It blew up on them like a frozen turkey in a deep fryer. The Raiders got demolished 33-17, and Gradkowski got re-injured in garbage time.
It was the Dolphins' quarterbacking that stole the show. Unsung backup Chad Henne went bananas with 307 yards, and it didn't hurt Henne's cause that Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown combined for 180 yards rushing.
The day started well enough for the Raiders, as backup rookie Jacoby Ford ran the opening kickoff back 101 yards for an immediate 7-0 Raiders lead.
But the Dolphins made taking the lead look easy, going up 10-7 on a 29-yard touchdown pass from Chad Henne to Dolphins' receiver Patrick Cobbs.
Undaunted, Raiders rookie Rolando McClain intercepted Henne on the Dolphins' next possession. And again it was the first-year likes of Jacoby Ford who put the Raiders back on top 14-10 with a 14-yard touchdown catch.
The Raiders would cling to a 14-13 halftime lead, but the second half belonged to Miami.
Henne heaved a 57-yard touchdown pass to Dolphins rookie Marlon Moore on the Dolphins' first drive of the second half, and the Dolphins were immediately back in the lead.
Unable to score another touchdown for the rest of the day, the Raiders could only fall further behind. Their only score of the second half was a 30-yard field goal from Sebastian Janikowski.
Ricky Williams iced the game with a 45-yard touchdown run late in the fourth.
It was the most miserable performance ever for the Raiders' one-two punch at running back, Darren McFadden and Michael Bush. While Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown had 180 yards rushing combined, McFadden and Bush had three.
Yes, three net yards rushing between the two them. And that kind of got canceled out by Marcel Reese minus-two yards on the afternoon.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who thinks you have to seriously entertain the possibility that Tom Cable got himself fired with this Bruce Gradkowski stunt today.