Raiders at Dolphins: What to Watch For

It never fails. I always manage to get sick near the beginning of school, around Christmas, Spring Break, and the end of school.

After a disappointing outing against the Houston Texans, the Miami Dolphins look to rebound with a strong performance against the Oakland Raiders.

Here's some things you should be watching for during the game.

REGGIE BUSH

E-X-P-L-O-S-I-V-E. If you can spell, that spells Bob...oh wait. When Reggie Bush was traded here last year, we traded for an explosive, game changing player. He had his first 1000 yard rushing season last year, but did not see many targets in the passing game.

New season equals new Reggie. Reggie believes he can lead the league in rushing. I don't see it happening. But wow! He ran pretty well against the Texans. He was fast and explosive. Running for 69 yards on 14 carries. We got behind and we abandoned the run game. Reggie did however have 6 catches for 46 yards.

I think Reggie can find success on Sunday against the Raiders. If Daniel Thomas comes back, I'd expect to see Reggie run alot. However, I don't think we'll see Thomas on Sunday. I see Reggie playing alot in the passing game though.

RYAN TANNEHILL

Did the rookie live up to your expectation in his first start? Doubt it...unless you wanted him to throw 3 interceptions. With all rookie quarterbacks, growing pains are common. No rookie quarterback is going to be perfect.

Against Houston, Tannehill threw for 219 yards, went 20/39, with 3 interceptions. No touchdowns...ouch. But he played against a great Houston defense. I would love to say all the 3 interceptions were not his fault. I don't know if Nannee stoped running the route or if Tannehill just gunned it. The 2 interceptions that were deflected were the offensive lines fault. I'm not getting into detail, we've discussed this enough.

Against the Raiders, Phillip Rivers threw for 231 yards and 1 touchdown. He had no run game to support him. I see Tannehill having similar stats against the Raiders.

DAVONE BESS

He has had strong performances in the past two seasons versus Oakland (10 receptions, 138 yards, 1 TD). Look for that to continue on Sunday. He's obviously Tannehill's favorite receiver and our most consistent. Short, sweet, and to the point.

DOLPHINS DEFENSIVE LINE

The stongest unit of the Miami Dolphins.

Led by Paul Soliai and Randy Starks in the middle. The defense had to make an adjustment to a 4-3 defense under new defensive coordinater, Kevin Coyle.

Starks seems to have adjusted well. He recorded 2 sacks. Guess how many sacks we had against Houston. 2.

Untill I can watch a game, I can't provided much detail about players. So excuse me if I don't go too in depth on some players.

Paul Soliai, 2 tackles. Huge man in the middle, glad we brought him back. Why do we see teams running on the outside on us? Well, why would you want to run into Soliai and Starks.

Cameron Wake did not record a sack. But had 2 tackles and 1 assist.

Jared Odrick has 2 tackles.

Acorn Alert! Kheeston Randall. Had 2 tackles and didn't look lost, or so I'm told.

Olivier Vernon. 1 tackle.

Darren McFadden did not have a good outing against the Chargers. Expect him to have a hard time against these guys.

MARCUS THIGPEN

Acorns! Acorns! Acorns! Jeff Ireland prides himself on finding hidden gems (Davone Bess, Cameron Wake) but he hasn't been consistent with the big name signings (Ernest Wilford, at the time, Jake Grove, Ochocinco).

However, one of his acorns just turned into an oak tree. Wow is that corny...errr acorny.

Marcus Thigpen was brought in from the Canadian Football League during the offseason. I took the following from wikipedia:

Thigpen was signed to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats' active roster on June 26, 2010. He returned the team's first kickoff of the 2010 season for a touchdown against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and was named the CFL Special Teams Player of Week 1. In week 2, he returned a Burke Dales punt for a touchdown and caught a touchdown pass. On August 13, 2010, after rushing for a touchdown, Thigpen became the first player in CFL history to score a touchdown five different ways in one season. In total, he had scored on a kickoff return, punt return, missed field goal return, a running play and a reception.

Talk about impressive. Thigpen was actually cut by the Eagles and Broncos.

Coming into camp, many of us believed Thigpen would only be a camp body. I had him on the bubble for quite awhile. Once I saw him take almost every kick return snap, I knew he'd be sticking around.

Thigpen is like Reggie. Dangerous speed and both are great receivers. Which is what I imagine the Dolphins coaching staff to do with Thigpen. He was targeted often during the preseason.

I want to see consitency from him. Which is something Bess did for a living, returning punts, but didn't have too many big plays. Thigpen is a threat. He had great vision on his TD return and burst right through the hole and didn't look back.

THE ROOKIES

Why didn't I include Tannehill in here? I don't know.

Jonathan Martin- from some of the plays I watched, he didn't look too bad, in my opinion. Will need to work with John Jerry on creating some run lanes for the backs and protecting the "Tannchise" (Go ahead...throw something at me).

Michael Egnew- like I stated last week, I don't think he'll be active. But whenever he does get a chance to play, he'll have to make the most of it.

Lamar Miller- Daniel Thomas will be out. Which means Miller will not be inactive this week. We will have 3 speed backs playing on Sunday. This should be fun to watch. Miller will fill in for Bush every now and then. I could see him getting some return duty as well.

Rishard Matthews- Inactive last week. Will probably be inactive again if Armstrong is healthy. Get this guy in the game. I've seen enough of Legedu Naanee. Let the rookie develop.

HOME FIELD ADAVANTAGE

This is the first home game for Joe Philbin and Ryan Tannehill. Let's make it a memerorable one.

Playing in the heat in our white jerseys will help. Raiders playing in their black jerseys will not help. The Raiders also had a short week so we shall see what happens.

I predict a win for the Phins. It may not be by much, but I still think we'll play a solid game. We will have to stop McFadden and constantly pressure Carson Palmer.

Please feel free to discuse what you are looking for on Sunday. If I left someone out that you liked, please don't be offended.

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