Oakland Raiders (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) vs. Miami Dolphins (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS)
NFL Week 2
Date/Time: Sunday, September 16/1 PM EST
Where:Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens; Florida
by Vesper Abadon, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Oak -2.5/MIA +2.5
Neither the Miami Dolphins nor Oakland Raiders
impressed in Week 1; in fact, it was the complete opposite as their respective
performances were downright embarrassing. The former surprised a lot of
people by taking an early 3-0 lead over the Houston Texans while rookie
quarterback Ryan Tannehill looked unexpectedly solid. The Dolphins held
that lead until the end of the second quarter, and thats when things went
downhill fast. The Texans tied things up with a field goal in the second
quarter and then ran up 21 points in the last two minutes of the first half,
all of which came off Miami turnovers. The Fins returned a punt for a touchdown
in the third quarter, but other than that their offense was stagnantthey
On the same note, the Raiders didnt fare much better in their Monday night affair against the San Diego Chargers. Their offense was abysmal as Carson Palmer was without Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford; as such, the quarterback rarely looked downfield and allowed the Chargers defense to stack the line. That held Darren McFadden to just 32 yards in 15 carries, though he did compliment that with 13 receptions for 86 yards.
Making things worse was the Raiders special teams as long snapper Jon Condo left the game with a head injury. Given most teams dont carry a back-up long snapper, the Raiders turned to linebacker Travis Goethel to take over the role. The 25-year-old Goethel hadnt long snapped since high school, and he was in for a long night. Two of his snaps were fired into the ground and allowed the Chargers to take over with excellent field position, while a third on-target snap resulted in a blocked punt. You cant blame Goethel for the predicament, but you have to feel for the guy as he took the brunt of it on national television, no doubt resulting in the most embarrassing night of his life.
Rest assured that both teams will learn from their mistakes headed into Week 2, but Oakland will have an easier time readjusting than Miami. You see, Oaklands problems are easier to correct on a short-term basis. First, theyll solve their long-snapper problem, which will erase their special team woes and square them up in the field-position game. Second, their offensive, while it may still struggle, will spread the field a bit more, especially if Palmer and McFadden can get back on track.
In regards to Miamis biggest problemtheir offensetheyve got a lot of work to do. While Tannehill looked good in the first quarter against the Texans, he imploded in the second by throwing three interceptions, two of which came off tipped passes on the line. Throw in a Daniel Thomas fumble, and it was four possessions and four turnovers for the Finsthree of which came on three straight plays. It was hard to watch, and there are few signs that itll get better.
Simply put, the Dolphins have one of the worst offenses in the league. Can you even name their top receiver? Its a tossup between Brian Hartline and Devone Bess. The former caught three passes in Week 1 for 50 yards, while the latter, known primarily as a slot receiver, had five for 45 yards. Needless to say, Tannehill, who went 20/36 for 219 yards and three interceptions in his debut, doesnt have much to work with through the air.
On the ground, Miami must rely on Reggie Bush, who only had 14 rush attempts for 69 yards against the Texans staunch defense. The Fins should have an easier time against the Raiders defense, which ranked 29th in the NFL last year, but theyre still going to struggle. Tannehill has talent, but itll take time and experience to bring it to competitive fruition. The Dolphins defense may keep them in the game, but without some help from the offense, itll all be for naught.
Vesper Abadons Pick to Cover the Point Spread: This is definitely an undercard game in Week 2, and I dont expect it to generate much excitement. The Raiders really struggled at home vs. a mediocre Chargers defense. Now they’re supposed to go on the road and win? Miami held close with Texas before the Texans overpowered them (which they should have) in the second half. Yes, the Dolphins are a mediocre team, but their better than people think. They win Sunday straight up as a 2.5 dog.
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