Raiders defense wilts against Bush, Dolphins

September 16, 2012, 11:57 pm
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MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- The Raiders' run defense was a bright spot in Oakland's season-opening loss to San Diego last week, limiting the Chargers to 32 yards on the ground on 20 carries.Surely, that would carry over against a relatively impotent offense like Miami's, right?WellDolphins running back Reggie Bush glided for 172 yards, on a career-high 26 carries, and had touchdown runs of 23 yards. Four different Raiders had a shot at him and missed, and 65 yards."They made it real easy for me to go out and be a play-maker," Bush said of his offensive line.And of the Raiders starting to wilt?"We felt like, slowly but surely, we wanted to break their spirit a little bit," Bush added.Done deal.The way the Dolphins successfully attacked the heart of the Raiders defense was shocking, especially with the way Oakland had limited Miami to six straight three-and-outs over the second and third quarters."We left our game in the locker room, it's as simple as that," said defensive tackle Tommy Kelly, who earlier this week deemed the game a must win."It's just embarrassing. I didn't see this coming, the way we practiced all week, I didn't see this coming. The way we started in the first half, I didn't foresee 35 (points) at the end of the game."The Raiders ended up surrendering 452 total yards to the Dolphins, 263 yards on the ground, and Miami averaged 6.1 yards per carry."We didn't tackle as well as we needed to tackle," said Raiders coach Dennis Allen. "So we're going to go back and look at it and see where we need to make our corrections. We're going to work to get better next week."I'm not going to say 'shocking,' or 'worst nightmare.' I'm going to say we've got to execute better. We've got to coach better. We've got to coach better. We've got to play better. We've got to learn how to finish in all phases of the game."Dolphins rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill kept the Raiders off balance often with a no-huddle offense that seemed to tire it out."When you're able to have an explosive player like Reggie, who can make tough yards, and take it the distance," Tannehill said, "it adds a whole other element."One that has many naysayers wondering where the Raiders are headed after wilting so dramatically.Kelly, the longest-tenured position player on Oakland's roster, has been here before."This is different," Kelly said, "because we're a whole lot better than we were when we went 2-14 and 4-12. I think we have a way better team. We're more talented, we have better, younger talented players. But you have to be able to produce on Sunday, and we aren't."At least, not on this Sunday.