BY SEAN DONOVAN
The Miami Dolphins didn't start their home-opener quite the way they wanted to. But they were definitely able to finish it, coasting to a 35-13 win against the Oakland Raiders.
After 30 minutes of football, the Dolphins' offense looked like it did in Houston Week 1. In other words, not very effective.
After a strong game-opening drive in which Miami scored it first offensive touchdown of the season on a Ryan Tannehill keeper, the Dolphins' offense was visited by the same second-quarter demons that haunted it in the season-opener. There were drops by receivers, Tannehill was inaccurate in the face of constant pressure, and the offense did not convert any of its four third-down opportunities.
Joe Philbin must have given quite the halftime speech.
Down 10-7 after the break, Miami's offense exploded in the second half. Reggie Bush scored rushing touchdowns from 23 and 65 yards out, and Tannehill completed the first passing touchdown of his career on a 14-yard catch-and-run by Anthony Fasano. Rookie Lamar Miller added a late score on a 15-yard scamper that put the game away for good.
After averaging just 3.8 yards per play in the first half, the Dolphins moved the ball at a 9-yard clip in the second behind a dominant performance on the ground. Bush tallied 172 yards on 26 carries, which gave him a franchise-record fourth consecutive game with 100 or more yards from scrimmage.
The Dolphins racked up 263 yards rushing as a team, their second highest total since 1980.
Tannehill played an efficient, turnover-free game at quarterback as well. His numbers weren't flashy, completing 18-of-30 for 200 yards, but he consistently made the right play. Tannehill also led his team to a 9-of-13 clip on third down.
The Dolphins hope they can springboard off this performance into a successful 2012 campaign.
"This game was huge for us," Bush said after the game, according to ESPN. "We talked all week about bouncing back and just winning one game. This game is huge for our confidence."
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