The Las Vegas Raiders had many chances to pull off the upset against the Miami Dolphins but lost 20-13. Dolphins cornerback Jalen Ramsey intercepted an Aiden O'Connell pass in the end zone to close the game for Miami.
The Raiders' defense played outstandingly, holding the NFL's best offense to 20 points. Las Vegas did a good job slowing down the Dolphins' rushing attack, but Tyreek Hill caught ten balls for 146 yards.
The Raiders' defense forced three turnovers, but the offense only scored six points off those turnovers. Their defense did a good job limiting big plays and tackling well; it is a game the defense can build on going forward.
The Raiders' offense struggled to run the ball. Jacobs had 39 yards on 14 carries. Not being able to run the ball hurt the Raiders offense because it put more pressure on O'Connell to make plays, and he struggled to do so.
O'Connell finished the game with three interceptions, throwing for 271 yards. He did throw a touchdown pass to Davante Adams. The quarterback started the game well but played like a rookie when asked to do much more.
The Raiders' play calling didn't help either; early in the game, Bo Haredegree called too many bubble screens that did not work and put the Raiders behind the sticks a lot. Toward the end of the first half, the Raider's offense was not aggressive when they had the ball on the 40-yard line with three teams with just over a minute to play; they just ran the clock down and kicked the field goal. You'd like to see the Raiders be aggressive in that spot, rookie quarterback or not.
When asked about the decision, the Raiders' interim head coach said they wanted to protect the quarterback.
O'Connell is a rookie, so you must figure there will be struggles like this.
"I'm learning how hard the NFL is and how hard it is to win," O'Connell said in a press conference. "Kudos to our defense. They played so well in the second half. Kept us in the game. It comes down to our offense. Be better all around, and it starts with me."
Hopefully, O'Connell will learn from this and play better next week. The Raiders' next three games are at home against the Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings, and Los Angeles Chargers. The Raiders will need better play-calling and quarterback play to win those games.
If the Raiders can get at least two of three, they will be right in the mix for playoffs.
(Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)