Countdown To Kickoff: Dolphins Vs. Raiders

Posted Nov 30, 2011

Go inside the Dolphins-Raiders match-up with the an early preview as the editors of Dolphin Digest Countdown To Kickoff to Sunday's game.


DATE: Sunday, Dec. 4
TIME: 1 p.m. ET
SITE: Sun Life Stadium

SERIES RECORD: Oakland leads 19-14-1 (including playoffs)
AT MIAMI: Teams tied 8-8
At OAKLAND: Raiders lead 10-5
AT LOS ANGELES: Teams tied 1-1
LAST MEETING: 2010 at Oakland; Dolphins 33, Raiders 17

SERIES TREND: The Raiders totally dominated this series at the beginning, but the Dolphins have had the upper hand over the past 20 years. Since 1992, the Dolphins are 10-3 against Oakland.

SERIES HIGHLIGHT: This weekend’s game will mark the Raiders’ first December visit to Miami since 2002 when Dolphins fans were treated to a great game between two good teams. The Dolphins prevailed, 23-17, behind three sacks by Jason Taylor and a game-clinching interception by Patrick Surtain. Oakland rebounded from the loss to make it all the way to the Super Bowl.


LAST GAME: Beat Chicago, 25-20
OVERVIEW: Between the death of longtime owner Al Davis in October, an emotional victory over Houston the next day and the trade for veteran quarterback Carson Palmer, it has been an eventful season in Oakland. But heading into the final five weeks, the Raiders find themselves in great position to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2002.
THE RAIDERS’ STRENGTH ON OFFENSE: The Raiders were held to 73 yards rushing by Chicago on Sunday, but that was an aberration. Oakland actually averages more than twice that many yards (149) per game. Oakland has great depth at running back, and has had success on the ground even with Darren McFadden sidelined for the past few weeks with a foot injury.
THE RAIDERS’ QUESTION MARK ON OFFENSE: Now that Palmer appears to have worked out the rust he showed in his first outing with Oakland, the Raiders have great balance offensively. Oakland had a problem with turnovers earlier this season, but seems to have fixed that as well.
THE RAIDERS’ STRENGTH ON DEFENSE: Even after losing star cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha in free agency, Oakland still plays very good pass defense — opponents are completing only 52 percent of their passes. The Raiders have a very good pass rush, led by Kamerion Wimbley, Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly.
THE RAIDERS’ QUESTION MARK ON DEFENSE: As well as they run the ball, the Raiders have an equally tough time stopping the run. Oakland opponents are averaging a very high 5.3 yards per rushing attempt.
THE RAIDERS’ STRENGTH ON SPECIAL TEAMS: In 2001, Oakland spent a first-round pick on kicker Sebastian Janikowski and a fourth-round choice on punter Shane Lechler, and it was a decision that’s paid off. Janikowski is the most powerful kicker in the game, while Lechler has made the Pro Bowl six times and could be headed to Hawaii again this season. Jacoby Ford also is a terrific kickoff returner.
THE RAIDERS’ QUESTION MARK ON SPECIAL TEAMS: Oakland hasn’t been very good in punt coverage. The Raiders are allowing opponents an average of 13.9 yards per punt return and they’ve already given up two touchdowns.

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