Dolphins Vs Raiders. At one time this game mattered. At one time these two teams were in the upper echelon of the NFL. Now they are just a shell of the teams they used to be. The Dolphins/Raiders have a storied history, longer than any non-division team. A little did you know, in case you did not know:
The Dolphins first regular-season game was against Oakland, a 23-14 loss.
Don Shula was 6-11 against the Raiders, but since his retirement Miami holds 9-3 edge.
In 1973, the Raiders ended the Dolphins winning streak during the second week of the season. Miami got revenge by knocking the Raiders out of the playoffs on their way to their third straight Super Bowl.
Of course the Raiders got even for that one the next season in the playoffs when Ken Stabler hit Clarence Davis for a TD as he was being hit.
But those days are long gone for these two teams. The Raiders haven't seen the playoffs since 2002, the Dolphins since 2008. The Dolphins have a rookie QB, the Raiders have QB Carson Palmer, not quite the QB he was 5 years ago. Oakland will be missing a key player in CB Ron Bartell.
Unfortunately I did not get to see Miami's opener last week, but looking through stats and play by play, it seems that except for the last 4 minutes of the first half, Miami hung right with the Texans. With 4:06 left in the first half, the score was 3-3 and the Dolphins were driving, in Houston territory before it all unraveled. You can't lose the turnover battle 4-0 to an elite team. You'll lose that game 100 times out of 100. As for the Raiders, they fared no better against San Diego. They were held without a touchdown until the final seconds of the game.
So which Dolphin team will show up today? The one that hung with Houston for the first 26 minutes of the game, or the one that came unraveled with 4 minutes left in the first half? The defense played well, even though Andre Johnson had a big day. But Johnson is one of the best in the business and is going to make plays no matter who the opponent is. Tannehill is going to make mistakes, but has to learn to limit them.
In the end, I think this will be a defensive struggle.
Miami 13 Oakland 10