Miami Dolphins rookie QB Ryan Tannehill had a lot of firsts in a 35-13 win over the Oakland Raiders at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens on Sunday. The eighth-overall pick in April’s draft notched his first touchdown on a 2-yard scoring run in the opening quarter. Then, in the fourth quarter, he put the finishing touches on the Dolphins' victory with his first touchdown pass -- a 14-yarder to tight end Anthony Fasano.
The Dolphins (1-1) trailed 10-7 at halftime but relied on a stingy defense and dynamic performance from RB Reggie Bush to slowly build a large lead and cruise to victory. Bush broke scoring runs of 65 and 23 yards in third quarter as he finished with 172 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries to go with three catches for 25 yards.
Oakland (0-2) got a strong performance from QB Carson Palmer as the veteran completed 24 of 48 passes for 373 yards with one touchdown against one interception to help his team build a first-half lead. Palmer’s touchdown was a 64-yard scoring pass to RB Mike Goodson; he hauled it in near the line of scrimmage, then outraced defenders down the sideline.
Raiders star RB Darren McFadden missed time with an eye injury in the first half and finished with just 22 yards on 11 carries and two catches for 19 yards as he was targeted seven times. TE Brandon Myers was the team’s top weapon in the passing game, making six catches for 83 yards.
When the game turned: The Dolphins were nursing a 14-10 lead late in the third quarter in their own territory when Bush took matters into his own hands. The former Southern Cal star took a handoff and bounced outside as he outraced defenders 65 yards to the end zone to give Miami a double-digit lead. Bush credited LT Jake Long with identifying a safety blitz on the play that opened his rushing lane.
- Dolphins DB Reshad Jones forced the team’s first turnover of the season when he intercepted Palmer in the fourth quarter. Jones, who also made three tackles, including one for a loss, had a strong training camp and is looking more comfortable in game action.
- Goodson made Raiders fans forget about McFadden -- at least for one play. He flashed elite speed and agility by snagging a screen pass and dashing 64 yards across the goal line untouched. Dolphins LB Karlos Dansby appeared to have an angle, but Goodson never broke stride as he left him in his wake.
- Dolphins RB Marcus Thigpen is staking his claim as one of the top punt returners in the league. Thigpen returned five punts for 74 yards a week after taking one back 72 yards for a score. Thigpen is one of the most decorated returners in Canadian Football League history.
- Raiders LB Philip Wheeler finished with seven tackles for the second straight game. Oakland's leading tackler also made a team-high two hits on Tannehill as he flashed solid pass-rushing skills.
- Dolphins WR Brian Hartline missed all of training camp with a calf injury but has learned offensive coordinator Mike Sherman’s system quickly. He set career highs in catches (nine) and yards (111) against Oakland.
What they said about Hartline’s career day:
- Tannehill, to Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel: "He was in a rhythm. When you have a guy who is hot like him you have to get him the ball."
What they said about losing to the Dolphins:
- Raiders DT Tommy Kelly told Matt Porter of the Palm Beach Post that losing to Miami was “embarrassing.” “That team is -- oh my God."
Number you should know: 16. Combined punts for the teams, the most in a game since 1987. Oakland P Shane Lechler had nine boots for an average of 46.9 yards, and Dolphins P Brandon Fields had six attempts for an average of 53.2 yards. Miami K Dan Carpenter also got in on the action with one punt for 29 yards.
Injury update: Dolphins rookie RB Lamar Miller scored the first touchdown of his career on a 15-yard run in the fourth quarter but was seen with a heavily taped ankle after the game. His status is unclear. DE Cameron Wake spent an unusual amount of time on the sidelines, and it was unknown if it was due to injury or strategy. Raiders OT Khalif Barnes missed the end of the game with a groin injury. His status going forward is unknown. Oakland WR Denarius Moore made three catches for 67 yards but battled cramps most of the day.
Going forward: Raiders -- It’s not going to get any easier for Oakland. The team hosts Pittsburgh next week before traveling to Denver on Sept. 30. The team then has a bye week before traveling to face the Falcons. An 0-5 start is very realistic. Dolphins -- Miami could be favored in its next nine games: the Jets twice, Arizona, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Tennessee, Buffalo and Seattle. The team has a very workable slate, and this win should give the Dolphins a ton of confidence in first-year coach Joe Philbin and his plans for Tannehill.
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis on the Miami Dolphins from blogger Dave Carey, follow @CBSDolphins.