The Las Vegas Raiders take on the Miami Dolphins in Week 3, and here is why the Fins could be a problem for the Silver and Black.
The Las Vegas Raiders have shocked the world in starting 2-0 this season after defeating two teams they were not expected to in the Ravens and Steelers. But now their toughest test awaits, not necessarily in the Miami Dolphins themselves, but rather “expectations.”
The Raiders have gone from 4-point and 5.5-point underdogs in their first two games to now a 4.5-point favorite according to WynnBet against the Dolphins, who will be trotting out their backup quarterback in Jacoby Brissett with Tua Tagovailoa on the mend. That gives me a lot of pause for a Raiders team that has notoriously played to its competition over the past several years.
In other words, when it comes time to pull of an upset, count on Derek Carr and the Raiders to come through unexpectedly. They’ll beat the Saints on a Week 2 Monday Night Football game, the Chiefs in Kansas City, or even the Ravens to open a season.
However, expect them to win a game, and they’ll lose to the Falcons 43-6 or they’ll almost give the lowly Jets their first win of the season.
Yes, it’s still early on in the year and this is certainly the time when the Raiders seem to shine. They are facing a banged-up Dolphins team at home and Derek Carr is leading the league in passing (YPG in particular).
All things “look” good on paper for this team to move to 3-0 on the season.
Why Miami could be trouble for the Raiders
But this Week 3 contest will be their toughest test of the young season in my estimation. We saw what the Dolphins did to this team last year in the waning seconds of the fourth quarter. How will the Raiders respond now that they have an early opportunity to redeem that debacle?
I do not know.
Here’s what should concern the Raiders. Jacoby Brissett can chuck it, and the weakness of this Raiders defense in recent years has been secondary. Miami has developed a bit of a reputation with Tua leading them as a run-first, low-scoring team. But without Tua, and guys like Fitzy, Jay Cutler, and Ryan Tannehill (Miami’s more recent QBs before Tua) under center, we’ve seen the Fins take a more pass-heavy approach to their offense.
The opportunity for the Fins to throw the ball incessantly is now there and the Raiders could be forced to play comeback ball against a Dolphins defense that still looks pretty good from the crossover of 2020 to now- the Fins have continued their trend from last year of hitting under in their games with back-to-back unders hit this year.
History is also not on the Raiders’ side. Their 1-7 against the Dolphins in their last eight and, even more concerning, post the exact same record at home in their last 8 including a current 4-game losing streak. Carr is also 1-3 against the Dolphins with a 4-4 TD-INT ratio in his career.
So, what will it be on Sunday? Will the Raiders break the mold of losing games they should win or will they once again come up short and lose to a team they are probably better than at this stage?
I, for one, think this will be the biggest battle for the Raiders yet this year. And that’s keeping in mind what they did in Week 1. Very few expect the Dolphins to win this game and the Raiders are one of a handful of teams out there that always seem to stumble once they’re solidly favored in a matchup.
The Las Vegas Raiders are 2-0 heading into a big game against the Miami Dolphins, here are the 3 keys to victory in Week 3.
Sandwiched between the first two weeks of Ravens and Steelers, and then Chargers in Week 4 is this game right here against a backup quarterback where the Raiders are not going to be trying to shock everybody but rather handle business as usual. This is a very dangerous spot for this team and only time will tell if they’ll be able to come through.