Raiders-Dolphins position breakdown

The Raiders play at the Miami Dolphins at 5:30 p.m. on “Sunday Night Football.” Here’s a breakdown by position:


Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler (ribs) is expected to return after a one-game absence, according to coach Adam Gase. Cutler’s return might not spark what Gase called “the worst offense in football.” Cutler has thrown for seven touchdowns with five interceptions and a 78.8 passer rating that ranks 28th in the NFL. The Raiders’ Derek Carr also has issues with the offense.

Advantage: Raiders

Running backs

The Dolphins traded their top running back, Jay Ajayi, to the Eagles on Tuesday. Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams are expected to carry the load. Drake’s speed is capable of providing big plays. The Raiders get Marshawn Lynch back after a one-game suspension. They missed his ball security a week ago.

Advantage: Raiders


On paper, the Raiders should win the receiver matchup every week. But Amari Cooper disappeared again last week. Cooper and Michael Crabtree need to step up to ignite the Raiders’ lackluster offense. The Dolphins’ Jarvis Landry made it through the trade deadline without being moved. Landry and Kenny Stills provide speed. DeVante Parker is a big-body target for Cutler.

Advantage: Raiders

Offensive line

The Dolphins’ offensive line might be to blame for the decision to trade Ajayi. The bruising back rarely saw openings for big gains. The Raiders’ once stout offensive line continues to underperform.

Advantage: Raiders

Defensive line

Miami’s fierce defensive line is led by Ndamukong Suh and Cameron Wake. Suh is finally earning his massive contract, and Wake is back to his dominant self. The same old story for the Raiders’ defensive line. It’s Khalil Mack and others. Oakland hardly applied pressure on Tyrod Taylor in a Week 8 loss.

Advantage: Dolphins


The Dolphins’ Kiko Alonso won’t be suspended after his vicious hit on Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. Alonso is joined by Rey Maualuga and Lawrence Timmons. Miami is ranked sixth in rushing defense, allowing 95.4 yards per game. The Dolphins are fifth in total defense.

Advantage: Dolphins


The Dolphins don’t have the stars in the secondary, but the no-name cast is getting the job done. Miami is ranked seventh against the pass, allowing 211 passing yards per game. The Raiders’ banged-up secondary is ranked 24th against the pass (237 yards per game) and has yet to record an interception through eight games.

Advantage: Dolphins

Special teams

The Raiders’ Cordarrelle Patterson is arguably the best kick returner in the NFL. The Dolphins have Jakeem Grant as their kickoff and punt returner.

Advantage: Raiders


The Dolphins have a five-game winning streak against the Raiders. The last time the Raiders beat the Dolphins was in 2007. Miami and Oakland haven’t met since 2014.

Advantage: Dolphins

Handicapper’s take

Micah Roberts ( Dolphins 16, Raiders 13 — Who is the team with the winning record here? By the way the public has been betting it, you would think it was the Raiders (3-5), but it’s the Dolphins (4-3). Sharp money even laid minus-2½ with Oakland to push the number to minus-3. The good news for Oakland bettors is that the team trained all week in Sarasota, Florida, after its loss to Buffalo to avoid another long East Coast trip. The bad news is the offense still is having issues, which has been the case in five of the past six weeks (1-5 ATS). I’m looking for a low-scoring game with an edge given to Miami. Under is 44 is the top play.

