In a game in which he had to play winning football, quarterback Derek Carr completed 21-of-30 passes for 300 yards with a touchdown and interception, the latter being just the same as a punt on a deep third-down sideline route with under two minutes remaining. Marshawn Lynch returned after his one-game suspension to rush 14 times for 57 yard and two scores, including one that went for his longest rush of the season at 22 yards. Jared Cook played a huge role in the win, as the tight end caught eight of nine targets for 126 yards. He also moved the chains with receptions on third downs from 9 (twice), 10 and 4 yards.
Road wins in the NFL require all passing grades, but this was close in that regard. Miami quarterback Jay Cutler, sore ribs and all, completed his first 16 passes and finished 34-of-42 for 311 and three scores. NaVorro Bowman and Dexter McDonald each had 10 tackles for the Raiders, but Miami’s final drive covered 83 yards in five plays and just 22 seconds. The Raiders added to their NFL record with a ninth straight game to open the season without an interception, but did recover a fumble forced by Bruce Irvin on one of the game’s biggest plays at the Raiders 19, negating an onside kick by the Dolphins to open the drive.
Special teams: C-plus
The Raiders might have been caught off guard with Miami’s first onside kick — which followed a Dolphins second-quarter touchdown — but recovered the most important one when wide receiver Amari Cooper corralled the ball with 1:32 left to secure the team’s fourth victory against five losses. Giorgio Tavecchio was 2-for-2 on field goals with a long of 53 and Marquette King averaged 46.7 yards on three punts. Cordarrelle Patterson averaged 30.5 yards on two kick returns.
It was all sorts of sloppy and the Raiders were lacking on several fronts, but for the second straight year, the decision to remain in Florida between two East Coast games paid off with a win. The offense was far more open than during a loss to Buffalo the previous week — yes, opponent has something to do with that, but Carr at least returned to a mindset of looking deep. Ten penalties for 105 yards sure didn’t make things easy on anyone wearing silver and black.