Fins Survive Raiders Rally Thanks To Defensive Masterpiece

Dolphins Raiders Defensive Masterpiece

Miami Gardens, FL – With a majority of their wins being double-digit blowouts, it’s become rare to see the Miami Dolphins just “scrape by” a game on their way to a win. However, a Las Vegas Raiders team on the up-and-up gave the Fins all they could handle and almost overtook them, but the defensive masterpiece bailed them out to the tune of a 20-13 victory.

Make no mistake, the Dolphins shot themselves in the foot throughout this game, committing three turnovers. But the Miami defense had one of its best performances all season, only allowing six points off of those.

Stat-wise, you would think the Fins dominated the day with 21 first downs, 422 yards, and 32 minutes with the ball in their hands, with those first two stats being almost double what the Raiders managed.

It was one of those rare games, similar to how they looked against the Chiefs, that the offense fed on the success of the defense. Only this time, the offense did just enough to ensure the win as the Fins improved to 7-3 and stand alone in the AFC East.

An Unusually Tame Offense

Tua Tagovailoa had an okay game, recording 325 yards off of 28 completions with two touchdowns, but he did fumble the ball earlier in the game and threw a very questionable interception right at the start of the third quarter. Aside from those mental mistakes, he had a relatively clean sheet thanks to a very reliable offensive line.

Tyreek Hill continued to be the game-changer he’s been the whole season, going for 10 catches, 146 yards, and the first passing touchdown of the day off a dot from Tua while surrounded by Raiders.

Things got a little scary in the second quarter when Hill had to leave the game with what looked to be a hand or wrist injury, but after a couple of drives, he was back out there making big plays. What was nice to see was how Jaylen Waddle stepped up in his short absence, ultimately collecting 55 yards.

But the most unfortunate storyline of this game was the shirt-lived return of running back De’Von Achane, who ran with the ball one time before exiting the game due to a knee injury and didn’t return afterward. After being put on IR following the Giants game, fans were looking forward to the speedster making his return.

So running duties fell to Raheem Mostert, who took 22 carries for 86 yards and had some of his best runs late in the game. Another player on offense that got a surprising amount of reps was wide receiver Robbie Chosen who was cut from the team, resigned to the practice squad, then elevated to play in this game in the span of a few days.

The Party Was Almost Raided

While the argument that the Dolphins kept the game closer than it had to be because of turnovers, don’t discredit the Raiders and what they were able to accomplish. After firing their original head coach a few weeks ago, Las Vegas had not lost until now and were finding ways to win games without their starting quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo.

It was up to Aiden O’Connell to lead the Raiders against a Dolphins defense that’s really been coming into shape as of lately, and the challenge may have been too great. Despite 271 yards, the Raiders offense only had one big play all game, which was a 46-yard bomb to Devonte Adams off blown coverage. Aside from that, Miami only gave up two field goals in the first half then shut out Las Vegas in the second half.

The X-Factor of this game? Without a doubt the Fins defensive back Jalen Ramsey. Despite not throwing in his area for most of the game, Ramsey made some of the biggest plays of the game – two interceptions on O’Connell, including one in the final drive of the game sealing the win.

Overall, this game was decided by the defense, which is rather refreshing. The offense, however, was disappointing with mental mistakes thanks to three turnovers. However, if the offense can struggle like they did and still win games as a team, then it’s a good feeling.

Up next is another nationally televised game on the road. This time, it’s on Black Friday – the day after Thanksgiving, which is the first time the NFL has ever scheduled a game on this day. Miami will take in the struggling New York Jets at 3 pm.

📸Credit: Miami Dolphins

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