This game was over as soon as it began. The first place Raiders came in as the underdog to the last place Dolphins much to the dismay of Raider fans. But the Dolphins showed very quickly why they were favored and it was semantics after that on the way to a 34-14 rout of the Raiders.
After holding the Raiders to a three and out on their first possession, the Dolphins marched down the field to begin with a field goal on their first drive. Then another Raider three and out followed by another Dolphin drive ending in a field goal. The game was midway through the first quarter and it was apparent the Dolphins were going to have their way with the Raiders on both sides of the ball.
On the next Raider possession, they would get their first first down of the day. But the once promising looking drive ended with the Raiders traveling backward while Palmer faced pressure on every play and offensive line penalties began to stack up. That drive ended befittingly with a sack on Palmer.
While the best response the Raiders could muster was a couple of first downs, the Dolphins responded to that with their first touchdown of the day to go up 13-0. That would be the score going into halftime. But while 13-0 isn’t a huge margin, it was a score based on almost complete domination. The Raiders could not stop Reggie Bush as he ran ten times for 79 yards in the first half. The Raiders have their own Bush, but Michael was able to pick up just five yards on five carries.
Then the third quarter began and things really got out of hand for the Raiders.
The Dolphins took the opening kickoff 78 yards to the Raider 25 yard line. Two plays later, Stanford Routt was called for pass interference in the end zone. The Dolphins would set up with first and goal from the one yard line and on the next play, Bush would walk in untouched for an easy touchdown.
A five play and out series by the Raiders set up a long touchdown drive by the Dolphins. Then the Raiders’ next possession lasted two plays when Palmer threw high to Louis Murphy and it was tipped and intercepted. Dolphins Kevin Burnett came down with it and returned it 27 yards for a touchdown and a resounding 34-0 Dolphin lead.
From there, the Dolphins were content to keep it on the ground through much of the fourth quarter and run clock. The Raiders were able to put up two garbage touchdowns to make it look a little less embarrassing than it really was.
The loss combined with a win by the Broncos in Minnesota ties the Raiders with the Broncos for first place in the AFC West (7-5). The Broncos own the tiebreaker at this point as they are 3-2 in the AFC West and Raiders are 2-2.
After the assault and gun charge in Alabama this week, Rolando McClain did not get the start but was in the game after the first couple of plays and played the majority of the snaps at middle linebacker.
The Raiders travel to Green Bay next week in a game that has been moved to a 1pm start.
|Oakland Raiders (7-4-0)||Miami Dolphins (3-8-0)|