Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Dolphins are looking to rebound after losing in Week 1 to a good Houston Texans by trying to knock off the Oakland Raiders. The Dolphins will be playing for the first time in front of a home crowd, which will be the home debut of rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
Still, the Dolphins aren’t getting much love from oddsmakers. The Raiders haven’t been a road favorite since 2005, when they were favored over a Brooks Bollinger-led New York Jets team. But this week, Oakland is a 2.5 point favorite to knock off the Dolphins.
The Dolphins could be without wide receiver Anthony Armstrong, defensive tackle Tony McDaniel, and running back Daniel Thomas. McDaniel is battling a knee injury and Thomas is trying to return from a concussion. None of the three players practiced on Thursday.
Rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill is a work-in-progress for the Dolphins. He is commanding the respect of his teammates in the huddle and will look to improve a rough performance in Week 1. Tannehill completed 20 of 36 passes for 219 yards, no touchdowns, and three interceptions against Houston.
What could help Tannehill out is a recommitment to the running game. Despite getting just 14 carries against Houston, Dolphins running back Reggie Bush still averaged nearly 5 yards per carry en route to 69 rushing yards in the game. He also caught 6 passes for 46 yards.
The Dolphins have lost six straight home openers heading into the Raiders game on Sunday and despite hoping for a big home crowd, it may not come to fruition.
The Fins took advantage of an NFL offer this year that mandates they only have to sell 85 percent of the premium tickets to be considered a sellout and allow the game to be broadcast locally. The Fins still couldn’t meet that threshold heading into Sunday’s game with Oakland.
Still, the game will be shown locally thanks to the Dolphins and local sponsors buying up the remaining tickets for roughly $0.34 on the dollar.
The Raiders will also be looking to get their offense moving after a 22-14 loss to San Diego last Monday night. The Oakland offense will be led by quarterback Carson Palmer, who finished the Chargers game 32-46 for 297 yards and one touchdown.
The majority of Palmer’s passes went to running back Darren McFadden who is looking to duplicate his performance of 13 catches for 86 yards last week. McFadden and the running game couldn’t get going against the Chargers, rushing 15 times for just 32 yards.
The Dolphins hope linebacker Koa Misi can turn in another good performance after pulling down 10 tackles against the Texans to lead the Dolphins. The Fins would also take another 2 sacks from Randy Starks this week.
Miami and Oakland will kick off at 1 p.m. at Sun Life Stadium. The early forecast for Sunday shows a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms.