The Miami Dolphins beat the Oakland Raiders 28-20 to move to 3-0 on the season and continue to lead the AFC East. The Raiders fell to 0-3 on the year. Miami turned it on late in the game, scoring 14 points in the fourth quarter and 21 points in the second half.
This was never a pretty game, though there were some pretty moments. There were some pretty plays on offense and on defense. Xavien Howard had two interceptions in the game. Ryan Tannehill had some good throws. Albert Wilson had a great throw and a great touchdown run. Jakeem Grant looked good on two touchdowns. Cameron Wake was near or on Carr throughout the game. The team has to find a rhythm because it felt like they were struggling all game to get things going, but in the end, it came together and they got the win.
Injuries could be a concern for the Dolphins coming out of this game, including to William Hayes and Andre Branch.
This felt like the game an up-and-coming team needed to win. It was ugly. Things did not always work. There were mistakes. And they just kept clawing and fighting.
At the end, the Dolphins won. That was the important part. Now, they need to fix the issues before they visit the New England Patriots next week.
Coin Toss: Dolphins won the toss and deferred to the second half. Raiders will get the ball first.
Raiders first possession: Robert Quinn and Cameron Wake nearly get to Derek Carr on the first play, with the quarterback just throwing the ball away to avoid a sack. Jordy Nelson caught the short slant on second down and there were no Dolphins players anywhere near him as he took the ball 71 yards to the Miami 14-yard line. After a short run from Marshawn Lynch, Carr looked to Nelson again for the 12-yard touchdown.
Dolphins first possession: Ryan Tannehill connected with Kenyan Drake for a one-yard gain on the dump off on first down. Drake then carried the ball out of a two-running back set on second down, picking up three. On 3rd-and-6, Miami looked down the sideline for Kenny Still, but the pass was broken up and Miami punted on the three-and-out.
Raiders second possession: Weirdness on the punt return, as Matt Haack kicked the ball 59 yards, then as it bounced, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie picked it up and tried to return it, losing one yard down to the Raiders’ eight-yard line. An illegal block in the back penalty added to the play takes the Raiders back to their own four-yard line. Carr then threw a quick pass out to the left with Martavis Bryant, but that was backed up again taking the Raiders to the two-yard line after another block in the back. Lynch was able to bounce outside and break a couple of tackles to pick up nine yards on the run, making it 2nd-and-3. Another Lynch run picked up a yard, giving Oakland a 3rd-and-2 from the Miami 13. A play action fake to Lynch, with a completion to Arami Cooper picked up the first down with a nine-yard gain. Doug Martin got the next first-down carry, picking up four yards. Then, Miami again decided to let Nelson do whatever he wanted, picking up 66 yards and getting the ball all the way down to the Miami yard line. The Raiders got the ball down to the Miami one-yard line, but the Dolphins defense stiffened and held on fourth down.
Dolphins second possession: After offsetting penalties on the fourth-down attempt, Miami started at their own one-yard line. Frank Gore picked up two yards, but a penalty on second down - a penalty that should have been on the Raiders who clearly jumped first but was called on Ja’Wuan James - Miami was backed up to their own two-yard line for second down. Gore picked up no yards on the next play, then Tannehill dropped back into the end zone and could not find anyone, so he scrambled to his left to pick up the first down. After a six-yard pass to Kenny Stills, Drake lost four yards, then Tannehill found DeVante Parker for four yards and the team had to punt.
Raiders third possession: On first down, Carr rolled to his right, was flushed by Cameron Wake, then stepped up and bombed a ball down the field looking for Cooper. The throw was into triple coverage, and Xavien Howard picked it off, returning it 39 yards.
Dolphins third possession: Miami would do nothing with the ball on the possession, being backed up by a holding penalty on Jakeem Grant on first down. They would pick up just four yards, three on a Drake run and one on a Mike Gesicki reception, before punting.
