The Oakland Raiders travel to the east coast once again, South Beach to be exact, to take on the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
Sunday’s ball game will be the second time this year the Raiders will be trying to avenge a home loss to a team from the previous season. Earlier this year, Oakland was able to get some revenge against the Houston Texans, who beat them in the “Black Hole” last year. Now it’s time to see if they can do the same against Miami.
The Raiders come into their weekend matchup against the Dolphins a little banged up at the wide receiver position, and more importantly are without the services of running back, Darren McFadden once again. The good thing about that, is that the Raiders have shown a lot of resiliency by winning three straight games with basically the same issues. With the Broncos on their heels, they have to take care of teams like this, especially the way their schedule shapes up down the back stretch.
On offense, the Raiders must establish a balanced attack, which means using the run to set-up the pass. Raiders’ running back, Michale Bush, faces another stingy run defense. It will be pivotal to get him going in the right direction early, so the Raiders can control the time of possession, which is always a big adavanatge when you’re on the road. Oakland quarterback, Carson Palmer, must continue to be efficient with his accuracy, and timely big plays down the field. When the Raiders establish a balance on the offensive end, its normally a good indicator that a lot of points will be put on the board.
On defense, the Raiders will have to play through the “media created and hyped” distraction of the arrest of middle linebacker, Rolando McClain (okay maybe he played a key role in the incident as well). Obviously, you hope McClain is able to put aside a tough week, in which he got into some legal trouble, while attending the funeral of his grandfather. No need to go into details, but you hope he’s focused and ready to go come Sunday afternoon.
The Dolphins offense, although they do have some game-breakers in Brandon Marshall and Reggie Bush, are not that explosive, and at times can look pretty anemic. But the Dolphins are a scrappy ball club, and have won three out of their last four contests. The Raiders must disrupt their ground game, and fluster Dolphins’ quarterback Matt Moore, to keep these feisty bunch of dolphins at sea level.
This game can go two ways for the “Silver and Black.” They can go out their, take care of business and try to increase their division lead, or they can let this matchup turn in into a “trap game.” Division winners and legitimate playoff contenders win these games. With the Raiders controlling their own destiny for the first time in nine years, it will be interesting t0 see whether or not the Raiders will remain atop the AFC West at the end of the day by their lonesome.
About the Author
Written by Arthur Kai