The Oakland Raiders are in desperate need of a win on Sunday Night Football versus the Miami Dolphins. Here are five reasons Oakland will be victorious.
At the start of the year, many though that Sunday Night Football in Week 9 between the Oakland Raiders and the Miami Dolphins would be a signature game of the week. Well nine weeks later, that has clearly proven to not be the case.
Oakland has stumbled mightily in the first half. The Silver and Black went a miserable 3-5 in their first eight games. Oakland went 12-4 during the 2016 NFL season and made the AFC playoffs for the first time in 14 years. The only teams with a worse record than the Raiders in the AFC are the Indianapolis Colts (2-6) and the Cleveland Browns (0-8).
Miami might be 4-3 in its first seven games, but this is statistically the worst 4-3 team of all time. The Dolphins are -60 in point differential. Their offense is putrid and this team was just shut out on Thursday Night Football in Week 8 by the Baltimore Ravens, 40-0. Though still in the playoff mix, the Dolphins feel almost like they are mailing it in. It’s been a strange year in South Beach to say the least.
This is essentially a cross-off game for both clubs. The winner will stay alive in the AFC playoff picture for another week, while the loser will have to get ready for the 2018 NFL Draft. Here are five reasons the Raiders will be the team that gets the win on Sunday Night Football this week.
Oakland has ample opportunities to rush the passer
Getting after the quarterback is what the Raiders do best defensively. It’s easy for them because defensive end Khalil Mack is one of the best in the business at doing so. Having a solid complementary pass rusher in Bruce Irvin playing opposite of Mack only aids the Raiders in their pursuit of the quarterback.
Miami is a mess offensively for several reasons, mostly due to poor roster construction. Though the Dolphins have several good receiving options, it’s hard for quarterback Jay Cutler to find them because he is playing behind a constantly collapsing pocket.
The Dolphins’ best offensive lineman is their center Mike Pouncey. When healthy, he’s an excellent player, but he almost never is. Trying to contain Mack and Irvin on the edge for the Dolphins will be Ja’Wuan James and Laremy Tunsil, respectively.
James is a solid right tackle, but he will have more of his hands full in trying to slow down Mack out on the edge. Tunsil came out of Ole Miss with a ton of promise at left tackle, but hasn’t exactly flourished at the position. He played a bunch of left guard as a rookie for the Dolphins in 2016.