“He was awesome, it was unbelievable,” receiver Brian Hartline said. “People will downplay the way he played. But the way he commanded the offense, the way he wanted certain looks and got them, it was awesome. I’ve been waiting on that for a while.”
The Dolphins defense had dubious moments defending the pass because there were too many open receivers early in the game to keep a 7-0 lead safe. But the secondary tightened even as starting cornerback Richard Marshall left the game with a back injury in the third quarter.
And the run defense did excellent work the entire game, limiting Oakland to 1.6 yards per rush.
“We played a very good run [defense] today,” Oakland coach Dennis Allen said.
The Raiders also played a team that corrected the mistakes of last week. Where there were four batted passes that led to two interceptions last week, coaches made sure there was no tipped passes this game. Where the Dolphins didn’t find Hartline until late in last week’s game, this week he was Tannehill’s favorite target with 12 passes thrown his way, nine of those completions for 111 yards.
The Dolphins also got things right in giving their fans what they wanted.
Fight song returns
Fans have complained for years that the old banjo-strumming fight song needed to return and the Fins Up stuff needed to disappear. That happened Sunday.
Fans have cringed at the idea that Miami has an orange carpet for celebrity minority owners. That was gone Sunday.
But mostly fans have complained that their team has not played well enough to win in their house. And that’s been the chief reason they haven’t bought tickets and haven’t bought in.
That might change after Sunday.
“We said that the song would be played after every touchdown when we’re winning and we were winning after every touchdown today,” Ross said. “I want to be hearing it all the time.
“Winning solves any problem you might have. Of course this is the best way to sell tickets. It’s great for everybody.”