The Las Vegas Raiders face a tough challenge this Sunday when they travel to Miami to play the Dolphins. The Raiders have been playing better under interim head coach Antonio Pierce, beating both the New York teams. It will take much more to beat Miami this Sunday. The Dolphins have the NFL's No.1 overall offense (435.3), No. 1 passing offense (287.4), tied for second in rushing offense (147.9), and No.1 scoring offense (31.7). Miami has sped everywhere on the field.
Raiders Key No. 1: Tackle
The Raiders' defense must avoid giving up big plays and slow down the Dolphins' rushing attack. This will be tough because the Raiders have a 29th-ranked rush defense. Miami's running back Raheem Mostert leads the NFL with 11 rushing touchdowns, averaging 5.41 yards per carry.
Las Vegas must do an excellent job of not letting Mostert get outside. Maxx Crosby, Malcolm Koonce, and Tyree Wilson must set the edge. The defense must bring Mostert to the ground when they get their hands on him. Missed tackles on Sunday could lead to long touchdown runs. The Raiders must play disciplined defense in the front seven, meaning they must not overcommit and stay in their assigned gaps.
Then there is Tyreek Hill. He leads the NFL in receiving yards with 1,076 and touchdowns with eight. The Raiders must mix things up with coverages against Hill and Jaylen Waddle, who both have tremendous speed. Las Vegas will likely play a lot of zone to cut down on the big plays. Again, since there will be a lot of zone coverages, the Raiders must tackle well in the secondary, or it could be long touchdowns. This is a game where cornerback Tyler Hall could be good with his tackling ability. If they play man coverage, the cornerbacks better get good jams on Hill and Waddle, or they will run right by them.
You negate all the speed by putting pressure on the quarterback. The Raiders defensive line needs to put much pressure on Tua Tagovailoa. It will take a group effort, not just Crosby, so Koonce, Wilson, Bilai Nichols, and Jerry Tillery must step up.
Raiders Key No. 2: Run The Ball
On offense, the Raiders must run the ball well with Josh Jacobs. In the last two weeks, Jacobs has rushed for 214 yards. Running the ball will help keep the Dolphins offense on the sideline. When the Raiders get in the red zone, they must put six on the board. This isn't exactly a team you want to leave points on the board for, unlike the last couple of weeks.
Raiders Key No. 3: O'Connell Must Make Plays
Raiders quarterback Aiden O'Connell has been solid the last two weeks, but this week, he will probably need to use his arm a little more to be successful. The Raiders have Davante Adams, Jakobi Meyers, Hunter Renfrow, and Michael Mayer, so they have the talent to score. Left tackle Kolton Miller will likely be back, so the Raiders' offensive line will need to open holes for Jacobs and give O'Connell time to pass.
With the Dolphins likely gearing up to stop the run, there will be plays to be made in the passing game. It will be a tough task for the Raiders, but anything could happen. We will see what transpires on Sunday.
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