There are many similarities shared between the Oakland Raiders and Miami Dolphins. Both share the same 5-5 records. Both have serious concerns at quarterback. But most important of all is that both cannot afford a loss on Sunday.
What makes the situation different between these two is that the Raiders are still chasing a division title. Whereas Miami is trying to keep any wildcard hopes alive for another week.
Coming off a demoralizing loss in Pittsburgh hasn’t put a damper on these Raiders. That is the biggest difference seen under Tom Cable. Hardly anything seems to disturb the consistent demeanor of Cable and his team will need that calming influence. From here out the road to redemption only gets more difficult.
It is still unclear just who will be calling signals for the Dolphins on Sunday. Which is only fitting as it is never clear who will be under center for the Raiders. The roller coaster ride known as Jason Campbell continues to take dramatic turns. During the Raiders’ three game win streak JC wasn’t great but made plays. Last Sunday, Campbell was back to the JaMarcus Russell form that first surfaced in San Francisco.
In order for Oakland to get a W they’re going to have to establish the run. Make no mistake; Darren McFadden is everything to this offense. Pittsburgh proved that neutralizing Run DMC is the key to shutting down the Oakland offensive attack.
By contrast, the Dolphins are a team that hasn’t found its identity in 2010. Without a consistent ground game and a passing attack that could be minus Brandon Marshall, the Raiders should expect the unexpected.
These are the types of games the Raiders must win. There are no two ways about it. With the Chargers making their customary second half push and the Chiefs still holding onto first, the AFC West is just getting warmed up. A final push for the playoffs begins at the kickoff on Sunday but could end if the clock expires with Raiders on the wrong end of the scoreboard.
Therefore, there is only one thing for Coach Cable to do.
Just win, baby!