Raiders end Dolphins' run with one of their own

November 20, 1990|By Chris Baker | Chris Baker,Los Angeles Times

MIAMI -- Nicknamed the "Miami Pound Machine," the Miami Dolphins had the NFL's stingiest defense coming into last night's game against the Los Angeles Raiders. The Dolphins hadn't allowed a touchdown on the ground in 24 quarters.

But the streak ended as the Raiders pounded the Pound Machine, amassing 177 yards on the ground in a 13-10 victory. The win gave the Raiders (7-3) a one-game lead in the AFC West, while the Dolphins (8-2) fell a game behind Buffalo in the AFC East.

Bo Jackson, who had rushed for 118 yards in his first three games, had his best game of the season, gaining 99 yards on 17 carries.

"Art [Shell] challenged us this week in practice," Jackson said of the Raiders coach. "He had a few choice words to say to us about the way we'd played the past two games. And we sat down and decided to play old Raiders football, and we went out and did just that.

"I think they were surprised that we ran that much, but with Steve Smith, Marcus Allen and myself it's hard to key on one person. We showed them that they could be run on and we did it the old-fashioned way."

Jackson almost scored a touchdown, bursting around the corner for a 26-yard gain, his longest run of the season, before he was collared by safety Jarvis Williams, who dragged Jackson out of bounds by grabbing his facemask. Jackson responded by shoving Williams.

"I was upset," Jackson said. "You just don't do that, period."

Allen rushed for 79 yards in 19 carries, a 4.2 average, and scored one touchdown. Allen's 2-yard touchdown run, which capped an 18-play, 79-yard drive, was the first rushing touchdown the Dolphins had allowed in almost two months.

The Raiders' run-and-run strategy was simple but effective.

Although the Dolphins had allowed an average of only 72.7 yards rushing per game, the Raiders had amassed 104 yards on the ground by halftime as they jumped out to a 10-7 lead.

"Our running game has been a little bit to be desired in previous weeks, and we just took it upon ourselves as a challenge to prove to the nation on 'Monday Night Football' that we do have a good team," Raiders guard Max Montoya said.

The Raiders made a statement at the start of the game as Allen and Jackson ran 10 consecutive times for 46 yards on the first two series before quarterback Jay Schroeder attempted a pass.

Disdaining a field goal on fourth-and-one, the Raiders went for the first down. But with the play clock running down, the Raiders rushed instead of calling timeout and Allen was stopped at the line of scrimmage by free safety Louis Oliver.

"We wanted to challenge ourselves as well as challenge the Dolphins and that's what we did," Allen said. "We know we have the personnel to go out and do the job and we did that tonight."

The Raiders ran the ball on the first two plays of their next series as Allen gained 6 yards on first down before Jackson replaced him. Jackson picked up a yard before Schroeder threw the Raiders' first pass of the game.

Shell, who made no secret that the Raiders planned to run against the Dolphins, challenged his offensive line.

Schroeder credited the offensive line, which didn't allow a sack.

"We wanted to show everyone that we could run the football, and we were just going to give it to Marcus and Bo and let them run," he said.

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