Miami Dolphins fans will tell you that beating the Raiders should be a pretty easy task. Las Vegas isn't a major threat but they have won two games in a row and they have something they haven't had since Josh McDaniels was named their head coach. They have "belief".
The Raiders narrowly beat the Jets on Sunday night and the week before they beat the Giants pretty convincingly. So what makes this team so dangerous? The Giants are no big deal and the Jets, well, they have a great defense but a horrible offense.
After the firing of Josh McDaniels, the Raiders are playing without anything to lose. They are having fun and a weight has been lifted off their shoulders. Dolphins fans know these feelings all too well.
After the firing of Joe Philbin, Dan Campbell (standing ovation for what he is doing in Detroit) came in and breathed new life into a rather dull and mundane team. The Dolphins came out of their bye week with a new HC and Campbell led the Dolphins to a victory in Tennessee and then blew out the Texans at home the following weekend.
Miami would only win three more games the rest of the year but as Dolphins fans learned, a team with nothing to lose with a new sense of energy can be dangerous. The Raiders are that team for Miami this year.
The Dolphins are clearly the better team statistically and their roster is clearly better as well but the Raiders are playing for pride and they tend to play Miami quite well.
For Miami, it is a simple task. Run the ball and control the flow and tempo of the game. Force the Raiders to play defense differently by making them stop the run and thus giving Miami's passing game more options with coverage.
Offensively, the Dolphins need to force Aidan O'Connell into errors. The young inexperienced QB will have a tough day against the Dolphins defensive front and offensively, the best Las Vegas has is DeVante Adams.
Miami should be able to contain Adams and force O'Connell to look elsewhere. Against the Jets, the Raiders managed only one touchdown, a 7-yard pass to TE Michael Mayer.
Offensively, the Dolphins are head and shoulders above the Jets and they should be able to move the ball easier against the Raiders than they did the Chiefs.
Interim head coach Antonio Pierce is making a case to retain the job permanently and that too makes the Raiders dangerous as the players like playing for him.
This week could be an easy trap game for the Dolphins who find themselves in control of their own division. With the Jets on the horizon, Miami isn't likely going to be tempted to look over the Raiders and that is a good thing. Still, teams with nothing to lose and everything to gain are teams that put up good fights.