For 16 seasons, the Dolphins were Dan Marino's team. Now, as an injured Marino watches from the sideline, a defense-dominated Miami squad has turned into Jimmy Johnson's club.
Miami's defense held an opponent without a touchdown for the second straight week, shutting down the NFL's top rushing attack in a 16-9 win over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.
Cecil Collins had a 1-yard scoring run and Olindo Mare kicked field goals of 44, 34 and 21 yards for the Dolphins (6-1), who held Oakland (4-4) to 80 yards on the ground and pressured injured quarterback Rich Gannon into a 7-for-28 afternoon.
Damon Huard, making his second straight start in place of Marino, was 16-of-32 for 221 yards. Marino is out until at least mid-November because of a pinched nerve in his lower neck and watched as the Dolphins carried out Johnson's recipe for success great defense and a ball-control offense.
Miami's defense has not allowed a touchdown in more than 10 quarters, stretching back to the second period of an Oct. 17 game against New England. The only touchdown against the Dolphins during that span was an interception returned for a score by the Philadelphia Eagles last week.
"We seem to be shutting everything down," Miami free safety Brock Marion said. "We're not giving up too many big passes and we're shuttng the run down."
Michael Husted kicked field goals of 49, 47 and 34 yards for the Raiders, who entered the game averaging an NFL-best 137 yards on the ground. Gannon, who played with a soft cast protecting a broken bone in his left, non-throwing wrist, threw for 130 yards and an interception.
"I didn't feel it inhibited him," Raiders coach Jon Gruden said. "He's a good quarterback. A lot of good quarterbacks have struggled against the Miami Dolphin defense."
The teams traded field goals in the first period. The Dolphins marched 51 yards after an interception by Terrell Buckley midway through the second period, leading to Collins' 1-yard scoring run.
After that interception, Gruden met with Gannon who was 1-for-10 to that point on the Oakland bench. When Gannon threw two incompletions and was sacked on the next possession, he was replaced by Bobby Hoying and went to the locker room for examination of his left wrist.
"I don't think I did any more damage," Gannon said. "I'd like to say that was a factor in the way we played, but it wasn't. We just didn't do anything well on offense today."
Gannon returned after halftime, leading the Raiders 64 yards to Husted's 34-yard field goal. The Dolphins responded with their own 64-yard drive, ending with Mare's 34-yard field goal.
Napoleon Kaufman fumbled the ensuing kickoff at the Oakland 28, but Mare's club-record streak of 19 straight field goals ended when he missed a 46-yarder. Husted kicked his 47-yarder late in the third period to pull the Raiders within 13-9.
Mare added his 44-yard field goal with 3:21 left to give Miami a 16-9 lead. The Raiders reached the Dolphins' 38 on their next possession, but the drive stalled with an incompletion and two sacks, and the Dolphins who held the ball for more than 12 minutes of the final period ran out the clock after a punt.
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