Raiders fourth possession: On the punt return, the ball appeared to be about to be downed by Walt Aikens at about the two-yard line when he was shoved in the back and the ball rolled into the end zone. The penalty, however, backed the Raiders up to their own one-yard line, only to have the quarter end on a nine-yard run from Martin.
End 1st Quarter. Raiders 7-0.
Raiders fourth possession (continued): On second down after the break, Martin lost two yards with William Hayes making the tackle for a loss. On the third-down play, Hayes then sacked Carr at the Raiders two-yard line, but immediately started grabbing for his knee and was in clear pain. He was able to walk off the field, but was heading straight to the locker room.
Dolphins fourth possession: Miami started with the ball at the Oakland 35 after a short punt from the Raiders. Gore picked up no yards on the first-down run, then added one yard on second down. On 3rd-and-9, Tannehill found Kenny Still in the back of the end zone for a 34-yard touchdown pass.
Touchdown!!!— Kevin Nogle (@thephinsider) September 23, 2018
34 yards Tannehill to Stills!! pic.twitter.com/fvcD7YTck1
Raiders fifth possession: Carr found Nelson for 12 yards, marking the first time the Dolphins did not have to chase Nelson halfway down the field. After an incomplete pass, Bryant was able to pick up four yards on the end-around. Carr was sacked on third down, with Cameron Wake finally getting to the quarterback, only to have Akeem Spence get called for unnecessary roughness after the play, leading to a first-down for the Raiders and Spence’s ejection. The defense tackle appeared to grab a Raiders’ player’s facemark after the play, then when he tripped, he ripped the helmet off the player, then swung it and hit another player. Lynch picked up five yards, then Carr found Jalen Richard for nine yards. Lynch ran the ball the next three plays, picking up 10 total yards, before Carr found Dwayne Harris for seven yards. Martin ran for one yard before Cook picked up 13 yards and pushed to 1st-and-Goal at the Dolphins’ seven-yard line. Lynch picked up five yards to get to the Dolphins’ two, then Carr threw away a pass as he was pressured. After a Miami timeout, the Raiders were called for a false start, backing Oakland back to Miami’s seven-yard line. After no gain on a screen pass to Lynch, the Raiders settled for a field goal.
Dolphins fifth possession: Miami started the next drive with a 13-yard slant to Danny Amendola. Tannehill found A.J. Derby on the next play for 16 yards. Then he found Kenny Stills for 21 yards as the clock hit the two-minute warning. The refs decided the drive should be over after that. however, as Tannehill found Wilson for 14-yards, only to have a pancake block from Daniel Kilgore get called for holding. Then, after Gesicki made an incredible grab as he was being cut down from behind, Tannehill found Gore for 12 yards, getting to the Raiders’ 13 yard line, but the refs decided that Stills being hit by a linebacker was somehow offensive pass interference and backed up Miami to the Oakland 35. After a sack on Tannehill on 3rd down, Miami punted.
Raiders sixth possession: Two kneel downs led to halftime.
Half-time. Raiders 10-7.
Dolphins receive the ball to start the second half.
Dolphins sixth possession: Miami started the possession with a 10-yard pick up from Albert Wilson, only to have Grant called for Offensive Pass Interference for a replay of the down and a ten-yard loss. Now facing 1st-and-20 at their own 13, Miami saw Gore pick up three yards on a run, then Tannehill could not find anyone open so he dumped it to Drake for six yards. After an incomplete pass, the Dolphins punted.
Raiders seventh possession: Carr found Cooper for eight yards on the first play. Then looked deep on second down, but dumped it to Lynch for another eight-yard gain. Lynch picked up two yards on the next play, pushing just across midfield and into Miami territory. After a delay of game backed up the Raiders, Carr found Harris for five yards, then Bryant for 11 yards. Martin picked up six yards on a carry on 1st-and-10 from the Miami 39-yard line. Lynch then added five yards, then seven yards. Carr the found Keith Smith for two yards. Lynch lost two yards, but Carr found Richard for 12 yards to set up 1st-and-Goal at the eight. After a replay overturned a touchdown and set up 3rd-and-Goal from inside the one, the Raiders would score on a Lynch leap over the pile.
