By Abraham Gutierrez
Aside from the Oakland Raiders’ opening drive, it was a flawless performance by the Miami Dolphins’ offense, defense and special teams, especially for third-year quarterback, Ryan Tannehill. Thus, the (2-2) Fins go into the bye week on a positive note, while the Silver and Black remain winless with rumors about Dennis Allen’s potential firing heating up.
In front of a sold-out crowd at Wembley Stadium, the Dolphins snapped their two-game skid with an emphatic, 38-14, victory over the lowly Raiders. And for what it’s worth, the win should help quiet some of the chatter surrounding the turmoil in the Miami’s locker room, at least momentarily.
Statistically, the Dolphins offense dominated the Raiders on seemingly every facet of the game. Thanks to a great effort by the offensive line, Miami tallied 435 total yards compared to Oakland’s 317, registered eight more first downs (25-17), won the time of possession battle (30:54 vs. 29:06), and converted on 5-for-11 on third down versus 6-for-14 for their opposition.
Having said that, the biggest discrepancy in this game can be found on both team’s rushing attacks. In particular, it’s worth noting that Miami was able to exploit Oakland’s lack of depth at the linebacker position.
Even with starting running back Knowshon Moreno on the mend, Miami was still able to rack up 157 yards on 34 carries. Leading the way for the Fins rushing attack was Lamar Miller, who tallied 64 yards on 12 carries and two scores. Recently signed back-up Daniel Thomas pitched in with 35 points on 5 touches, and even Tannehill got into the action with 35 rushing yards of his own.
Going up against one of the very worst offenses in the league, the Fins resistance made life miserable for rookie quarterback Derek Carr, running back Darren McFadden and the rest of the Raiders offense.
Carr was limited to 16-for-25 from the field for 146 yards, registered a score and a pick for a quarterback rating of 76.4. Miami’s defense also did a great job of keeping McFadden under control, as the former Arkansas Razorback was limited to 40 yards on 11 rushes and no scores.
Amidst a cloud of controversy, the former Texas A&M product rose to the occasion, silencing coach Philbin and his critics with one of his most efficient showings as an NFL signal-caller. Tannehill completed 74 percent of his pass attempts (23-of-31) for 278 yards, two touchdowns and an interception for a quarterback rating of 109.3.
As mentioned above, he also did a great job of avoiding sacks, as he tucked it in 5 times and ran with it for a total of 35 rushing yards. Most of all, Tannehill was right on the money with most of his throws, and his receivers were able to avoid costly drops.
Special Teams: A
Unlike in the first three weeks of the year, Miami’s special teams finally played like an NFL unit. They were able to win the field-position battle by limiting mistakes and covering the Raiders kick returners downfield.
Brandon Fields punted the ball twice for an average of 40.5 yards per kick, including a beautifully placed ball inside Oakland’s 20-yard line. Meanwhile, kicker Caleb Sturgis took care of his responsibilities, connecting on his only field goal attempt of the game, and did not miss a point-after try for a total of eight points in the contest.
For more Dolphins news and updates, visit Dolphins Central.
Abe Gutierrez is a criminal justice admin whose love for sports led him to become a writer and editor. His expertise make him a valued addition to Examiner.com and its partners. His work can be found on Examiner.com. .