Both the Miami Dolphins and Oakland Raiders had a week one to forget. The Dolphins got steamed rolled by the Houston Texans and the Raiders offense was horrible in their game against the San Diego Chargers. Now these two teams play on Sunday, in what hopes to be a competitive contest.
Preview of the Oakland Raiders
The Oakland Raiders come to Miami with a number of players on the injury report. Jacoby Ford, Ronald Bartell are already ruled out against the Dolphins. Denarius Moore, Rolando McClain, and Taiwan Jones were limited this week in practice.
Darren McFadden was the only bright spot for the Raiders on offense. While McFadden only rushed for just 32 yards on 15 carries against the San Diego Chargers on Monday night, he was a huge factor in the passing game. Carson Palmer targeted McFadden 18 times for 13 catches while having 86 yards receiving.
The Chargers did a wonderful shutting the ground game of the Raiders. The Dolphins have just as good of a front seven as the Chargers, so I expect Kevin Coyle to use some of the similar things the Chargers did.
Carson Palmer played an OK game. While he certainly didn't lose the game for the Raiders, he didn't make enough plays to win it either. Some of that falls at the feet of the Raider receivers. The Chargers did a good job in coverage all night. If Moore returns from injury on Sunday, he will certainly give Palmer another target who can stretch the defense.
The defense of the Raiders looked much improved. Last season, they were one of the worse in the NFL against the run. Secondary is still a question because Phillip Rivers completed 24-for-33 passes for 231 yards. The Dolphins offense went up against one of the best defenses in the NFL week one in the Houston Texans. They should rebound nicely against a team that isn't nearly as good.
Preview of The Miami Dolphins
Some Dolphin fans have already declared quarterback Ryan Tannehill a bust. Ladies and gentlemen, the season just started last week. I felt like Head Coach Joe Philbin and Offensive Coordnator Mike Sherman game-plan last week was very conservative because they were playing the Houston Texans. I fully expect them to open up the playbook a lot more against a weaker defense in the Oakland Raiders. It is time to see this uptempo offense that Philbin practiced all training camp.
Tannehill should have a much better performance Sunday because of Oakland's banged up secondary. The Raiders also didn't get much pressure against the Charger offensive line. The front seven just recorded one sack Monday night.
As McFadden was the only bright spot for the Raiders Monday night, Dolphins running back Reggie Bush was for the Dolphins. Bush had 115 yards of total offense on Sunday. I expect Mike Sherman to get Bush the ball early and often because he helped torched the Raiders last December to their Dolphins 34-14 victory.
The Dolphin defense was horrible last week. Partly because the Houston Texans offense are just that good. The Raiders don't nearly have the weapons on offense as the Texans do. I expect Cameron Wake to have a huge game against a suspect Raider offensive line.
The schedule gets much tougher for the Raiders after this game. They have Pittsburgh next week then a road game at Denver, then a bye week before a trip to Atlanta. I usually don't believe in must win games this early in the season, but if they Raiders lose this game, I expect them to start 0-5. So look for a sense of urgency by the Raiders on Sunday.
Dolphins will play the New York Jets at home after Sunday and then the Arizona Cardinals. Much more winable games than the Raiders coming up.
Weather Forecast: Highs in the mid-80s with a chance of 30 percent of isolated thunderstorms and rain.
The Raiders are coming to Miami on a short week and the game is being played at 10:00 a.m. pacific time. The Raiders have had problems with early eastern starts, so advantage Miami? Remember the Buffalo Bills game week two last season?
Miami 21 Oakland 17