In the process of beaching the Miami Dolphins, the Oakland Raiders almost stranded themselves in South Beach. Fortunately for Jack Del Rio’s merry band of marauders, Adam Gase’s crew beats the Silver & Black in the calamity department in spades, thus, a 27-24 victory for Oakland.
“Nice to start the second half with a win,” Del Rio said after the win. “I thought there were some moments of some good complementary football, the kind we’re going to need to play this second half of the season … Overall, a real solid win on the road.”
The victory was anything but solid, as evidenced by how fluid the scoring became at the end, however, a W is a win no matter how it comes.
And in the Battle of the Bad, there were plenty of numbers mixed in with the downright comedic tragedy that plagued both the Raiders and Dolphins.
Here’s the tally:
0 — The Raiders remain the lone team in the league without an interception. That is both comical and awful.
1 — A touchdown throw and a pick by Raiders QB Derek Carr. The interception was a head-scratcher as he lobbed it deep to wide out Amari Cooper. The ball bounced off a defender and into the mitts of streaking Dolphins safety Reshad Jones.
2 — TD runs by Marshawn Lynch. Beast Mode had been a bit of a conundrum for offensive coordinator Todd Downing, but the running back finally burst through for a 22-yard touchdown run, his longest scamper as a Raider this year.
3 — TDs by Dolphins QB Jay Cutler. Rarely harassed, the stoic-faced slinger had plenty of time resorting primarily to checkdown and swing passes. Only one of Cutler’s seven targeted receiving options topped 80 yards (tight end Julius Thomas — 84 and a TD).
6 — Four Dolphins receivers finished with six grabs. The Raiders only had one with more.
8 — Grabs by tight end Jared Cook. The receiving tight end has been an active part of the Raiders offense and we’re seeing what Carr can do with a catch-first speedy option at the position.
10 — Tackles by linebacker NaVorro Bowman and cornerback Dexter McDonald to lead the Raiders in that department. That many tackles by a DB is indicative of how often the Dolphins went to the air.
18 — Rushes by Miami. The runners tallied 86 total yards with a long of 42. Coincidentally, that number is the same amount of times Cutler threw the pigskin.
27 — Runs by Oakland. The stable compiled 84 total yards with two scores. Lynch paced the group with 57 yards.
30:56 — Time of possession for Oakland. In a rare occurrence, the Raiders actually possessed the ball more than their opponent. Miami had the ball for 29:04.
44 — Yards special teamer and occasional wide receiver Johnny Holton torched the Miami defense on his sprint and TD catch. Carr flung a perfect ball that dropped into Holton’s awaiting hands.
105 — Penalty yardage for the Raiders. They got snagged 10 times for infractions and, at one point, had more flags and yards than Miami.
107 — Oh, but the Dolphins didn’t want to be outdone. They got flagged 11 times.
300 — Yards for Carr. He completed 21 of 30 passes and showcased all the throws (short, medium and deep) against the Dolphins. He was sacked once, but had plenty of time to survey and throw. He would have had more if not for drops by his receivers.
311 — Cutler’s final yardage count. He finished 34 of 42 passing and went to short dump offs for the majority of the game. Despite having ailing ribs, he showed no ill effects and was slinging.
The score and total yards by both teams (379 for Oakland, 395 for Miami) shows how tightly contested the game became near the tail end. In a game where the Raiders were clearly superior, it wasn’t the one-sided shellacking it should have been. But the Raiders go into the bye week 4-5 before a key Mexico City showdown with the New England Patriots.
Time to draw up plays against Bill Belichick and his formidable bunch. Easier said than done.