The Miami Dolphins are taking on the Oakland Raiders on Sunday at Wembley Stadium in England. Quarterback David Carr and the Raiders are still looking for the first win of the season, while the Dolphins have lost two in a row. There is still time to turn it around for both teams, but only one will be on the road to recovery this week. The game is set for a 1:00PM EST kickoff, and will shown on CBS, You can also watch a live stream via the links below (free for subscribers).
The Dolphins, behind Ryan Tannehill, have started slowly, but they have shown potential at times. If they are going to have a chance against the Raiders, they will need to get the passing game going in some productive way this week. Tannehill can do a lot of work underneath the secondary in the middle of the field, and out of the backfield, so expect that type of play early on. Wide receiver Mike Wallace hasn't had a breakout game this year, and this could be the one. He has two touchdowns, and he could double that if the Dolphins can get an all around passing game going against the raiders. Getting some sort of passing game going is a key to victory for the Miami offense.
On Defense, the Dolphins have to stop the run. So far they are giving up 125 yards per game, and that is not going to put them in position to win many in this league. In the past, Miami's front seven have been stout, but this year they have struggled. This week, they are facing a couple of backs that could run all over them if they don't tighten up.
Defensive Coordinator Mike Philbin said it's a question of tackling, and he hopes the team will get better.
"We've got to tackle better," Philbin told the Miami Herald. "Football is still a game of blocking and tackling, and we have to do a better job, absolutely."
The Raiders figured out how to stop the run last week against the New England Patriots, even though they ended up losing the game. They only gave up 76 rushing yards, and the team was in position to win all day, if they could have put points on the scoreboard. The defense running a 3-4 was significantly improved, so now the concentration has to be on offense in Oakland.
The good news for the silver and black is Maurice Jones Drew is coming back. He injured his hand in week one, but he is ready to go this weekend in London. Darren McFadden has been getting most of the carries with limited success, but Jones-Drew's return should bolster Oakland's backfield and give McFadden a little relief.
Oakland could have a dominant, multi-headed running game this weekend.