How do the Miami Dolphins get a much needed win vs the Raiders?
The Miami Dolphins find themselves at 9-5 and in the drivers’ seat to control the seventh and final playoff spot in the AFC. After a second-half resurgence against the New England Patriots, Miami travels to Las Vegas to face the Raiders. Once 6-3, the Raiders have fallen to 7-7 and face elimination tonight. The Dolphins need this win to stay ahead of the Baltimore Ravens in the playoff picture. What must they do to get a crucial December win?
Pressure Derek Carr
The last time the Raiders took the field was a Thursday night last week. Quarterback Derek Carr left the game with a groin injury and did not return. Marcus Mariota finished the game in an overtime loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. Earlier in the week, Carr was removed from the injury report, insinuating that he would play tonight. Even if healthy enough to play, it is likely that his mobility will be compromised. With that being said, the Dolphins should be looking to get as much pressure as possibly they can throughout the game. Do not be surprised to see them use more of the cover zero blitz package that has worked so well for them this season. With edge rusher, Shaq Lawson out tonight, expect to see more of Andrew Van-Ginkel against an excellent Raiders offensive line.
Attack weaknesses on defense.
The Raiders defense really struggles stopping anything, but especially the run game. The Dolphins were finally able to find a run game against the Patriots on Sunday, posting a season-high 250 yards on the ground. Salvon Ahmed and Matt Breida carved up New England all game long, making life easy for rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who also chipped in with two rushing touchdowns of his own. The Dolphins should be looking to run the ball many times again, as the receivers that are coming back from injury may still not be 100% healthy.
It’s no secret that the Dolphins offense is struggling. Three rookies on the offensive line, a rookie quarterback, and banged up weapons will do that to you. Offensive coordinator Chan Gailey has called a few very nice games recently after drawing some scrutiny from fans and media in November and early December. With the team struggling to move the ball in a traditional sense, the quick offense may be the way to go tonight. It has worked to provide a spark when used earlier this year against the Broncos and Bengals. Tua Tagovailoa has looked impressive in the hurry up and Gailey should be looking to use it tonight.