NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Twice in the second quarter, Ryan Tannehill had the ball in his hands with the chance to give Miami a first-half lead and quiet the Superdome crowd.
Both times, the young Dolphins quarterback turned it over, the crowd went wild and the Saints cashed in.
Tannehill fumbled the ball away once and threw three interceptions, which wasn't nearly good enough to keep pace with Drew Brees in a 38-17 loss Monday night.
"We're not happy. Obviously you don't want to come out and perform like that," Tannehill said. "But you look at it and there are things you can correct."
He finished with 249 yards passing and a touchdown to Charles Clay. That paled in comparison to Brees' 413 yards and four TDs.
Miami's running game appeared to be getting going for the first time this season early on, but the Dolphins had to abandon it the more they fell behind, and the Saints turned up their pass rush, sacking Tannehill four times in the second half.
"I just don't feel that team was as good as everybody was saying they were," Saints outside linebacker Junior Galette, who had one sack, said of Miami. "We just abused the offensive line all game."
Miami's Lamar Miller had 62 yards rushing on 11 carries, including a 5-yard scoring run late in the second quarter that made it 14-10, but the Saints began to run away with the game after that.
Tannehill's first turnover came when he tried to scramble up the middle and was stripped by linebacker Curtis Lofton. Safety Rafael Bush recovered on the New Orleans 38. That set up a drive that ended with Jimmy Graham's leaping, juggling catch as three defenders, including Jamar Taylor and Brent Grimes, converged on him.
"Both Brent and I were right there on the coverage and we reacted when the ball was up in the air, but it was angled such that (Graham) went up and made a great play and came down with it," Taylor said. "It was obviously a big play for them and gave them momentum in the first half."
Later in the half, Jabari Greer intercepted a pass intended for Brian Hartline and returned it 22 yards to the Miami 23. Several plays later, Darren Sproles made a catch along the left sideline, spun away from a converging defender and scored his second touchdown with 55 seconds left in the half to make it 21-10.
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