|CB Tory James set the tone for the Raiders 27-0 win over the Dolphins with a 90-yard interception return for a touchdown.|
The 2000 edition of The Oakland Raiders stormed through the regular season with a 12-4 record and led the NFL in rushing with RB Tyrone Wheatley leading the way. Wheatley ran for 1,046 yards and found the end zone nine times. The Raiders won the AFC West and earned a bye for the first round of the playoffs.
The Miami Dolphins won the AFC East with an 11-5 record and defeated the Indianapolis Colts 23-17 in the WIld Card round.
The Raiders and the Dolphins talked prior to the game about their respective running games. The Raiders pass defense made the play of the game and put Oakland on the road to a 27-0 blow-out victory over the Miami Dolphins at Network Associates Coliseum. CB Tory James’ 90-yard interception return for a touchdown early in the first quarter set the tone for the rest of the afternoon.
Miami looked to take control early. After forcing the Raiders into a three-and-out on their first possession, QB Jay Fiedler had the Dolphins on the move at the Raiders 16. But, James left his man and jumped a route, snagged the ball and raced down the sideline for the score prompting the radio voice of the Raiders, Greg Papa, to proclaim, "This place is off the hook!"
|RB Tyrone Wheatley led the 2000 Raiders in rushing and scored a touchdown in the AFC Divisional playoffs vs. Miami.|
The Raiders outgained the Dolphins on the ground 140 yards to 40. Miami RB Lamar Smith, who rushed for 209 yards on 40 carries the week prior against Indianapolis, managed only 4 yards on 8 carries. He also fumbled at a key moment in the game. Wheatley led the way for the Raiders with 57 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown. The Raiders offensive line dominated the much-heralded Dolphins defensive line. “You couldn’t have asked for a better script,” Wheatley said. Left tackle Barry Sims said, “I think running the ball, we did a great job. I feel like we were successful running the ball and picking up third downs...that was a big factor for us.”
Raiders QB Rich Gannon completed 12 of 18 passes for 143 yards and a touchdown and rushed five times for 31 yards.
Coming into the game, the Raiders had the 18th ranked defense in the NFL. The Raiders intercepted Miami quarterback Jay Fiedler three times and forced a fumble. Safety Eric Johnson said, “It was a personal challenge for us to go out there and do that because of the simple fact it was said that they had the best and people were saying that it couldn’t be done.”
“Everybody wanted to go out there and compete,” Johnson added.
Special teams also played a key role in this game.
The Raiders rode Wheatley's legs down the field and the big back capped a 12-play, 54-yard drive with a 2-yard TD run to give the Raiders a 27-0 lead and close out the Dolphins.
Another huge factor for the Raiders was time of possession. Oakland had the ball for 37:24 while Miami only had it for 22:36. RB Terry Kirby, acquired late in the season, was key in the second half in helping the Raiders run out the clock and keep the Miami offense off the field. “I am just happy that the Raiders organization actually felt that I could come in and help this team in any kind of way,” Kirby said, “I know that I’m not going to get many opportunities so I just have to take advantage of it.”
The Raiders advanced to the AFC Championship and a meeting with the Baltimore Ravens.