In defeating the Miami Dolphins, 27-24, the Oakland Raiders pull one game closer to .500 and stay in the AFC playoff hunt. In what could only be described as a nerve-wracking, the Raiders built and eleven point lead, only to see the Dolphins drive down the field and score. Additionally, Miami converted the two-pointer. Thankfully, Amari Cooper secured the onside kick attempt and the Raiders salted away the clock.
MVP: For weeks, all everyone heard, Jared Cook could serve as an effective target for Carr. Well, tonight, Cook once again proved his supporters corrected. In snaring eight passes for 126 yards, the Raiders‘ tight end torched Miami linebacker Kiko Alonso repeatedly early. Even after the Dolphins switched a safety into covering Cook, the results stayed the same. When Cook gets involved early, that seems to wake him up and gets the offense moving. Down the road, the Raiders will need to keep feeding him.
Least Valuable: By Week Nine, you’d figure that tackling would not remain an issue. Yet, the Raiders could not successfully bring Miami to the ground. During a couple of plays, Reggie Nelson thought he would try to separate the ball from its carrier. However, as he produced were yards after contact. Cory James fell victim to this as well. Honestly, the Raiders defense cannot give free yards away. As their play demonstrates, they lack the team speed to do this. Plus, a sure tackle can mean the difference between a punt and field goal try. Going forward, Oakland needs to abandon the hitter mentality and embrace fundamentals.
Holton: Every year, fans and media question how Johnny Holton nails down a wide receiver spot. Once again, his lone catch answers that questions. Last night, Holton pulled in a 44-yard strike from Derek Carr. While Holton is not an every down receiver, the threat of the long ball gives the Raiders the added element of not stacking the box or playing underneath. If Holton continues to stretch defenses, no one should ever have an issue with him catching one long pass every three of four weeks
9.5: That number represents Carr’s yards per attempt. Usually, some rely on that as an indicator of how the offense operates. Honestly, if the Raiders receivers don’t drop a few passes, that number actually rises.
All in all, the Oakland Raiders escaped with a win. Nothing pretty, just a victory. In the end, Marshawn Lynch’s two touchdowns and Derek Carr’s passing did enough to win the game. After a week off, the Raiders travel to Mexico City to face the New England Patriots.
What does Sunday’s win mean for the Colts?