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September 16, 2012

G2: Dolphins 35, Oakland 13: Reggie Bush's 172 yards rushing, two TDs spark Miami to huge victory in home opener

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G2: DOLPHINS 35, OAKLAND 13: FOR DOLFANS, REASONS AT LAST TO CHEER: [Click on Feeling Good At Last for my column off the game] Wow. What a huge and hugely impressive day for this team, all around and every which way, from Reggie Bush to Ryan Tannehill to Brian Hartline to the defense. Is Oakland that bad? Or might it be that the Dolphins have been underestimated that badly? Feel good, Dolfans. Jets Week just got a little more interesting. ..... 4Q: Safety Reshad Jones picks off Carson Palmer. ... Lamar Miller, the ex-Cane, bursts for a 15-yard TD run to make it a rout at 35-13 rout. ... Tannehill's first career TD pass a 14-yarder to Anthony Fasano and Miami now with a commanding 28-13 lead. ... Miami allows 47-yard punt return but holds after Oakland has 1st-and-16, forces Raiders to settle for 27-yard FG for 21-13 score. ..... 3Q: Miami now up 21-10 on Reggie Bush 65-yard scoring run around left end. ... Fins up 14-10 mid-third on Reggie Bush'es tackle-busting 23-yard run up the middle. ..... Half: The story so far in a punt-dominated game is that Oakland is moving the ball with 239 yards passing by Carson Palmer, while Miami's Ryan Tannehill is only 9-for-19 for 85 yards. Dolphins looked so good on that opening drive and have done so little offensively since. ..... 2Q: Sebastian Janikowski 25-yard FG puts Oakland up 10-7 just before half. ... Karlos Dansby bowled over like a pin by OAK TE David Ausberry on a 31-yard pass play. ... Make it nine punts. Zzzz. ... Eight punts now. ... Seven punts thus far. Game taking on a bit of a snoozy feel. ..... 1Q: Oakland ties it 7-7 as Miami defense is beaten for 64-yard scoring pass on screen to RB Mike Goodson with 0:11 left in opening quarter. ... Dolphins fake a long field try, pooch-punt to Oakland 8. Creative. ... Great opening drive by Miami for a 7-0 lead. Eighty yards on 12 plays capped by Ryan Tannehill's 2-yard scoring run. ..... Original post: Back in the day, the Dolphins enjoyed one of the better home-field advantages in the NFL. But for this 1aa1doloak1 1aa1doloakfranchise, "back in the day" is a distant memory. And this franchise reminds us of that yet again with another homage to the 1972 Perfect Season on its 40th anniversary year. Arriving fans at today's home opener will receive a "Still Perfect" hat marking that 17-0 zenith year. That way every time you wear it you'll be glumly reminded how bad the current Dolphins are by comparison. Last week's 30-10 loss at Houston was dismal on paper but in actuality was one seven-minute meltdown surrounded by 3 1/2 qauarters of fairly decent work. I was in the minority but felt there was stuff to be encouraged about. Now comes a winnable game for Miami. This is the kind of game Miami loses if it is headed for a 4-12 type of season but wins if it aims to be 7-9ish or perhaps even better. Be warned, though. Oakland is not bad. I fear Carson Palmer is the gunslinger type with enough weapons to prey on a Dolphins weakness: pass defense. We'll need to see multiple reenactments of the photo above right -- Cameron Wake pressuring Palmer -- for Miami to win. Pick: Oakland, 24-17.

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