The Miami Dolphins and Las Vegas Raiders played a much closer game than many expected in Week 11. The Dolphins were favored by 14 points pre-game, but they could never get the offense in full gear during the contest, instead riding a hot defense to stifle the Raiders’ attack. The game remained a one-score contest throughout most of the matchup.
Miami’s defense dominated the game, especially linebacker Jaelan Phillips, who recorded two sacks and an interception in the contest, and cornerback Jalen Ramsey, with two interceptions, including the game-sealing pick in the endzone. The offense struggled to find their rhythm, but the defense kept the Raiders from being able to capitalize on three giveaways by Miami’s offense, and the Dolphins moved to 7-3 on the season.
The Dolphins continue to pace the AFC East and are comfortably in the AFC playoff picture. They remain in the fourth seed position despite the win as the Jacksonville Jaguars beat the Tennessee Titans to remain ahead of Miami based on tiebreaks.
It was not the prettiest day for the Dolphins’ offense, but they were able to get the win and continue to move forward. They now prepare for the New York Jets, who play the Buffalo Bills this afternoon, in next week’s Black Friday game.
All of our in-game live reactions are below.
Raiders 13 - 20 Dolphins
First Quarter Reactions
The Dolphins won the toss and elected to defer to the second half. The Raiders began with a pass in the flat from quarterback Aidan O’Connel to tight end Michael Mayer, looking to get the rookie passer into rhythm early. The Raiders got lucky a few plays later when a pass to Mayer appeared to be a fumble returned by safety Jevon Holland for a touchdown, but it was ruled an incomplete pass on a replay review. The Raiders were still forced to punt.
Great start defensively, with everyone flying to the ball. The fumble/incomplete pass was about as close as it could be.
Miami started with a one-yard run from rookie running back De’Von Achane followed by a five-yard pass to wide receiver Tyreek Hill. On 3rd-and-4, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa scrambled for the first down, but fumbled just as he was going to the ground, with the Raiders recovering it.
Ouch. Just bad luck. Replay not being kind to Miami early in the game.
The Dolphins defense was not going to allow the Raiders to gain an advantage after the turnover. Mayer was able to pick up 12 yards on a 3rd-and-7 play, but an offensive pass interference penalty and Miami cornerback Xavien Howard flying to the ball and making sure tackles forced a field goal for Las Vegas. Raiders 3-0.
That was an impressive defensive stand for Miami. Starting at the Miami 30-yard line, the Raiders picked up 14 yards on seven plays and had to settle for the 34-yard three-point kick. Great job by the defense to not give up anything.
Miami started with a four-yard run from Achane, then a seven-yard rush from running back Raheem Mostert. After picking up another first down on a third-down play that appeared to have Tagovailoa sacked but a defensive holding penalty was called, Mostert picked up four yards before two Hill receptions bracketed an incomplete pass toward receiver Jaylen Waddle. Hill’s first catch picked up 18 yards, then his second went for 38 yards and a touchdown. Dolphins 7-3.
Hill’s first half touchdown was simply a foot race to the end zone and no one is going to beat— The Phinsider (@thephinsider) November 19, 2023
That was a great get-in-rhythm drive for Miami. The only real issue was Achane left the field limping. He came back from a knee injury that landed him on injured reserve for the last five weeks and now looks like he is favoring the knee again.
The Raiders came out firing on their next possession, picking up 17 yards on first down as O’Connell threw to wide receiver Tre Tucker. After a couple of runs, one from running back Josh Jacobs and one from O’Connell moved the ball into Miami territory, O’Connell threw to wide receiver Davante Adams for a 46-yard touchdown. Raiders 10-7.
That was quick. The defense needs to fix that.
Miami started with the ball at their own 25-yard line, gaining 10 yards on a Mostert run and taking the clock to the end of the first quarter.
Second Quarter Reactions
After the break and a couple more plays, Miami faced a 3rd-and-7, with Tagovailoa finding Hill for 21 yards and a forst down. Tagovailoa then threw to wide receiver Cedrick Wilson for nine yards. After a running back Salvon Ahmed pick up of three yards and a first down, Tagovailoa threw to fullback Alec Ingold for five yards. After a facemask penalty moved Miami down to the 12-yard line with a first down, the team advanced the ball to the three-yard line and faced a 4th-and-1. They threw a bubble screen to Hill, but the Raiders read it perfectly and pulled the receiver down for a four-yard loss and a turnover on downs.
Not the results the team wanted, getting all the way down to the three-yard line. Now the defense needs to step up and get the ball back quickly.
The Raiders started the drive with a five-yard run, but a loss of two yards and an incomplete pass on the next two pass attempts led to a three-and-out punt.
