Game preview Raiders vs Dolphins

Oakland Raiders Look To Snap Back Against Dolphins Following Monday Night Debacle The Oakland Raiders, who have failed to post a winning record since their Super Bowl season of 2002,  found yet another way to shoot themselves in the foot—namely the right arm of backup long-snapper Travis Goethel—in their season-opening 22-14 loss as slight home favorites to the San Diego Chargers on Monday night. Now it’s on to Miami, where the Raiders will try again as 3 1/2-point favorites against the Dolphins.

The Raiders are likely to again be without the services of Pro Bowl long-snapper Jon Condo, who suffered a concussion against the Chargers. But it isn’t likely to be Goethel, whose punt-snapping struggles against the Chargers directly cost the team nine points, that takes over the duties this week. Oakland signed two veteran long-snappers as of Wednesday and one of those is expected to fill the vacancy left by Condo.

With the post-game focus squarely landing on the Raiders special teams troubles following Monday night’s loss, it may be easy to overlook what was an otherwise uninspired performance by the Oakland offense. Quarterback Carson Palmer, though looking somewhat better than he did a season ago, still failed to provide much spark for the Raiders attack. The once-vaunted “vertical” passing game of the Raiders was completely non-existent, as can be verified by Palmer’s meager 6.5-yard a completion average. Additionally, running back Darren McFadden, who many believe is poised for a break-out season, managed just 32 yards on the ground on 15 carries against the Chargers.

This lack of production by Oakland’s two most important offensive players resulted in the Raiders failing to score a touchdown until there was less than a minute to go in the game against the Chargers.

After a game like that, the Miami Dolphins may be just what the Raiders need to turn things around. There wouldn’t seem to be too many other teams in the NFL odds that Oakland could go visit and be favored. But they found one this week in the Dolphins, who are coming off a 30-10 beat-down at the hands of the Houston Texans. Still, it seems a risky proposition to lay 2.5-points to a team coming off a performance as bad as the Raiders that now must travel cross-country on a short week. We’re predicting the Dolphins pull the upset straight-up.

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