Unpredictable Dolphins rout Raiders 34-14By STEVEN WINE, AP Sports Writer Monday, Dec 5, 2011
MIAMI (AP)—When it comes to blowouts, the Miami Dolphins are tough to beat.
Miami won another one Sunday, scoring on an interception and outrushing Oakland by 163 yards to win 34-14.
The Dolphins (4-8) have outscored opponents by 86 points in their four victories. The wins have all come in the past five weeks after Miami started 0-7 by losing a succession of close games.
“We never felt like we were a 0-7 team,” receiver Brian Hartline(notes) said. “We were giving teams a battle, but just giving games away. We were kind of beating ourselves, instead of the other teams beating us. We are not doing that now.”
They dominated from the start against Oakland. Reggie Bush(notes) ran for 100 yards and a touchdown, Matt Moore(notes) had a hand in two TDs and Kevin Burnett(notes) returned an interception 34 yards for a score to put Miami ahead 34-0.
“We’ve been on a wild ride here,” Moore said.
“We’ve had our ups and downs,” Bush added, “but I couldn’t be more proud.”
The Raiders (7-5) fell into a tie with Denver atop the AFC West, and the rout ended their three-game winning streak.
“We just got outplayed in every phase of the game,” said Carson Palmer(notes), who threw for Oakland’s scores in the final eight minutes. “We got physically beat. It’s very discouraging, very disappointing.”
The loss took some luster off Oakland’s next game against unbeaten Green Bay.
Miami—a team that totaled four touchdowns during one five-game stretch— secured the victory with a 21-point third quarter, including two TDs in a 20-second span.
By the final period, the Dolphins were feeling frisky. Bush took a jarring hit from linebacker Aaron Curry(notes) trying to catch a pass, then showed his resilience by rolling onto his stomach and doing five push-ups.
“I just wanted to let them know their hits weren’t going to affect me at all,” Bush said.
“I apologize to the team, to our players and to Raider nation,” Seymour said.
Oakland linebacker Rolando McClain(notes) played three days after he was arrested on misdemeanor assault, firearms and other charges in his Alabama hometown. He made eight tackles, but that wasn’t nearly enough to slow Miami.
“We didn’t play well. That’s on me,” coach Hue Jackson said. “I didn’t get them ready.”
The Raiders came into the game last in the league in yards allowed per run and were outgained on the ground 209 yards to 46. Bush reached the 100-yard rushing mark for the third time in his career, and Daniel Thomas(notes) added 73 yards.
Miami scored twice before Oakland had a first down. The Raiders’ best starting position all day was their 28-yard line, and they had the ball for less than 22 minutes, in part because they went 2 for 11 on third down.
“We couldn’t run. We couldn’t stop the run. We didn’t pass very well,” Jackson said. “Just a bad day at the office.”
Moore capped a 91-yard drive by scoring on a 6-yard keeper. Miami struck again when Burnett intercepted a tipped pass, weaved up field and dove across the goal line.
“Kevin looked like a running back,” Moore said. “It’s so much fun watching our defense play.”
The same defense gave up 38 points in a season-opening loss to New England. In the past five games, Miami has allowed only four TDs, two of them meaningless.
“I can’t control what happened in the past,” coach Tony Sparano said. “This is a good football team, and they’re a great group of kids. I love them. I love coaching them.”
Notes: Jackson said the Raiders injured included tight end Kevin Boss(notes) (hip pointer), defensive tackle John Henderson (knee) and receiver Chaz Schilens(notes) (foot). Jackson and the Raiders provided no further information. … Don Shula is using a wheelchair because of back trouble but said he hopes to be playing golf again soon. The NFL Hall of Fame coach took part in a pregame ceremony honoring Dolphins Hall of Famers. … Bush’s season total of 667 yards rushing is the highest of his career.