Friday, October 22, 2021

Writer’s picks: Week 3 Dolphins at Raiders

It’s time for the Aqua Thirteen writer’s picks for the week 3 trip to the Las Vegas Raiders. After last years absolute thriller, the Raiders will be looking for revenge and to prove that game was closer than it should have been.

HC Brian Flores has his work cut out for him though after second-year starting QB Tua Tagovailoa was placed on IR yesterday with the fractured ribs suffered in last weekends debacle of a home-opener against the Bills.

If anything good came out of the Bills game it was further proof that the Dolphins defence, when given a chance can be elite. While 35-points allowed might not seem great, the defence held pretty solid after the first two drives when you consider the lack of offensive support it received.

Holding Josh Allen to only 5.4 yards per attempt and barely over 50% would usually have been considered a very solid effort, but when your offense gets blanked and held under four yards per play things aren’t usual at all.

WRITER’S PICKS WEEK 3:

RAY’s PICK: Dolphins 13 – Raiders 24

This is a game I had pencilled in as a tough, close win before the injury to Tua last weekend. As much as some of the pundits out there on Twitter see a genuine number one QB in Jacoby Brissett I really don’t. An 11-19 record as starter for a Colts team that would go to the playoffs in the year between his starting seasons shows just how much of a tail-off he is.

There has been very little sign of the exciting, new, vertical, dynamic offense we were promised this season, and it’s hard to see Brissett being the guy to deliver it this week.

That’s not to say he’s not a serviceable QB, but he won’t put the team on his back for the win, and the Dolphins have shown very little desire to run the ball consistently during games. The OL was poor, obviously, last week, but a lot of that seemed to stem from confusion and bad assignments. The only way is up for this unit.

The Raiders have looked very good in their first two games, putting 33 points on the Ravens and 26 on the Steelers.

Full of confidence and on home-field gives the Raiders the edge on what promises to be another disappointing outing for Miami.

JACOB’s PICK: Miami 23 – Las Vegas 20

It’s time to bounce back after a devastating loss against the Bills in Week 2 where absolutely nothing went right for Miami on the offensive end.  

It’s a new week and  I fully expect to see a completely different team on the field this week than we saw last week. I trust the OLine adjustments Flores and the Dolphins coaching staff made this week will result in Brissett having a strong start at QB for Miami.  Along with Will Fuller shining in his Miami debut with a handful of receptions and a TD, and Jason Sanders will have a game winning field goal in the closing minutes of the 4th.

JMR’s PICK: Miami 24 – Las Vegas 17

I have been back and forth over this weekend. There is cause for negativity if you look from a certain perspective. Raiders are 2-0 and have some fantastic defensive pieces that can take advantage of us having a suspect OLine and starting our QB2.

But we have a fantastic record against the Raiders over the last few years and I’m choosing to be positive. Brissett is a fantastic back up, some franchises could even have considered him as a starter at various points this year.

Right now he’s starting for the Dolphins and there’s a host of worse scenarios than Jacoby Brissett.
Our OLine cant be THAT bad twice, I’m believing we will see an improvement there, because lets face it, how can it get worse?

We have Will Fuller back, Gesicki who could prosper with Brissett under centre and could see Gaskin step into a more prominent role with the oncoming changes. All together with our Defence who are showing levels ready to compete as ever before.

So im chosing to believe in my team, im chosing positivity.

RICHARD’s PICK: Dolphins 26 – Raiders 20

The Dolphins need a get right game bad but travelling away to Las Vegas to play the in-form Raiders in a stadium full of passionate fans might not be quite what we had in mind.

Lots needs to change if we are to leave the desert with the ‘W’. Firstly, and most importantly, our O-Line needs to improve drastically and we need to buy Jacoby Brissett some time. Secondly, there need to be plays in our play book this week to mitigate some inevitable bad O-Line play and allow Brissett to get the ball out quickly to open receivers.

They also need to allow him enough time to introduce the deep threat of Waddle and Fuller, maximising their speed. Finally, we need to establish a running game that will allow the above threats to develop. Surely with our massive size advantage with our OL vs their DL we can assert some superiority in the ground and control the clock and the game?

The Raiders have opened the season brilliantly so Miami have their work cut out. If we can generate some pressure on the injured (and therefore slightly less mobile?) Carr, then we give ourselves a much better chance. Waller remains the wildcard and, despite Rowe’s best efforts in week 16 last year, he was uncoverable.

Perhaps Jaylen Phillips’ power and speed off the line will help unsettle Carr…
Ever the optimist, I’m hoping all the stars align in positive match ups for the Dolphins and allow us a road victory.

JAY’s PICK: Miami 16 – Raiders 14

The consensus is that the Miami Defence matches up very favourably to the Raiders Offence. That’s all very well but the Miami Offence will need to move up several gears following the disastrous loss to the Bills. The Raiders don’t tend to blitz, but following on from the success of Buffalo I expect this to form part of their game plan.

Add that to the natural pass rush of Ngakoue and the in form Crosby and the O-Line is likely to have another handful. Ultimately I expect the a massive turn around from the offence and coaches and I think they’ll have learnt some valuable lessons last week.

THOMAS’ PICK: Dolphins 24 – Raiders 21

After an abysmal match last week and not an ideal preparation for the match, Miami will be looking to rebound against the Raiders and it is the perfect team to do it against.

With Las Vegas being very gun-ho and having a poor run game, it suits Miami’s defence very well with a well stocked defensive back room starring the two lockdown corners of Xavien Howard and Byron Jones, and rookie sensation Jevon Holland. I can see Miami limiting Las Vegas in the air game forcing Las Vegas to lean on their run game, in turn this may give some chance for some natural defensive line pressure.

It’ll be a close game and it may come down to how well Jacoby Brissett plays and how much protection our offensive line can make. Miami to win a close game

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