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(Sunday, December 4th)
Final Score: Miami 34, Oakland 14
Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Matt Moore threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score to back yet another sterling effort by the Miami defense, as the Dolphins continued their resurgence with a 34-14 rout of the Oakland Raiders at Sun Life Stadium.
It may be too late for the Dolphins (4-8) to make any kind of playoff run after their disastrous 0-7 start, but they certainly bounced back nicely from a last-second loss on Thanksgiving at Dallas. After a 10-day break following the 20-19 holiday setback, the Dolphins scored the first 34 points on Sunday and won for the fourth time in their last five games while also extending their home winning streak to three.
Reggie Bush ran for 100 yards on 22 carries with a score and rookie Daniel Thomas added 73 yards on the ground for Miami, which had not won three in a row at home since the 2008 season.
The Dolphins have outscored Washington, Buffalo and now Oakland by a combined 89-31 during their home winning streak and came within half a quarter of their first shutout in five years. Miami, which gave up two late touchdowns after keeping its last two home foes out of the end zone, hasn't blanked an opponent since a 21-0 whitewash of New England on December 10, 2006.
Oakland's Carson Palmer threw for 273 yards with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns and had an interception returned for a score by Kevin Burnett. The Raiders (7-5) had a three-game winning streak halted and are now tied with Denver for first place in the AFC West, as the Broncos continued their stunning turnaround behind Tim Tebow with a win in Minnesota.
The Raiders, who had won three straight on the road and fell to 4-2 as the guest this season, again played without running back Darren McFadden. He missed his fifth straight game because of a foot injury and Oakland managed just 46 yards rushing on Sunday, led by Michael Bush's 18 on 10 carries.
Miami, meanwhile, finished with 209 yards on the ground and held the ball for more than 38 minutes. Moore was an efficient 13-of-25 passing for 162 yards.
"We wanted to be aggressive, but we felt like we could run the football in this game, make some yards that way," said Dolphins coach Tony Sparano.
The Dolphins defense held the Raiders without a first down on their first two possessions, while the Miami offense managed a pair of field goals on its first two drives. Dan Carpenter, who had missed the last two games with a groin injury, drilled a 48-yard field goal and connected from 33 yards away to give the Dolphins a 6-0 edge.
Miami's defense had an interception wiped out early in the second quarter, as Burnett was flagged for illegal contact prior to Karlos Dansby's pick of a Palmer third-down pass near midfield. Burnett made up for the penalty with a sack on the next third-down play to force an Oakland punt.
Davone Bess returned the punt 21 yards to the Miami 37, then finished the ensuing seven-play drive with a 12-yard touchdown catch to give his team a 13-0 lead with 8:24 left in the first half. Anthony Fasano caught passes of 26 and 10 yards on consecutive plays to help set up the score.
Oakland was driving toward a potential score in the final two minutes, as two quick Palmer strikes had the Raiders inside the Miami 40. The next completion was wiped out by a holding call before a sack pushed the Raiders back further and eventually forced another punt.
A 77-yard kickoff return by Miami's Clyde Gates to start the second half and a pass interference penalty at the goal line led to Reggie Bush's one-yard touchdown run for a 20-0 lead just over a minute into the third quarter.
The Dolphins then followed a Raider punt with a 91-yard drive. The 13-play set ate up more than 7 1/2 minutes and featured a trio of third-down conversions before Moore called his own number and scored on a six-yard quarterback draw.
Burnett then picked off a tipped Palmer pass just two plays after the kickoff and found his way to the end zone with a 34-yard interception return to make it 34-0.
The Raiders averted the shutout with 7:51 remaining when Palmer hit a wide open T.J. Houshmandzadeh with a 40-yard touchdown pass. Miami's deflated defense then yielded a second score when Palmer hooked up with Darrius Heyward-Bey from three yards away.
"They did enough to beat us," said Raiders coach Hue Jackson. "We couldn't run it, we couldn't stop the run, we didn't throw it very well, we didn't play special teams very well."
Oakland linebacker Rolando McClain, arrested earlier this week in a shooting incident, did not start Sunday but did join his teammates on the field later in the opening defensive series. He led the team with eight tackles. There was a question as to whether the Raiders would discipline McClain, who was charged with four misdemeanors in his hometown of Decatur, Alabama after allegedly firing a gun next to a victim's head.
"There's no question that he knows I'm disappointed in some things that occurred and I will take care of that in-house," Jackson said of McClain. "If the league decides to come down on him, then I'm gonna come down on him like you've never seen."
Burnett's interception return for a touchdown was the first for a Dolphin since Vontae Davis versus Buffalo on October 4, 2009...Bush, who notched his second 100-yard game this season, has 667 rushing yards this year, surpassing his previous single-season best mark of 581 in 2007 with New Orleans...Miami's Jason Taylor appeared in his 200th game with the Dolphins...The Raiders were penalized 10 times for 91 yards...Oakland defensive lineman Richard Seymour was ejected in the third quarter for throwing a punch at Miami lineman Richie Incognito...The Raiders still lead the all-time series 19-15-1, including four playoff matchups, but Miami has won six of the last seven...The Raiders visit Green Bay next Sunday, while the Dolphins host Philadelphia.
12/04 21:03:35 ET
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