That is exactly what the defense needed to do. Another injury concern for the Dolphins as Hill has headed into the locker room holding his hand.
With Hill in the locker room, Tagovailoa turned to Waddle, picking up nine yards on the first play. After a Mostert run for four yards, Tagovailoa again found Waddle, picking up 12 yards, then returning to him for a 15-yard gain. Wide receiver Robbie Chosen, waived during the week and re-signed to the practice squad before being elevated for the game, picked up nine yards on a reception on the next play. After a Mostert run for three yards picked up a first down, Tagovailoa threw to Ingold for two yards before being sacked for a two-yard loss. Tagovailoa then threw a short pass to Ahmed at the line of scrimmage, with the running back making it to the endzone for the 11-yard score. Dolphins 14-10.
Beautifully executed angle route and a great block springs Ahmed for the touchdown!— The Phinsider (@thephinsider) November 19, 2023
Good systematic drive for the Dolphins. Without Hill and Achane, the offense continues to put up big plays, make things happen, and score. Really good sign that they will not sink with Hill and Achane not on the field.
Jacobs picked up two yards on a run to take the clock to the two-minute warning. After the break, two more runs picked up just four yards and Las Vegas punted on the three-and-out drive.
Defense continues to smother the Raiders right now. Linebacker Jaelan Phillips, Andrew Van Ginkel, and Bradley Chubb all made plays on that drive.
Miami started with the ball at their own 12-yard line, with Mostert picking up 10 yards on the first down run. Tagovailoa then threw to rookie tight end Julian Hill, but he fumbled as he was tackled after a 10-yard gain and the Raiders recovered.
Ouch. That is the second lost fumble Miami has had deep in their own territory. The good news on the drive was Hill returned to the field.
A Jacobs run for three yards was followed by two incomplete passes. The Raiders settled for a field goal. Dolphins 14-13.
The defense did exactly what the needed to do, keeping the Raiders from doing anything really with the short field. The Raiders assisted by not trying to move quickly, but that is two times Las Vegas has started deep in Miami territory and they have only scored two field goals.
Miami started the possession with just five seconds on the clock. Instead of kneeling, they tried to run a play, picking up 30 yards on a pass to Chosen, but the clock reached halftime before the receiver could get out of bounds.
The story of the half has to be the injury to Achane. A potential offensive rookie of the year candidate, Achane can be a huge weapon for the Dolphins offense. According to the broadcast, Achane was signaling that he took a hit to the outside of his right knee and it will have to be watched to see if he can return to this game, or if he will miss extended time just after coming back off the injured reserve list.
The Dolphins’ defense is doing really well, outside of the long touchdown pass for the Raiders. They are shutting down Las Vegas, including on two drives that started inside Miami territory. They have to keep up that kind of play.
The offense needs to tighten up, especially with two lost fumbles already in the game. They could already have this game out of reach if not for those mistakes - and they are lucky the defense was able to shut down the Raiders after both of those fumbles.
Will Hill, who had a first-half hand injury, be able to contribute in the second half or is a decoy at this point?
Third Quarter Reactions
Starting with the ball in the second half, Miami looked deep on their opening play. Tagovailoa overthrew Waddle, with the pass picked off.
Come on. Tagovailoa pressed on that play, trying to hit a home run. The defense needs to step up now.
The defense stepped up. Jacobs was stopped for no gain, then O’Connell threw to Mayer for nine yards, only to have Jacobs stood up for a one-yard loss by defensive tackle Christian Wilkins and linebacker Jerome Baker. The Raiders punted with another three-and-out.
The defense is playing lights out today. They are keeping the team in this game when three turnovers should be killing them.
Miami started with the ball at their own 21-yard line after the punt. After a two-yard gain by Mostert, Hill reminded everyone he was back on the field with a 31-yard reception. After another two yards from Mostert, Tagovailoa returned to Hill, this time for 10 yards. Mostert picked up a yard on first down, then Wilson caught a pass for one yard, before an incomplete pass set up Miami for a 50-yard field goal attempt. Jason Sanders pushed the kick slightly left and Miami came away with no points.
Sanders seems like he is money from 49 yards in, but at 50 yards and out he struggles. Miami could have used those points, and, more importantly, could have used not giving the Raiders the ball at the 40-yard line.
O’Connell looked deep on the first down play, with Miami cornerback Jalen Ramsey undercutting the pass and coming up with the interception.
There we go! The defense again makes up for struggles in other aspects of the game. The Raiders appeared to be purposely staying away from Ramsey all day, choosing to attack another Pro Bowler, Xavien Howard, rather than throwing toward Ramsey. Now we see why. Can the offense make the Raiders pay?
