Oakland was pegged by many scouts and analysts in the offseason to make a playoff run and possibly win the AFC West, but was shocked on national TV in the season opener.
Miami is hoping that their rookie QB can show some signs of development, as he completely failed to impress in any facet of his game in his debut.
Keep reading to find out more about this exciting matchup, what’s at stake, who to watch out for and a prediction on the final score.
Where: Sun Life Stadium, Miami, Fla.
When: Sunday, Sept. 16 at 1:00 p.m. ET
Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket
Listen: NFL Audio Pass
Betting Line: Raiders +2.5, Over/Under 37.5
What’s At Stake?
These teams started the 2012 campaign off with a disappointing loss. If either squad wants to even think about making the playoffs this season, a win on Sunday is absolutely crucial.
While it’s still early, neither the Raiders nor Dolphins have the luxury to stumble out of the gate. Both possess young rosters in competitive divisions, meaning a second defeat would be devastating to their postseason chances.
There is no doubt that whoever walks out victorious will have a much more positive outlook when they are sitting at 1-1, rather than 0-2.
Raiders Injury Report (via ESPN)
WR Jacoby Ford—OUT—Foot
CB Ron Bartell—OUT—Shoulder
Dolphins Injury Report (via ESPN)
RB Daniel Thomas—Unknown—Concussion
Raiders Player to Watch: Carson Palmer
The San Diego Chargers took away the deep ball in their Monday Night Football matchup, limiting the Raiders QB to numerous checkdown passes and intermediate-range throws.
While he attempted 46 passes, almost half of Palmer’s 32 completions went to Darren McFadden (13 receptions) for just a handful of yards at a time.
Considering the perceived talent at the WR position in Oakland (Darrius Heyward-Bey, Juron Criner, Rod Streater, Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore), it’s completely unacceptable for the Black and Silver QB not to find them more often. With Ford set to miss time due to foot surgery, hopefully Oakland can get Moore back in the lineup for this matchup.
If Palmer doesn’t get things going against the ‘Phins, it’s going to be another long year for Raiders fans.
Dolphins Player to Watch: Ryan Tannehill
Tannehill proved what many thought he would against the Houston Texans—he’s not ready to be a starter in this league.
The former Texas A&M star completed just 20 of his 36 pass attempts for 219 yards and zero touchdowns. He threw three interceptions and fumbled once, completing an awful outing and showing he wasn’t nearly ready for this gig.
He’s got to make a significant leap forward against the Raiders—whose defense played San Diego pretty tough despite constantly being put in difficult situations.
Should Tannehill struggle as much—or possibly more—against Oakland, he’s definitely going to need to take a seat on the bench and learn from a more experienced signal-caller.
Prediction: Raiders 21 – Dolphins 12
Oakland is simply the better team here and will win despite traveling thousands of miles from northern California to southern Florida for this contest.
They were exposed on MNF, but have too much pride not to get to practice this week and work on their most glaring issues in time for kickoff on Sunday.
Anytime the Dolphins employ Tannehill under center this season, they will be hard pressed to score. It’s possibly that Dan Carpenter—the ‘Phins PK—notches all of the points for Miami in this contest.
This may be the turning point for Raider Nation and it’s certainly a game that they need coming off a brutal divisional loss.