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Pro Football Focus: Julius Thomas Awakens in Raiders Defeat of Dolphins

Julius Thomas and DeVante Parker headline Pro Football Focus’ grades of Miami’s loss to Oakland.

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NFL: Oakland Raiders at Miami Dolphins Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins nearly rallied past the Oakland Raiders on Sunday night but fell just short - suffering their fourth loss of the 2017 NFL season. On the positive side, Miami’s offense came to life against Oakland - accounting for three touchdowns through the air.

For the first time this season, tight end Julius Thomas made his presence felt throughout the game. The former Portland State standout managed to catch the eye of the analyst team at Pro Football Focus. PFF awarded Thomas with a grade of 88.0 - the highest grade given to a Dolphins player on Sunday.

Thomas’ 84 yards receiving were made possible by the steady work of veteran quarterback Jay Cutler, who also grabbed PFF’s attention for his work against the Raiders.

Pro Football Focus gave Cutler a grade of 85.0, and had this to say about his respectable bounce-back game:

This was a game that Jay Cutler showed two sides of his play. The majority of the game Cutler was happy to spread the ball underneath and allow his receivers and especially the running backs to gain yards after the catch. However as the score started to tilt towards Oakland’s favor, Cutler started to take chances downfield and was able to hit them. One of the best things that can be said about Cutler’s performance was there was no throw that could have been intercepted, everything was only where the Dolphins player could make a play on the ball. When the Raiders didn’t blitz, Cutler completed 83.3 percent of his passes.

Thomas wasn’t the only tight end to have a big game in primetime, as Oakland’s Jared Cook easily crossed the 100-yard receiving threshold against a porous Miami defense. Kiko Alonso’s grade of 33.7 from PFF is a representation of the Dolphins’ struggles to defend Cook.

Pro Football Focus had this to say about Alonso’s rough night:

Alonso was tasked with covering Jared Cook for much of the night, and he struggled to stay with the athletic tight end. Alonso allowed five catches for 82 yards to Cook, and gave up a 12-yard pass to Michael Crabtree as well. Five of the six catches against went for at least 10 yards, including four first downs.

To get the complete list of grades and analysis from Sunday's contest, you can visit Pro Football Focus.