MIAMI (Reuters) - Reggie Bush ran in two touchdowns and rushed for 172 yards as the Miami Dolphins brushed away pre-season pessimism with a 35-13 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.
After an off-season where already low expectations plummeted further when the Dolphins failed to make the major upgrades to their roster, Miami desperately needed a positive start.
Seeking to change the mood, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross personally greeted fans at the stadium entrance offering them a free cap but it was the introductions on the field that did most to raise spirits.
With Miami’s first possession of the day, rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill led a 12 play, 80 yard touchdown drive which culminated in him running in the touchdown himself with a confident and well executed bootleg to the left.
The Raiders responded with running back Mike Goodson collecting a short pass from quarterback Carson Palmer and sprinting into the end zone for a 64 yard touchdown.
But it was two touchdowns in the third quarter from Bush that turned the game decisively towards the Dolphins.
Bush broke four tackles as he aggressively powered into the end zone for a 23 yard score that he celebrated by hurling the ball into the crowd as Miami went 14-10 up.
Then the Californian powered down the left sideline, leaving the Raiders defense floundering, as he rushed 65 yards to give Miami a firm grip on the game.
In the fourth quarter, Tannehill, who threw for 200 yards and without an interception, then produced his first touchdown pass of his career, finding Anthony Fasano with a 14 yard pass.
Running back Lamar Miller then crowned a productive day in support of Bush with a 15 yard touchdown rush to put the result beyond doubt.
Editing by Julian Linden