Sunday, September 28, 2014

Matchup Mashup: Your Dolphins-Raiders primer


Week 4: Miami Dolphins (1-2) at Oakland Raiders (0-3), 1 p.m.
Location: Wembley Stadium, London, England
Weather: Partly sunny, mid-70s at kickoff (accuweather)

The skinny: An under-producing offense had quarterback Ryan Tannehill's future as the starter in question this week, and the Dolphins are hoping a trip overseas can be the cure. The unit is currently averaging less than 200 yards through the air and fewer than 20 points a game, and another game's worth of inconsistency could have backup Matt Moore line for some snaps in the near future. On the other side, Oakland, despite its winless record, has put forth some strong games against AFC East teams and is hoping to take advantage of an ailing Miami roster and leave London with a "home" win. Quarterback Derek Carr has impressed at times, though his offense has had similar struggles, ranked dead last in the league in overall production. The team's hoping the return of veteran running back Maurice Jones-Drew will help the cause, though Carr will still have to deal with a formidable Miami secondary while he searches for his first pro victory.

What to watch for (links):
- How will the 'Phins young roster deal with the distractions of playing in Europe?
- Can Tannehill turn things around and prove he's the starter?
- What impact will a complete Raiders backfield have on a banged up Miami defense?
- Will rookie QB Carr make a big splash across the pond?
- Can Mike Wallace finally have the breakout game the offense has been looking for?

Injury report: Who is playing is more the question for Miami, as the team has 22 players listed on the report this week. For Oakland, Schaub will miss the game, as will receiver Rod Streater. Jones-Drew, however, looks like he'll make his debut this week.

Other tidbits from the week:
Dolphins defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle wasn't happy with his players' voicing displeasure about Coyle's gameplan last week; Jones-Drew says he has some "Wolverine" in him.

Our picks:
Dan: Raiders 28, Dolphins 17
Nick: Dolphins 20, Raiders 17

Head-to-head recent history:
The Dolphins have won the teams' last four meetings and have lost to the Raiders just four times in the last 17 games between the two, though the Raiders own the overall series, 19-16-1. Miami last ousted Oakland in 2012 by a 35-13 margin.

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