The Dolphins open the home part of their schedule with a week two tilt vs. the Oakland Raiders. Rookie QB Ryan Tannehill took a few lumps against the Texans but hopes to show the hometown fans a glimpse of the future as Miami looks to beat the Raiders for the fourth straight time in the last five years.
MDD Staff Writer: Chad Pullen
The Raiders had their fair share of bumps and bruises in their opener on Monday night against the San Diego Chargers the most important one being their long snapper. The second half of the game was a comedy of errors as the Raiders could not get a proper snap off in any of their punt formations causing them to have a punt blocker, another punt botched, and a couple others affected.
With Oakland having played the late game Monday night, and now traveling 3,000 miles to play the early game on Sunday morning, the Raiders could have some weary legs even this early in the season. Add to that the September heat, the Dolphins should be looking to wear down the Raiders and hope to capitalize late in the game.
Week one saw Miami deactivate several of their draft picks from this past April causing much concern with Dolphin die-hards. Third round TE Michael Egnew, fourth round RB Lamar Miller, andseventh round WR Rishard Mathews were all thought to be key pieces to the future of the offense being built around Tannehill, instead sat and watched in street clothes. Miller will be activated for this week’s game as Daniel Thomas suffered a concussion and will be out for this week’s game. No word as of yet if Egnew or Mathews will be available for the home opener.
Despite the negative feeling from the turnovers in week one, it was a road game vs. a Super Bowl caliber team in the Houston Texans. A win this week will help to relax the young core and give the fans a glimpse of their future as well as give first year head coach Joe Philbin the ammunition he’ll need to keep the players optimistic and focused on learning how to win football games, rather than trying not to lose them.
Miami’s defense should also be thankful not having to face the dynamic offense that Houston employs but rather a patchwork group of receivers almost as troublesome as the Dolphins. Oakland has potentially three receivers out for this game, which will put even more focus on RB Darren McFadden and QB Carson Palmer. If Miami can keep from turning the ball over, they should be able to keep it close and wear down the less rested Raiders to secure their first victory of the 2012 season as well as the first for coach Philbin and QB Tannehill.