Trick plays help unbeaten Dolphins beat Raiders 28-20
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — The Miami Dolphins had just tricked the Oakland Raiders one final time, and as Albert Wilson and Jakeem Grant sprinted side by side in the clear the final 30 yards toward the end zone for a clinching touchdown, they didn’t wait to celebrate.
While still on the run, the two Miami receivers exchanged a gleeful high-five .
“Just NASCAR on grass,” Grant said.
The Dolphins looked even faster than that.
Wilson threw a 52-yard touchdown pass to put unbeaten Miami ahead midway through the fourth quarter, and then turned a short reception into a 74-yard score that sealed a 28-20 victory Sunday over winless Oakland.
Miami coach Adam Gase used creative play-calling to overcome a wave of injuries and penalties, and a 17-minute deficit in time of possession. The Dolphins scored on a pair of shovel passes by Ryan Tannehill that each traveled less than a yard — one on the flip to Wilson, and an earlier similar pass that Grant caught before turning the corner for an 18-yard score.
“We made some big plays when it mattered,” Tannehill said. “With the explosiveness we have, we just have to keep doing our job and not press.”
Thanks to all the flashy plays, the surprising Dolphins are 3-0 for only the third time since 1998, with an early season showdown at AFC East rival New England next.
“We’re on the right track,” Tannehill said. “Are we there yet? No. But the patterns we’re establishing are going to take us there.”
The Raiders, led by first-year coach Jon Gruden, are 0-3 for the first time since 2014, when they started 0-10. They’ve blown a second-half lead in all three defeats.
Oakland outgained the Dolphins, and Derek Carr threw for 345 yards . But Xavien Howard intercepted him twice deep in Miami territory, and the Dolphins mounted a first-half goal line stand to stay in the game.
“We got hurt on a trick play and didn’t finish some drives in the red zone,” Gruden said. “That’s the story of the game.”
Trickery gave the Dolphins their first lead in the fourth quarter. Tannehill handed off to Frank Gore, who tossed the ball to Wilson on an end-around. Wilson — a quarterback in high school — then lobbed the first pass of his NFL career to a wide-open Grant, who outmaneuvered two Raiders to the end zone.
“I said he’d better catch it, and he’d better not get tackled,” said Wilson, who became the fourth player with a TD pass and TD reception of at least 50 yards in a game. He joined Hall of Famer Jimmy Conzelman (1923), Tom Tracy (1960) and David Patten (2001).
Grant said the Dolphins work on the play every day in practice.
Following Howard’s second interception , Wilson scooted around the end after taking Tannehill’s short pitch and scored the clincher as he high-fived Grant.
“We’ve got guys who can do a lot of different things,” Gase said. “They can throw it, they can run it.”
Dolphins: DE William Hayes (right knee) was hurt when he sacked Carr and missed the second half. ... DE Andre Branch hurt his knee in the second half. ... TE A.J. Derby (foot) also sat out the second half. ... CB Bobby McCain was shaken up in the final minutes. ... LB Chase Allen suffered a foot injury in the first half. ... S Reshad Jones was inactive because of a shoulder injury.
Raiders: T Donald Penn (concussion) and S Karl Joseph (lower leg) sat out the second half. ... WR Seth Roberts was among Oakland’s inactives.
Miami’s Kenny Stills took a big hit when he made a 34-yard touchdown reception in stride in the back of the end zone and slammed into the cushioned retaining wall.
Miami defensive tackle Akeem Spence was ejected in the second quarter for ripping off guard Kelechi Osemele’s helmet. Spence was penalized for unnecessary roughness, which negated a third-down sack by teammate Cameron Wake and led to an Oakland field goal.
Stills and Wilson kneeled during the national anthem, and defensive end Robert Quinn raised his right fist. All three Dolphins have staged similar protests before their team’s other games this season.
Dolphins: Play next Sunday at New England, where they’ve lost nine games in a row.
Raiders: Return home to play Cleveland next Sunday.
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