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Week 4 Open Thread: Raiders at Dolphins

Oakland Raiders (1-2) at Miami Dolphins (0-3)
Sunday, September 30
1:00 pm EST, CBS
Dolphin Stadium
Scattered T-showers, 86 degrees, 40% chance of precipitation
Line: Dolphins -4, Over/Under 42

Like I said, I'm off to Miami today. So this thread can be used for any discussion between now and the game. I'll be back on Monday night and will post my thoughts about the game at that time. Talk to you all then!

Team Offensive Rankings

Raiders - 15th total offense (341.3), 3rd rush offense (159.3), 25th pass offense (182), 13th scoring offense (22.3)

Dolphins - 14th total offense (343.7), 27th rush offense (79.7), 7th pass offense (264), 18th scoring offense (20.3)

Team Defensive Rankings

Raiders - 27th total defense (381.7), 22nd rush defense (125.7), 25th pass defense (256), 25th scoring defense (27.7)

Dolphins - 20th total defense (336), 29th rush defense (166), 7th pass defense (170), 26th scoring defense (28)

3 Absolute Keys to the Game

1.Run the damn ball. Just like last week, enough said!

2. Stop the run. This has been the theme all season long for the Dolphins, but they are yet to come through. This week, it's important to stop LaMont Jordan and force Raiders QB Daunte Culpepper to put the ball in the air. Granted, the Raiders have talented receivers. But Daunte tends to make mistakes, especially under pressure, like we all are well aware of. Prevent Jordan from picking up 4 and 5 yard chunks in this game and the Dolphins are in good shape.

3. Limit the mistakes. Again, another self-explanatory idea that seems simple. But then you see that the Dolphins have the worst turnover margin in the AFC at -5 and you realize that this continues to be an issue. But mistakes aren't only turnovers. They also include the killer penalties that we've seen this team commit and the hiccups on special teams. In a game where neither team is very good, whichever team can limit the mistakes will have a huge advantage and will likely win the game.

Prediction: Yet again, I'll be a sucker for this team and say the Dolphins win 23-17.