MIAMI (CBSSports) — After disastrous season openers, the Oakland Raiders and Miami Dolphins came away echoing the same sentiment: We’ve got to do a better job.
Rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill looks to bounce back from a horrible performance in his Dolphins debut, and the visiting Raiders try to regroup Sunday after their special teams play cost them dearly in their first game.
Following a winless preseason, the Dolphins began 2012 with a 30-10 loss at Houston last Sunday. Tannehill, the eighth overall pick in April’s draft, threw three interceptions – all in less than a six-minute span in the second quarter – with no touchdown passes while getting sacked three times.
Tannehill completed 55.6 percent of his passes (20 for 36) for 219 yards, and the Dolphins rushed for only 79 yards, held the ball for nearly 10 minutes less than the Texans and fumbled three times – losing one.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” rookie coach Joe Philbin said. “Hopefully they accept responsibility, as did I. I didn’t coach the game well enough, nor did they play well enough for us to earn a victory. That’s my responsibility, and their responsibility.”
Philbin knows Tannehill is going to go through some growing pains, and he tried to remain positive Monday even after the rookie posted a quarterback rating of 39.0 – the second-worst by a Dolphin since 2007.
“There were some good throws,” Philbin said. “He did some good things, there’s no question about it. It wasn’t like he got flustered. It wasn’t like you saw a ton of bad decisions. … There are some good pictures of him throwing the ball accurately and moving nicely in the pocket.”
Two of Tannehill’s interceptions came on batted balls at the line of scrimmage, and he had four total passes knocked down.
“Anytime you turn the ball over, you can’t be happy with yourself, regardless of how they happened,” Tannehill said. “It’s not good. You can’t turn the ball over. You put your defense in a bad situation and ultimately it led to a lot of points for them.”
Oakland’s play on special teams led to plenty of points for San Diego in Monday night’s 22-14 home loss.
After Pro Bowl long snapper Jon Condo suffered a concussion, his duties were passed on to Travis Goethel, a backup linebacker who mostly plays on special teams and hadn’t snapped a ball in a game since high school.
The lack of experience showed as Goethel botched two snaps to punter Shane Lechler, who failed each time to get a kick off. Lechler also had a punt blocked, and those errors led to three field goals for the Chargers.
“That falls on me,” rookie coach Dennis Allen said. “I’ve got to do a better job of making sure we’re prepared for all those different situations.”
Oakland, which signed long snapper Nick Guess on Wednesday in case Condo can’t play, seemed to be well prepared in other facets of the game. The Raiders outgained the Chargers 321-258 and the defense held them to one TD in five trips to the red zone.
On the offensive side of the ball, Carson Palmer completed 32 of 46 passes for 297 yards and a touchdown while not throwing an INT. Running back Darren McFadden was held to 32 yards on 15 carries, but he caught a career-high 13 passes for 86 yards.
Oakland is expected to have second-year receiver Denarius Moore available after he sat out Monday due to lingering effects from a hamstring injury suffered in June. Moore, who led the Raiders last season with five touchdown receptions and was second with 618 yards, practiced Wednesday.
“He looked like Denarius of old,” Palmer said. “He made a couple phenomenal catches. His burst was there last week, it’s just I think more conditioning, really getting in practice. There’s a totally different type of shape.”
Fellow receiver Jacoby Ford, though, is out after having surgery Tuesday on his left foot, which he injured Aug. 17 in an exhibition game.
Miami has won three straight and six of seven in this series. The Dolphins jumped out to a 34-0 lead at home en route to a 34-14 victory in the last matchup Dec. 4.
“Every year is a new year so I don’t really pay a whole lot of attention to that,” Allen said. “… We have 15 more (games) that we’re guaranteed and we’re going to try to get better every week.”
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