Raiders @ Fins Rewind

After last weeks let down on Thanksgiving forcing the Dolphins to a best case scenario of 8-8 it would be interesting to see how they would respond. They welcomed the Raiders and heck if the Dolphins were in the AFC West they probably still have a playoff shot.

Offense

QB-Matt Moore is improving and progressing each week in this Brian Dabol offense. He was hitting open receivers and when he had time to step into throws they were on time and accurate. The problem was with pressure in his face. Moore missed a wide open Marshall for 6 because he couldn’t step into his throws. I would love to see Moore improve under pressure in the last 4 weeks to see where we are.

Grade B

RB-Reggie Bush is looking like a younger combination of Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams. Not only making great cuts and showing speed but lowering his shoulder at the end of runs for an extra few yards. Getting another 100yd rushing game. Thomas is playing well with limited opportunity but was able to get a 21 yard run. Lex Hilliard is getting it down on 3rd and 4th ala Polite last year.

Grade B+

WR-Another game another missed redzone TD to Marshall. Moore was under pressure and unable to drive into the throw for 6. Marshall did impress on a 40yd cacth over the middle the only highlight of his day. Bess again showed he is the best option on 3rd down on diggs and drags over the middle. Hartline was absent besides a few targets and a 9yd reception.

Grade B-

TE-Not only has Fasano been a TD machine as of late but he and Moore are identifying the mismatches and going after them. Fasano has been sure handed lately and producing.

Grade B

O-line– What a push from the line in the run game. They were blowing the Raiders off the ball allowing Bush and company to gash the D. Also the big boys were getting down field and into the 2nd line of Oakland defenders. Helping Bush get 100 yds and averaging 4.8 yds per carry. The pass block was sufficient. Moore was sacked only once and hit 3 times all game.

Grade B+

Offensive Conclusion

Maybe I’m just optimistic. But it is really looking like Brian Dabol and the offense staff have figured out how to us the tools they have. Running and passing the ball well and not turning the football over. In the final 4 weeks hope we can get a few more TDs than FGs tho and have that killer instinct to get in the endzone.

Grade B

Defense

D-line-Great job up front slowing down the Raiders run game and making Carson have to throw the ball to beat them. They plugged the holes Michael Bush was looking for and stayed in their lanes. And Randy Starks? Come on man! DT don’t get that many chances at an INT!

Grade B-

LBs– Again great job by the front 7 of keeping Bush run game to 1.8 yds per carry. Burnett getting the pick 6! And the LBs could have easily had 2 picks if it wasn’t for a horrible penalty.

Grade B+

Secondary-Man I love Vontae Davis. When he is healthy and puts out 100% he is a top 10 CB. Him and Will Allen showed their intensity on making open field tackles and even for a loss. Sean Smith Ugh. Please Please Mike Nolan bench him and let Allen or Wilson start. Smith is always trailing the play and lost on the field. When don’t have to talk too much about safeties it’s a good day.

Grade B

Defense Conclusion

Like Brian Dabol Mike Nolan is in attack mode. Getting creative with the blitz and letting his young corners play aggressive man2man in the secondary. It always starts up front. And if you can begin to win that battle it just gets easier. Also getting winning the turnover battle is something they are doing extremely well lately and hope it continues.

Grade B

Special Teams

Kicking-Carpenter played well 2/2FGs and 4PATs. Fields again a punting rockstar. 55.5 yd avg with a long of 66 yds.

Returns-Dolphins looked the best the looked all year returning kicks. Gates finally almost broke one. I still predict he gets one by years end hopefully against the Pats.

Coverage-Thanks to Carpenter big leg, the Raiders had zero kick return attempts.

Grade B-

Final Thoughts

The Raiders are in no way a top-tier NFL team but the Dolphins are proving in the last 5 weeks they can play and compete with just about anyone. Coming out and even tho just FGs putting points on the board early and then continuing to capitalize and put the game out of reach. Still need to finish stronger but overall ANOTHER great day to be a Dolphins fan.

Looking Forward

The Dolphins have 4 more games remaining Eagles, Bills, Jets, and Pats. The birds don’t seem like the team we thought they be or that Vince Young thought they be. “Dream Team” But like to see what the D does again Vick. Also want to see them continue this streak in the last 2 games of the year. Regardless if they finish 8-8 alot can be said by beating the Jets and Pats at the end of the year.

Until next week….Fins Up!

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