Rapid Reaction: Dolphins 35, Raiders 13
September, 16, 2012
By James Walker | ESPN.com
MIAMI -- A few thoughts on the Dolphins' 35-13 blowout victory over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday at Sun Life Stadium.
What it means: Miami won the first game of the Joe Philbin era in convincing fashion and got back to .500. These are the games Miami must win this season. The Dolphins were at home against an awful Oakland team coming off a short week, and Miami took care of business. The Dolphins are trying to re-establish a home-field advantage after a long stretch of struggling at Sun Life Stadium. They did a good job of jumping on the Raiders on Sunday.
Bush plays big: Miami's Reggie Bush continues to prove he can be an every-down back. Bush worked hard in the offseason to improve his durability and had one of the best games of his career. Bush rushed for 172 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries. Bush took a lot of pressure off rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who played his most consistent game of the season. Tannehill threw for 200 yards and scored two touchdowns (one rushing, one passing).
Hartline reliable: Miami found a reliable weapon in the passing game in Brian Hartline, who got his first start of the season. Hartline ran crisp routes and caught the ball well. He finished with nine receptions for 111 yards.
Pass defense needs work: Miami’s secondary has played shaky the first two weeks. Oakland lost the game big but had a lot of explosive passing plays against Miami's defensive backs. Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer threw for 373 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
What's next: The Dolphins have a big division game next week against the New York Jets at Sun Life Stadium. This will be the first meeting since last year’s implosion by the Jets in Week 17. It will also be the first division game for Miami this season.