The honeymoon is over for Jon Gruden in Oakland. After trading away Khalil Mack and getting off to a 0-2 start in his second stint with the Raiders, Gruden went from savior to frustration brewing in Oakland. In Week 1 they lost to what might be the best team in the NFL. The Raiders were in it against the Rams before things unraveled late. If Derek Carr is average in that game, the Raiders may pull the upset. However, Carr made a few head scratching plays that set them behind.
Marcus Peters made a beautiful play to read his eyes for a pick-6 to seal the deal for the Rams, but well before that, Carr was throwing up balls like he hit the wrong button on his Xbox controller. Right after that, the Raiders had to play the Raiders’ defense, and now they travel across the country to Miami for a meeting with the 2-0 Dolphins.
The most frustrating part is that the Raiders are 1-1 at the least with Khalil Mack on the defense. Goff had all day to throw and I don’t think that’s the case with Mack there. Gruden said his team has to generate a pass rush, well, it made sense trading Mack then.
The Dolphins have been looking good at 2-0 under Ryan Tannehill. They have wins over the Titans and Jets in the first two weeks. That’s not going to catch the attention of many people, but a 3-0 start might start getting the attention of other teams. Is it enough to unseat the Patriots in the AFC East? Unlikely, even if the Dolphins move to 3-0 and the Pats lose to the Lions on Sunday night. In any event, it’s a good sign that Ryan Tannehill is playing solid football.
They might be able to catch a wildcard if he can stay on the field this season. He’s not an elite QB by any stretch of the imagination, but if he hits his 2014-15 numbers of 27 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, that’s likely going to get them in the playoffs. It’s only September 23rd, but the Raiders are desperately looking for Gruden’s first win this season. Head below for our free Raiders vs. Dolphins pick.
Oakland Raiders vs. Miami Dolphins NFL Week 3 Betting Odds:
vs. Dolphins -3(-110)
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Raiders vs. Dolphins Pick:
The Raiders have to ignore everything that has happened to this point in the season. As bad as people have made it out to be, it hasn’t been that bad for the Raiders. Carr doesn’t make stupid mistakes against the Rams and they may have had an opportunity at the end to take the lead. In fact, the Raiders believe it or not, outgained the Rams in that game. Their defense makes one more play against the Broncos and they are going to win that game. So, yeah, a 0-2 record doesn’t look very good, but I think people had unrealistic expectations for Gruden.
The way some Raiders’ fans were acting when they hired the guy you would have thought they were going to go 14-2. If only it were that easy. Carr was much better with the ball against the Broncos’ defense. He threw for 288 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions. The key there is no interceptions against a good Denver defense. Marshawn Lynch rushed for a touchdown with 65 yards on 18 carries. Keenum was the one making mistakes, as he threw a pick with no touchdowns last Sunday. Philip Lindsay was too much to handle, though, as he rushed for 107 yards on 14 carries.
It appears that Gruden and Carr got together and figured things out after the Week 1 debacle. The Raiders didn’t win last week, but that was the one positive to take from it. They’ve given up 375 yards per game through the first two weeks. Given they opened against one of the best offenses in the NFL and then Keenum was frustrated last week, it hasn’t been that bad. They’ve been better against the pass with 221 yards allowed per game. Put Mack on that defense and the Raiders would have been in serious business. Sorry to Raiders’ fans for reminding you.
The Dolphins allowed 349 yards per game against the Titans and Jets for 19th in the league. The Titans don’t have an offensive line, they rank as one of the worst. And then they had the pleasure of taking on rookie Sam Darnold and the Jets, who were coming off a short weak and a big win on Monday Night Football. The Dolphins may be 2-0, but that could just be a reflection of their competition so far.
It was a lot to ask the Jets in what was a hangover week for them. The Raiders haven’t been great, but their offense is going to be the best the Dolphins have played thus far. I don’t care for the Raiders travelling from California to Florida. Part of my reasoning on the Ravens this week is the Broncos’ travel schedule. However, Gruden is going to have them prepared to go in Miami after a winless start, and this isn’t the Ravens who have had ten days to prepare. The Raiders won a 27-24 decision here last November. Carr passed for 300 yards and Lynch had 2 scores rushing. Look for those two to lead the way in what should be another close 3-point game at Hard Rock Stadium.