The game didn't start out well for Miami this afternoon, with Jacoby Ford returning the opening kickoff 101 yards for a touchdown. But things got better from there and the Dolphins will be flying home from the west coast with a win, defeating the Raiders 33-17.
The win also marks the first time this year that the Dolphins scored 30+ points - doing so without Brandon Marshall.
Here are three quick thoughts on today's win. The usual wrap-up post will follow tomorrow morning:
- The Dolphins finally got back to the run. They could have went away from the ground early on when Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams struggled to find any room. The offensive line really got no push early. But as the game went on and the Oakland's defense wore down, the Dolphins found some running room. Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams combined for 180 yards rushing on 44 carries. That's not a great number in terms of yards per carry - especially considering Ricky gained 45 of those yards on one carry to seal the game. But I like the commitment to the run and I like how the offense flexed their muscle as the game went on.
- Congrats to Chad Henne, who battled through the pain of a semi-serious knee injury to have perhaps his best game of the season. He wasn't perfect - and that goal line interception was sickening and unacceptable. But Henne completed 57% of his passes for 307 yards and two touchdowns. His 10.2 yards per attempt today was the highest single game YPA figure of his career. And he did this without Brandon Marshall. Makes you think, doesn't it?
- Kudos to Miami's defense today, holding the league's second-ranked rushing offense to just 16 yards on 12 carries - with 13 of those yards coming on an end-around by Jacoby Ford. The Dolphins also held the Raiders to just a 22.2% 3rd down conversion rate and forced three turnovers. A very good effort out of a unit that was without their leader - Karlos Dansby - for most of their defensive snaps.