NFL@L.A.: AFC West

Rapid Reaction: Dolphins 34, Raiders 14

December, 4, 2011
12/04/11
1:51
PM PT

MIAMI -- Here are some initial thoughts on the Miami Dolphins' dominant 34-14 victory over the Oakland Raiders:

What it means: Miami won its fourth game in five tries and continues to relish its role of spoiler. The Dolphins improved to 4-8 and will have their third consecutive non-winning season. But they continue to share their misery by beating other teams late in the season. This was Miami's most complete and impressive performance of the year. The Dolphins took advantage of their 10 days of preparation and looked very sharp offensively and defensively. It also came against an Oakland team (7-5) that is leading the AFC West.

Defense continues to dominate: The light has come on for Miami's defense. The group has been one of the league's better units for the past month. The Dolphins baffled and battered Oakland's offense Sunday. Miami held Oakland to just 14 points, which were scored in garbage time, and sacked Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer two times. Miami was the NFL's sixth-rated unit in 2010, but started slow this season during its 0-7 start. The group is finally rounding back to its expected form.

Bush continues to thrive: Dolphins starting running back Reggie Bush continues to have his most successful season running the football. Bush rushed for 100 yards on 22 carries. By the fourth quarter, Dolphins fans were chanting "Reggie! Reggie!"

Seymour Watch: A fine could be forthcoming for Raiders defensive tackle Richard Seymour. He was ejected in the third quarter after a half-hearted attempt to punch Miami guard Richie Incognito. Seymour has a reputation for questionable play and the refs wasted no time ejecting him. This was the second ejection in as many seasons for the former Pro Bowl player. Seymour also was ejected last season for a shot to the face of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger after the whistle.

What's next: The Dolphins will play their second consecutive home game next week when the Philadelphia Eagles (4-8) come to town. Miami is looking to win its fourth consecutive game at home.

49ers are back, anyone notice?

November, 14, 2011
11/14/11
3:50
PM PT
The San Francisco 49ers should be one of the best stories in football this year.

Their former No. 1 overall draft pick is finally showing he isn’t a complete bust. Their rookie coach has brought an infectious swagger to what was a listless, uninspired locker room. They win games with daring trick plays and a physical, play-making defense.

They’re on the verge of resuscitating one the NFL's golden franchises.

And yet somehow, for some strange reasons, the 49ers’ story has failed to resonate across the country.

All the elements are there. So too is the validation after Sunday's impressive 27-20 win over the New York Giants.

But instead of basking in the same feel-good adulation the previously exciting Detroit Lions and Buffalo Bills enjoyed earlier this season, the 49ers are being received with a collective shrug.

America neither loves nor loathes them. It’s worse -- no one seems to care much.

(Read full post)

Palmer trade good for Raiders?

October, 18, 2011
10/18/11
10:09
AM PT
Herm Edward believes both sides win in the Bengals trade of Carson Palmer to the Raiders.

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TEAM LEADERS

PASSING
Philip Rivers
ATT COMP YDS TD
544 378 4478 32
RUSHINGCARYDSAVGTD
R. Mathews 285 1255 4.4 6
D. Woodhead 106 429 4.0 2
RECEIVINGRECYDSAVGTD
K. Allen 71 1046 14.7 8
A. Gates 77 872 11.3 4