Well week two is now upon us and the Raiders head east to take on rookie quarterback Ryan Tannenhill and the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium. More importantly for the Raiders, it’s a chance to get rid of the disgusting taste that was left in their mouth from their 22-14 loss to the San Diego Chargers in front of the nation on Monday night, where the Raiders special teams embarrassed themselves on three occasions, failing to execute the snap on two punts and had the other one blocked.
Regular long-snapper Jon Condo, who suffered a concussion in the second quarter, missed practice on Thursday and is questionable for Sunday’s game. Coach Dennis Allen said after practice that he will accompany the team to Miami and if he’s ready to go by Sunday, he will play. If not, recently signed rookie Nick Guess will be promoted from the practice squad and take the snaps.
Hopefully all the doom and gloom has worn off from all Raider fans and all the talking heads. As I watched the games vs. the Chargers, I noticed that things didn’t look as bad as it appeared. Three days later, after watching some of the highlights, I feel even strongly about that claim. The offense moved the ball quite well and the defense played great, considering they were put in precarious positions time and time again.
The front-four will have to do much better, though. It will be vital for Richard Seymour, Lamarr Houston, Matt Shaughnessey and Tommy Kelly to get into Tannenhill’s face. He repeatedly had ball batted down against the Texans. Getting pressure to him will be the key. Reggie Bush is also a threat for the Dolphins. Contain him and the Raiders will be in good shape. Tight end Anthony Fasano and Oakland native wide receiver Davone Bess are also threats for the Dolphins. And the Raiders must keep in mind that this is the team that beat them 34-14 last year in Miami, though veteran Matt Moore was under center then.
As for the Raiders offensively, their offense will rely heavily on Darren McFadden. Will the Raiders be able to run the ball against the Dolphins defense? The Dolphins defense did an admirable job of holding the Texans to only 83 yards rushing in week one. The Raiders may receive a boost if starting center Stefan Wisniewski returns from his calf injury he suffered in week one of the preseason. The passing game, which looked good in week one, will receive a boost with the return of wide-out receiver Denarious Moore, a favorite target of quarterback Carson Palmer last year.
It’s a big opportunity for the Raiders to, not only, get back on track, but to shut the mouths of all the people who have been claiming that they’re still the same old Raiders. Let’s hope they’re up to the challenge.
About the Author
Written by Simran Reyatt
Growing up in the suburbs of Los Angeles I became passionate about sports around 1988, watching the showtime Lakers and the miracle Dodgers. I have been hooked ever since! Lakers, Raider and Dodgers are my main passions, but really, I'm a huge sports lover as a whole.