Besides the Raiders’ Darren McFadden and the Dolphins’ Reggie Bush, both teams are void of much offensive talent. And if neither of these guys can muster any momentum early on in Sunday’s matchup, we could end up with some very putrid results by the game’s end.
While Oakland seems to have a bit of fight in them, the outcomes in Week 1 for each of these teams could be indicative of how their entire 2012 seasons unfold, only heightening the significance of being able to come out on top this week.
There are a number of questions that arose after Week 1 for each of these teams.
How will McFadden’s increased workload in the Raiders passing attack affect his health throughout the entire season? And just how long will it take rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill to acclimate himself to the speed of professional football?
Not sure we will get answers to either of these questions this week. But here are bold predictions for each team in Sunday’s matchup:
Sebastian Janikowski Hits 4 Field Goals of 40-plus Yards
Believe it or not, but the Raiders were actually able to move the ball through the air on the Chargers in last week’s 22-14 loss; they just weren’t able to find the end zone too often, which could end up being a recurring theme for this team all season long.
Luckily, they have one of the better and more reliable kickers from long distances in the NFL in Janikowski.
Known for his big-time leg, Janikowski should get plenty of chances to show it off in Sunday’s matchup with the Dolphins.
While Miami did give up 30 points to the Houston Texans, it was more a result of the short field they gave Houston due to costly turnovers. The Dolphins actually fared quite well against their potent offense.
The Raiders won’t be able to punch it into the end zone as efficiently as the Texans, therefore, we'll be left with several long-distance field goal tries for Janikowski.
Dolphins Fail to Score an Offensive Touchdown for Second Straight Week
While the Texans feature a solid defense, and the game was played on the road, the Dolphins were only able to find the end zone on a 72-yard punt return by Marcus Thigpen.
Tannehill looked terrible and Bush could never get anything going on the ground.
The Raiders aren’t exactly the Texans, but they were able to hold the San Diego Chargers to one offensive touchdown and five field goals off the foot of Nate Kaeding.
Though it wasn’t enough to get the win, Oakland’s defense is due some respect in holding Philip Rivers and company to 258 yards of total offense.
The Dolphins certainly don’t possess the offensive firepower that the Chargers do, so points could come few and far between for Miami again on Sunday.