NFL Sunday Night Predictions
Will The Raiders Return To The Playoff Picture?
Things look grim for the Raiders, who stumbled into the bottom of the AFC West by losing five of their last six games. Home losses to the Chargers and Ravens sting, but the Raiders defeat against the Bills was particularly disheartening because Oakland literally gave the game away.
Miami isn’t in a great spot either, third in the AFC East behind the Buffalo Bills and the division-leading New England Patriots. Rather than push for a post season spot, the front office recently traded away a key member of the offense, waving the white flag with half the season to go.
NFL Sunday Night Picks
- Game: Oakland Raiders at Miami Dolphins
- Pick: Raiders Beat -3.5 Spread, Under 45
- NFL Odds Courtesy of Sports Interaction
Raiders at Dolphins - Vital Trends
Miami’s Woeful Offense
Somehow, the Miami Dolphins managed to get shut out for a second time this season against the Baltimore Ravens, losing 40-0 during another strange Thursday night of football. The Saints were the first to blank the Dolphins this season, earning a 20-0 win over Miami in week three.
Miami’s front office traded top rusher Jay Ajayi, sending the running back to the Eagles. The Dolphins were already the worst offense in the NFL, and now the team’s without its greatest threat. Perhaps management became aware that the last team to make the playoffs after a pair of shutouts were the 2006 New York Jets.
Raiders Still Believe
A truly mediocre AFC leaves the window open for most teams to fight for a playoff spot, including the struggling Raiders. Losing to the Bills was a swift kick in the groin, but Oakland’s gutsy win against the Kansas City Chiefs showed that the squad can hang with the best teams in the NFL – when they play disciplined football.
Oakland Must Limit Turnovers
The Raiders are unbeaten this year when taking care of the ball. They didn’t turn it over against the Chiefs, Jets and Titans, winning all three. During Oakland’s five losses, the team turned the ball over eleven times, including four giveaways against the ultra-disciplined Bills. QB Derek Carr’s responsible for more than half of those turnovers, throwing six interceptions, the same amount he threw in 15 starts last year.
Defensive Battle On Sunday Night
Miami allows 21.7 PPG this year, good for 15th in the NFL. The Raiders have the 23rd ranked defense in the league, allowing 23.8 PPG. Typically, this wouldn’t create the conditions for defensive football, but both attacks rank far below the NFL average for points scored. QB Derek Carr needs to watch out for the Dolphins pass coverage, ranked 11th in the league. Oakland’s defense should perform better simply because Miami’s offense has the strength of a kitten.
NFL X-Factors On Sunday
The Raiders owned the Dolphins between the 1960s and 1980s, while the Dolphins dominate this matchup since the 1990s. Miami enjoys a 13-3 record over the last 16 meetings with Oakland, including a five-game win streak dating back to 2008. The Dolphins haven’t been this weak for years, giving the Raiders their best chance to win in Miami since 2007.
Miami’s pass defense could end up dominating the narrative if Derek Carr and the Raiders can’t take care of the football tonight. Defensive scoring, like a pick-six or returning a fumble for a TD, might end up responsible for most of the points created this evening. The Dolphins will pull off an upset win if Oakland suffers multiple turnovers.
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