Maybe Reggie Bush can lead the league in rushing after all.
The Miami Dolphins veteran running back had made that an offseason goal, then went out and backed it up with a 172-yard, two-touchdown outburst in Sunday’s 35-13 win over the Raiders.
Bush, coming off the first 1,000-yard rushing season of his career, appeared to come up limping after a sweep early in the third quarter. One possession later, he made four Raiders (0-2) miss on his 23-yard touchdown run that put the Dolphins back in front.
Bush followed that with a 65-yard touchdown run around the right end on the next series, outracing Raiders safeties Michael Huff and Tyvon Branch to the end zone.
Bush was taken five picks ahead of Huff in the 2006 draft after winning the Heisman Trophy at USC. Huff, the former Texas star, had beaten Bush’s Trojans in the BCS Championship game that year.
“We felt like we could run the ball,” Bush said. “Obviously we were aware, with them coming all the way across, from West to East, our tempo was really going to be a key point of emphasis in us winning this game.”
Like Dolphins coach Joe Philbin, rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill notched his first NFL win, sealing it with a 14-yard scoring pass to Anthony Fasano with 11:57 remaining.
Tannehill finished 18 of 30 passing for 200 yards and one touchdown.
The Dolphins (1-1) outrushed the Raiders 263 yards to 23, with Darren McFadden being held to 22 yards on 11 carries.
“Darren’s a guy that can score from anywhere on the field,” Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer said. “We’re not going to abandon [the running game] whatsoever.”
The Raiders tied the game 7-7 late in the first quarter on a 64-yard pass from Carson Palmer to Mike Goodson.
Dolphins linebacker Koa Misi got blocked out of the play and cornerback Nolan Carroll missed a tackle. Sebastian Janikowski made it 10-7 Raiders with a 25-yard field goal in the final minute of the first half. The Raiders drove 81 yards, helped by a 31-yard completion to tight end David Ausberry, but bogged down after having first-and-goal at the Miami 7.
“We haven’t helped our offense out by creating field position for them,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. “We’ve got to do a better job in the other two phases of the game. We’ve got to take the ball away and create some shorter fields for our offense. In this league it’s hard to go 80-plus yards on every drive.”