Dolphins seventh possession: Miami found a little rhythm as they got the ball back. Tannehill connected with Amendola for 15 yards on first down, then found Parker for 36 yards down the sideline. After Drake picked up one yard at the Oakland 19-yard line, Tannehill threw a shovel pass to Jakeem Grant who turned the corner and scored the 18-yard touchdown.
Beautiful shovel pass to Grant who does the work for the score!— Kevin Nogle (@thephinsider) September 23, 2018
Raiders eighth possession: Carr found Nelson for six yards, but then threw incomplete on second down and saw Xavien Howard break up the third-down pass to Cooper. Oakland punted.
End of third quarter. Raiders 17-14.
Dolphins eighth possession: The Dolphins tried a draw play on first down, but barely got back to the line of scrimmage. On second down, Tannehill found Mike Gesicki for a 19 yard gain. Tannehill looked deep on first down, but the pass to Parker was broken up by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Wilson carried the ball on an end-around, but did not pick up any yards. After an offsides penalty on the Raiders moved the ball from 3rd-and-10 to 3rd-and-5, Tannehill was incomplete on a tipped pass intended for Drake and Miami had to punt.
Raiders ninth possession: The Raiders almost saw their possession disappear as Nelson muffed the punt but Walt Aikens was just a step too far from the ball and Nelson managed to get it back. Lynch then picked up eight yards on first down then three on second down. On the next first down, Carr threw incomplete before Vincent Taylor sacked him for a five-yard loss on second down. On 3rd-and-15, the Fitzpatrick and McTyer were able to hit Bryant short of the first down, but they bounced off each other and the receiver converted the first down with a 19-yard gain. Martin picked up three yards on the next play, followed by no gain for Lynch, then an incomplete pass toward Cooper. Oakland would punt.
Dolphins ninth possession: Tannehill scrambled for 18 yards on first down. Then, on second down, the Dolphins went to the trick plays, with Tannehill handing the ball to Gore, who was coming from the offense’s right to the left. Then Gore flipped the ball to Albert Wilson, who was coming on a sweep, then stopped and threw a pass to Grant, who was wide open down the right side of the field. Miami took their first lead on the 52-yard pass.
Tannehill + Gore + Wilson + Grant = 6! pic.twitter.com/1Pdu1o6irJ— Kevin Nogle (@thephinsider) September 23, 2018
Raiders tenth possession: Oakland started at their own ten-yard line after an illegal block penalty on the kickoff return. On first down, Carr looked to Bryant, with T.J. McDonald nearly coming away with the interception before the ball hit the ground. On second down, Lynch picked up seven yards, setting up a 3rd-and-3 with Hard Rock Stadium getting loud. Torry McTyer was called for pass interference on the conversion attempt, giving the Raiders a first down. Martin picked up one yard on the first down run. Carr then found Nelson for 16 yards, then, after an incomplete pass, Carr found Mynch for 14 yards. Martin then picked up 15 yards, followed by 6 yards. After a 12-man-on-the-field penalty on Miami, Carr looked deep to the end zone for Bryant, only to have Xavien Howard pick off his second pass of the game.
Dolphins tenth possession: Gore picked up six yards on first down, then Tannehill threw a shovel pass to Albert Wilson, who went 74 yards for the touchdown.
Raiders eleventh possession: Oakland started with a seven yard pass to Richard, then a three yard pass to Cook. A nine yard pass to Richard as then followed by 12 yards to Richard, and ten more to Richard. After time outs by both teams, the Raiders connected on a 52-yard field goal.
Dolphins eleventh possession: Wilson recovered the onside kick attempt, then Tannehill knelt to kill the clock.
Final: Dolphins 28-20.