Week 2: Oakland Raiders At Miami Dolphins
- QuarterbackCarson Palmer is an enigma at this point in his career. While the Raiders dropped a 22-14 decision to the Chargers in Week One, he completed 32-of-46 passes and did not throw a pick. Palmer struggles to put the ball into the end zone.The Dolphins are not likely to win a lot of games this season. Rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill is not in the same category with Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III and he is coming off a 3-interception performance against the Texans. He will struggle to read coverages properly.
- OffenseThe Raiders should have a solid running game this season with Darren McFadden. He has explosive outside speed and can also break tackles. Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey has world-class speed but does not always get open.The Dolphins are not going to give Tannehill much help with their receivers. The Miami WR group will likely rank with Cleveland’s as the worst in the league. If running back Reggie Bush is not capable of two or three explosive plays per game, this unit will struggle.
- DefenseThe Raiders still depend on defensive tackle Richard Seymour to clog up the middle in the running game and put pressure on the quarterback. Rookie outside linebacker Miles Burris had nine tackles in Week One against the Chargers and looked solid.The Dolphins figure to be a much stronger team on defense than they are on offense. They held Arian Foster to 79 rushing yards. Linebackers Koa Misi (10 tackles) and Karlos Dansby (9 tackles) are solid against the run and quite physical.
- Special TeamsThe special teams blew up against the Chargers when long snapper Jim Condo suffered an injury and his backup rolled two snaps back to punter Shane Lechler. San Diego tackled Lechler twice and also blocked one of his punts. This area must get cleaned up immediately.The Dolphins know that punter Brandon Fields has a booming leg and can bail the team out of trouble consistently. Return specialist Marcus Thigpen has the speed and moves to be a consistent threat
Special teams did in the Raiders and if they don’t find a long snapper on a short week, it will give Miami an opportunity for a victory. The Dolphins won’t have many chances this season, so look for a maximum effort. Losing to the undermanned Dolphins would be an awful start for first-year head coach Dennis Allen.