their season opener was too much of the same old thing. Plaguing Miami were lapses in the secondary, receivers unable to get open and squandered chances in the red zone, persistent problems in the past that have yet to be solved by the new coach and his staff.
Worst of all was the disparity in turnovers. The Dolphins had four and Houston had none, which is the main reason Miami lost 30-10.
At least the flight afterward went without a hitch. Following the Dolphins' final exhibition game in Dallas, their chartered jet was preparing to take off when it clipped a parked plane.
Safely home, the Dolphins now know where they're at: winless after an opener for the eighth time in 10 years.
"We've got a lot of work to do," Philbin said Monday. "Hopefully they accept responsibility, as did I. I didn't coach the game well enough, nor did they play well enough for us to earn a victory. That's my responsibility, and their responsibility."
After his first game as a head coach, Philbin anticipates improvement will come quickly.
"That's the fun part of the business," he said. "I'm excited about going to work today. I expect us to play better this week."
The schedule offers reason for hope. Beginning with Sunday's home opener against Oakland, the Dolphins face only one team that made the playoffs a year ago — Cincinnati — over the next 11 weeks.
Philbin will be judged by how much progress the Dolphins show, with the tendency toward turnovers most desperately needing attention. All four giveaways Sunday came in a seven-minute span of the second quarter as Houston transformed a 3-0 deficit into a 24-3 lead.
Tannehill threw three interceptions, two on balls batted at the line of the scrimmage.
"Obviously we have to fix a lot of things," Tannehill said.
He wasn't the only rookie quarterback to make mistakes Sunday. Andrew Luck also threw three interceptions, while Brandon Weeden had four.
They lost, too.
Tannehill finished 20 for 36 for 219 yards, and while he led the Dolphins inside the 20-yard line three times, the offense failed to score a touchdown. His quarterback rating was 39.0, the second-worst by a Miami QB since 2007.
Four passes were deflected at the line, a problem during the preseason. Philbin said Tannehill must do a better job of finding a throwing lane, and blockers must do more to keep pass rushers from raising their arms.
"As is usually the case, there is a little bit of culpability across the board," Philbin said.
The coach said five of Tannehill's passes could have been more accurate, but even so, a video review of the rookie's performance offered cause for encouragement.
"There were some good throws," Philbin said. "He did some good things, there's no question about it. It wasn't like he got flustered. It wasn't like you saw a ton of bad decisions. ...
"There are some good pictures of him throwing the ball accurately and moving nicely in the pocket."
Starting receiver Legedu Naanee didn't make a catch, while the Texans riddled Miami for 266 yards passing. The Dolphins fared better on the ground, averaging 4.2 yards per rush to 2.4 for Houston.
Before Miami abandoned the ground game because of the score, Reggie Bush ran for 53 yards in the first half.
"It was really encouraging," Bush said. "We've just got to continue that and learn from our mistakes this week and get better."
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