MIAMI GARDENS (CBSMiami) – The Miami Dolphins suffered their second straight loss on Sunday Night, falling to the visiting Oakland Raiders 27 to 24 at Hard Rock Stadium.
The Dolphins’ comeback bid fell just short. Jay Cutler found Julius Thomas for a late touchdown from 15 yards out, and then Kenyan Drake found the end zone on a 2-point conversion. With 1:31 left, the Dolphins attempted an onside kick, but the Raiders recovered.
Oakland ran out the clock in the victory formation.
Now at 4-4 on the season, the Dolphins find themselves third in the AFC East division and seventh in the conference. Miami is still in the playoff hunt, but will need to snap their skid in a hurry.
The 4-5 Raiders had lost 5 of 6 games coming in, but used a big outing from their offensive playmakers to out-duel the Fins. Quarterback Derek Carr threw for 300 yards and a touchdown, connecting on big strikes of 44, 35 and 26 yards along the way.
Marshawn Lynch scored a pair of Raiders touchdowns. He rushed for 57 yards on 14 carries.
Miami did manage to out-gain Oakland 395 yards to 379 in defeat.
Penalties diffuse the Fins late
Trailing 20-16 with 7:00 minutes to play, Miami’s defense took the field looking for a big stand. Instead, they couldn’t get out of their own way. The Dolphins committed two key penalties, including a pass interference on Xavien Howard, and a personal foul for a late hit out of bounds by Reshad Jones, to facilitate first downs for Oakland. The call on Jones was questionable by the officials, to be fair.
Miami’s offense tried to respond, but their ensuing possession was de-railed, in part, by a holding penalty on 4th and 9. Cutler then threw incomplete on 4th and 19, for a turnover on downs.
The Dolphins were flagged 11 times for 107 yards in the game.
Running backs steam forward without the Jay-Train
After trading leading rusher and 2016 Pro Bowler Jay Ajayi to the Eagles during the week, the Dolphins used a two-headed backfield of Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams. Drake managed to break free for a 42 yard run in the third quarter, and the duo combined for a respectable 86 yards. They made a bigger impact, however, through the air. Jay Cutler hit them out of the backfield for 12 total receptions for 82 yards. Williams caught a 10 yard touchdown pass for Miami’s first score of the evening.
Cutler thrives in return
Despite playing with multiple cracked ribs suffered two weeks ago against the New York Jets, Jay Cutler looked sharp in his return to the huddle. He completed his first 14 passes of the game en route to a season high 311 yard performance, connecting on 34 of his 42 attempts. He tossed 3 touchdown passes.
Landry makes history
In the third quarter, on his fifth catch of the evening, Dolphins receiver Jarvis Landry become the NFL’s all-time leader in catches for the first four seasons of an NFL career. With 343 catches, he surpassed former record-holder Anquan Boldin.
Landry finished the game with 32 receiving yards and a touchdown.
The Dolphins forced a potentially pivotal turnover in the fourth quarter while trailing 20-16. Ndamukong Suh sacked Derek Carr and forced the ball loose. It was recovered by Raiders offensive tackle Marshall Newhouse, who lumbered forward to try and pick up positive yardage. Newhouse was then hit by Kiko Alonso, the ball came loose again, and this time the Dolphins recovered. Miami took over at their own 48, but failed to pick up a first down. The turnover could have provided new live and a momentum swing, but Miami couldn’t capitalize.
After scoring their first touchdown and taking a 6-3 lead, the Dolphins rolled the dice with an onside kick and recovered it. Miami then moved 24 yards on 4 plays, but running back Kenyan Drake gave the football back to the Raiders with a fumble at the Oakland 19. On their ensuing drive, the Raiders went 81 yards in 6 plays, with Carr throwing a 44 yard deep ball to Johnny Holton for the go ahead touchdown and a 10-6 lead.
Cook on fire
Raiders tight end Jared Cook hauled in 6 catches for 113 yards… in the first half. Miami’s linebackers struggled to account for him in coverage through the game, and paid the price for it. Yardage-wise, it was Cook’s best game since September 8th of 2013 (while playing for the St. Louis Rams,) when he caught 10 passes for 141 yards against the Arizona Cardinals. Cook finished this one with 8 catches for 126 yards.
The Dolphins next game will be another prime time affair. The Dolphins will face the Panthers in Carolina on Monday Night Football on November 13th.