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3 Takeaways: Dolphins - Raiders


1. Couldn't Stop Carr to Cook - The Miami defense just couldn't slow down the combination of quarterback Derek Carr to tight end Jared Cook. This combo connected six times for 116 yards in just the first half and Cook finished the game with eight receptions for 126 yards. The Raiders tight end had explosive receptions of 35, 27 and 16 yards that directly led to points. Also, the Raiders offense found chunk yardage plays when Carr connected to wide out Johnny Holton (44 yard TD) and Amari Cooper (26 and 20 yard receptions).


2. Offense Had Answers - From start to finish, the Dolphins offense looked like it was more cohesive and quarterback Jay Cutler found the open outlets the entire evening. Cutler was nearly perfect in the first half, spreading the ball to seven different receivers and the one-two punch of running backs Damien Williams and Kenyan Drake allowed the backs to present a threat of catching it out of the backfield. The offensive pass protection was also much improved and allowed Cutler to get the ball out on time and kept him clean most of the night. There's still ample room for improvement, but this performance is something to build upon in the second half of the season.


3. Couldn't Cash In - The Dolphins had multiple opportunities to capitalize on scoring situations, but never made the Raiders pay for their mistakes. Twice the offense had chances to cash in on excellent field position but couldn't finish drives. The successful onside kick in the first half was followed up by a Kenyan Drake fumble at the Raiders 24-yard line and the strip sack by Ndamukong Suh failed to deliver points in the second half. Also, when the offense did provide an explosive play, a penalty would stall a drive. These mistakes were too much for this offense to overcome and Miami must find a way to correct these mental and physical errors

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