- Where: Hard Rock Stadium – Miami Gardens, FL
- When: Sun September 23rd, 2018 @1:00 PM ET CBS
- Point Spread: Miami Dolphins -3.5
- TV: CBS
The Oakland Raiders ( 0 – 2) come to Miami ( 2 – 0) struggling out of the gate under new head coach John Gruden and it just might take a season or two to get the Raiders where Gruden envisions them being. The one thing that really boggles many of our minds is how in the hell did they let Khalil Mack get away? For now it looks like the Bears made an extremely wise move plucking Mack away from the Raiders.
Despite starting 0-2 this game is not out of reach for the Raiders to take because the Dolphins (2-0) still looks beatable as the offense is still a work in progress and Ryan Tannehill’s pedestrian numbers have me extremely concerned because after waiting 7 years I just expect more from Ryan and am starting to see what the other half of the Dolphins fan base have been screaming about these past 7 seasons…..Ryan is not that great.
The Good news is Miami has played well as a unit and particularly on the Defensive side of the ball. Miami’s Defense has played better than I had anticipated so far but I have questions about the sustainability of the team because both teams that Miami have beaten are suspect as to how good they are.
Even a win tomorrow (I expect Miami to win) will not silence the doubters more than a loss will hurt as Miami will be questioned and the doubters/haters will be in full force should Miami lose tomorrow, so stay tuned because we are hours away from a no win situation for Miami short of a complete blowout!
On to the matchups:
The matchup: on Offense
Miami enters the game in first place in the AFC East 2-0, averaging 23.5 points per game which puts them in a 4 way tie for 13th place, Miami rank 28th in passing (344 yards passing) averaging 172 yards passing per game, Miami ranks 6th in rushing with 255 total yards rushing averaging 127.5 rushing yards per game at 4.3 yards per carry.
The Raiders enters the game in last place in the AFC West 0-2, averaging 16 points per game which puts them in 28th place in the NFL so far this year, they are ranked 8th in passing with (581 yards passing) averaging 290.5 yards passing per game, they are 21st in rushing with 187 total yards rushing averaging 93.5 rushing yards per game at 3.7 yards per carry.
The matchup: on Defense
Miami enters the game 4th in points given up per game with an average of 16 PPG, they rank 22nd against the pass giving up on average 270 YPPG, they rank 8th in the league against the run giving up 79 yards per game and they are ranked 18th in total yards given up on average per game of 349 yards per game.
The Raiders enters the game 24th in points given up per game with an average of 26.5 PPG, they rank 10th against the pass giving up on average 221 YPPG, they rank 30th in the league against the run giving up 154 yards per game and they are ranked 22nd in total yards given up per game with an average of 375 yards per game.
For The Dolphins:
The Dolphins should not look past this dangerous Raiders team as they just might be stumbling out the gate and a team like Miami that is still trying to find their own identity have no time to be taking any team lightly. ( See Lobster Trap Game)
Ryan Tannehill needs to play better there is not doubt about it, he owns Miami’s 28th ranked passing attack and that is just not good enough for a supposed to be franchise QB! The good thing is Miami’s rushing attack and that is a reflection of three things going well… Play Calling, The Offensive Line and our running backs. That also happens to be the apparent weakness of the Raiders stopping the run. So Miami should test that and have a heavy run game plan to see if the Raiders can stop them.
It also would be nice if Tannehill can step up his passing game and do a much better job of protecting the ball. Play calling has been a pleasant surprise and the RPO/ RO game by Ryan has been his best attribute to date!
I would love to see Miami take advantage of the speed we have on offense and stretch the field more by throwing more deep balls and getting Grant in space as well as Albert and Stills if we can get this QB on track with the passing game Miami could be a very difficult team to deal with for anybody!
For The Raiders:
The Raiders are in the early stages of the John Gruden era I was never a big Chucky fan because I have always felt he was overrated and might be a bit out dated and only time will tell for the latter.
The best weapon they have is their passing attack and despite his play not being as good as they would like David Carr is still proving to be better behind center that Ryan Tannehill and Miami’s secondary will be tested better than they have in the previous two games. If the game rest on the QB’s arm than the advantage is clearly in the Raider favor. Look for the Raiders to still try and keep a balanced attack and run the ball early and see if they can have better success against this upstart Dolphins defense.
Homers Pick: Miami 28, Raiders 17