Raiders Videos
Vegas Nation: Raiders Cut Ties With Smith, Ellis Gets Contract
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken go over the Raiders cutting ties with Sean Smith and Justin Ellis' three-year contract.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Cut Ties With Aldon Smith
Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken goes over the Raiders cutting ties with Aldon Smith due to allegations made against him.
Vegas Nation: Reggie Mckenzie's Son A Potential Candidate For Raiders
Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken goes over how Reggie McKenzie's son Kahlil McKenzie is a potential draft pick for the Raiders.
Vegas Nation Stadium Show: Parking, other topics closer to resolution
Ed Graney and Rick Velotta are joined by Las Vegas Stadium Authority chairman Steve Hill to discuss the latest developments around the Las Vegas Stadium.
Vegas Nation: Raiders lose 9th pick to San Francisco 49ers
Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken provides an update from the NFL scouting combine about the Raiders and 49ers coin toss to determine which team will get the 9th or 10th pick of this years NFL Draft.
Vegas Nation: Lynch, Crabtree future with Raiders pending
Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken provides an update from the NFL scouting combine on the future for Marshawn Lynch and Michael Crabtree with the Raiders.
Vegas Nation: Several documents approved
Ed Graney and Rick Velotta discuss the latest developments from the Las Vegas Stadium Authority meeting, including news on parking and the total cost of the stadium.
Vegas Nation: Raiders looking to keep key veterans
Vegas Nation video host and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken discuss the Raiders plans this offseason with free agency approaching.
Vegas Nation: Raiders awarded four draft picks
Bryan Salmond goes over the news that of the Raiders being awarded four draft picks.
Vegas Nation: Vontae Davis Visiting Raiders
Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken goes over Vontae Davis visiting the Raiders in Alameda California.
Vegas Nation Stadium Show: Estimated Cost Remains at $1.9 Billion
Ed Graney, Rick Velotta and Bill Bradley discuss updates around the Las Vegas Raiders stadium, scheduled to be completed by 2020.
Vegas Nation: Las Vegas could host NFL Draft
Bryan Salmond and Michael Gehlken talk about Vegas' chances to host the NFL Draft.
Vegas Nation: Eagles take down Patriots in Super Bowl LII
Bryan Salmond, Ed Graney, Michael Gehlken and Sam Gordon talk about the Eagles Super Bowl win over the Patriots.
Vegas Nation: Eagles win Super Bowl LII
Bryan Salmond recaps the Eagles Super Bowl victory over the Patriots.
Las Vegas, Raiders aim to host Super Bowl as early as 2023
Las Vegas and its $1.9 billion stadium project won’t be forgotten when nine NFL owners and team presidents, together wielding influence over an adjusted Super Bowl bid-selection process, meet in the coming months. Raiders owner Mark Davis serves on the Super Bowl and Major Events Advisory Committee, positioning him to have an active role in where Super Bowl LVII will be located on Feb. 5, 2023. Las Vegas, upon hosting the game, would be the latest NFL city to which league owners have awarded a Super Bowl following a stadium construction. There is no guarantee the game is coming to Las Vegas then. A combination of recent history and comments from an NFL executive, however, indicate the opportunity should arrive in the next eight years.
Vegas Nation: Minnesota running an efficient Super Bowl
Bryan Salmond and Ed Graney talk about Minnesota running a good Super Bowl and a Raiders rookie making an impact.
NFL Commissioner Goodell gives updates on hot topics with the Raiders
At a press conference ahead of Super Bowl LII, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell responded to questions about the Raiders hiring process with Jon Gruden and about the team having many home games played abroad.
0130 sb wrap with mention
Bryan Salmond, Michael Gehlken and Ed Graney talk about Tom Brady's Minnesota ties, Jon Gruden's advantage in coaching as well as the Patriots demanding respect.
Vegas Nation: Here's how the RJ will cover Super Bowl LII
Ed Graney, Michael Gehlken and Sam Gordon preview their coverage plan of the Super Bowl in Minnesota.
Vegas Nation: Pro Bowl edition
Bryan Salmond recaps the NFL Pro Bowl, including how Raiders quarterback Derek Carr performed.
Vegas Nation: Jon Gruden Does Not Attend Senior Bowl
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken discuss what the Raiders coaching staff are doing at the Senior Bowl.
Vegas Nation: Raiders announce several coaching hires
Review-Journal Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and reporter Michael Gehlken talk about the Raiders coaching hires as well as a significant omission.
Vegas Nation Stadium Show: Construction of stadium on schedule
Review-Journal sports columnist Ed Graney and reporter Rick Velotta talk about how the Raiders' stadium construction is progressing and the complications that might occur due to pricing.
Raiders hire Paul Guenther as defensive coordinator
Paul Guenther is the new defensive coordinator for the Oakland Raiders. Guenther spent the past four years as the Cincinnati Bengals’ defensive coordinator. Guenther, 46, worked with the Bengals from 2005 to 2017. He will call defensive plays in 2018, a role that Ken Norton Jr. handled the first 10 games last season before being fired. Guenther expressed his interest in working with Raiders defensive backs Gareon Conley and Obi Melifonwu. “I really like both of them,” Guenther said. "(Conley) was probably my favorite corner coming out last year." "We just need to get these guys on the grass, keep them healthy and teach them the system," Guenther said.
McKenzie shares memory of Gruden coaching in Green Bay
Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie shared one of his memories of working alongside head coach Jon Gruden back when they were both in Green Bay.
Vegas Nation: Raiders introduce Jon Gruden as head coach
Bryan Salmond, Ed Graney and Michael Gehlken discuss the Raiders introduction of Jon Gruden as their new head coach, including the unique atmosphere and how Gruden will work with Derek Carr.
Former Raiders discuss what the team and fans can expect from Jon Gruden
Following a press conference to announce Jon Gruden as the Oakland Raiders head coach, former players discussed what it is that he'll bring to the team and the fans.
Jon Gruden news conference highlights
The Oakland Raiders announced Jon Gruden as their head coach on Tuesday at the team headquarters in Alameda, Calif. Gruden previously coached the team from 1998-2001. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mark Davis says the Raiders' edge will come from leadership and coaching
Following a news conference announcing Jon Gruden's return as head coach of the Oakland Raiders, team owner Mark Davis said the Raiders' edge will come from leadership and coaching.
Vegas Nation: Raiders hire Jon Gruden
Michael Gehlken talks about the Raiders decision to hire Jon Gruden as their new head coach.
Vegas Nation: Gruden to be named Raiders head coach
Bryan Salmond and Ed Graney discuss the Raiders hiring of Jon Gruden as their new head coach.
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