The Las Vegas Raiders are looking to go 3-0 to start a season for the first time since 2002. That was the last time the team was in the Super Bowl. They’ve already had two tough opponents to start the season in the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers. They’ll now have another tough draw against the Miami Dolphins, a team that finished with 10 wins last season, including a Week 16 win over the Raiders.
The silver and black are looking to get revenge and should have a major advantage in the game. Dolphins starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa had to leave last week’s game early against the Buffalo Bills with an injury. While the injury isn’t as bad as the team feared, the second-year quarterback will be out against the Raiders on Sunday, announced head coach Brian Flores.
Tagovailoa hasn’t exactly lived up to his status as a top-five draft pick yet. When he played the Raiders last year, he got benched in the second half in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick, who threw the fourth quarter pass that won the game for Miami. With Tagovailoa out, the Dolphins will have to rely on their experienced backup.
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Jacoby Brissett to Start
Fortunately for the Dolphins, they have a solid backup quarterback in Jacoby Brissett. He’ll be starting against the Raiders on Sunday with Reid Sinnett backing him up.
Brissett has started in 32 games over the last six years and is 12-20 in those starts. He started one game against the Raiders in a 2019 loss while he was with the Indianapolis Colts. He threw for 265 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. At this point, he shouldn’t be too much of a downgrade from Tagovailoa.
What This Means for the Raiders
While it’s always bad to lose a starting quarterback, it shouldn’t affect the Dolphins too much. This team wins with defense and Brissett will have some good weapons to work with. That said, they’re coming off a 35-0 to the Buffalo Bills at home and now have to travel to Las Vegas to face a 2-0 Raiders team.
There’s no reason the Raiders shouldn’t win this game. Miami’s offensive line is a mess and Maxx Crosby has been unblockable this season. The Dolphins’ defense should give the team some trouble but the Raiders have lit up two great defenses to start the season. There’s no reason to believe that Miami has a better defense than the Steelers or Ravens.
With all that said, we’ve seen the Raiders in this position before. They play much better as the underdog. Now that they’ve gotten some hype and are rolling, it wouldn’t surprise anybody if they laid an egg on Sunday. However, this team feels different. Derek Carr is playing at an elite level and the defense is undoubtedly better than it was last year. The Raiders should’ve beaten the Dolphins last year if it wasn’t for a freak play. The team is better now and should make a statement on Sunday and move to 3-0. Beating three teams that won 10+ last season to start the year would prove that the Raiders are for real.