Mostert picked up seven yards on the first down run; then he added another yard on second down. Facing 3rd-and-2, Tagovailoa connected with Waddle for 19 yards and a first down. A three-yard run from Mostert brought Miami to the Vegas 23-yard line, but two incomplete passes targeting Waddle - both of which were nearly picked off - led to another field goal attempt by Sanders. This time, the 41-yard kick was straight down the middle. Dolphins 17-13.
Again, 49 yards or closer, Sanders is money. Miami needs to put this game away - they are allowing the Raiders to hang around and it could bite them as we get toward the end of this game.
After the kickoff, Las Vegas began at the 25-yard line. Mayer picked up eight yards on a first-down reception, then Jacobs added one yard. On 3rd-and-1, the Raiders broke out a flea flicker, but the deep pass toward Adams fell incomplete; Miami declined a holding penalty on the play and the Raiders were forced into another three-and-out punt.
The defense again shut down the Raiders attack. The defense is clearly up to speed in the system of defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and they are playing like a healthy unit as well.
Mostert picked up four yards to start the drive, then Hill added 25 yards on another reception. An Ahmed run for two yards, a pass to Wilson for 12 yards, and pass to Ingold for nine yards moved the Dolphins to 2nd-and-1 at the Raiders’ 33-yard line. Two straight incomplete passes, however, stalled the drive. Sanders came back out for a 51-yard attempt and nailed it. Dolphins 20-13.
It is stressful when Sanders comes out there for a long attempt, but he nailed that one straight down the middle. Hopefully, now that he has hit a 50-yard or longer field goal this year, he is ready to put the misses behind him and get back to being a long-distance option for Miami.
The Raiders ran the ball for six yards before the quarter ended.
Fourth Quarter Reactions
O’Connell threw to Hunter Renfrow for a three-yard gain as the final period opened, then Jacobs gained two yards on 3rd-and-1 for the first down. After a seven-yard pass and an incomplete pass, the Raiders faced a 3rd-and-2, with the crowd getting loud for the attempt. Miami linebacker Jaelan Phillips got to O’Connell on the play, stopping him for a sack, and forcing another punt.
There really cannot be enough said about the Dolphins’ defense today. They are simply shutting down everything the Raiders want to do.
After a penalty on the punt return backed Miami to their own 10-yard line, a run from Mostert picked up two yards before an incomplete pass and a Tagovailoa pass to Ahmed for four yards brought up 4th-and-4. Miami punted on the three-and-out possession, a punt that only traveled 34 yards.
First punt of the game for Jake Bailey is a short one. Seems like that is true in every single game.
O’Connell threw an incomplete pass on first down before a 12-yard gain on a pass to Jacobs on second down. The Raiders tried an end around run, but Miami safety Jevon Holland read it perfectly and made a tackle for a loss of seven yards. An incomplete pass, ruled a completion but overturned on a Miami replay challenge, set up 2nd-and-17, with the Raiders completing a pass to Jakobi Meyers for 23 yards. On 4th-and-3, O’Connell overthrew Meyers in the endzone, a pass Ramsey almost picked off. The Raiders turned the ball over on downs.
Ramsey played that fourth-down coverage perfectly. The defense continues to dominate.
Miami turned to the running game to try to burn the clock, with Mostert picking up five yards on first down. On second down, Mostert gained another four yards, but a holding penalty negated the play and moved Miami to a 2nd-and-15 play. Tagovailoa attempted to find Hill on the sideline, but the receiver was pushed out of bounds as he leapt to make the catch. On 3rd-and-15, Mostert picked up seven yards on a pass into the flat, leading to another punt. This time, Bailey connected on a 65-yard punt.
The offense is trying to be too conservative at this point. And the second punt from Bailey was much better. It is always the first punt that is short.
O’Connell threw an incomplete pass on first down on a pass that appeared to be backward but was whistled dead. A deep pass to Meyers gained 24 yards; then Jacobs picked up four more yards. O’Connell then found Renfrow crossing the middle of the field, with the receiver turning it into a 31-yard gain. Phillips recorded his second sack of the game on first down. After a seven-yard pass to Renfrow and an incomplete pass, the pressure again got to O’Connell, with defensive tackle Christian Wilkins pulling the quarterback down - but O’Connell threw the ball at the last second and Phillips picked off the pass.
Phillips is having himself a game! The defense continues to dominate. The Miami offense could have been more sharp.
Mostert ran the ball four times to start the drive, gaining 17 yards and forcing the Raiders to use all three of their timeouts. An incomplete pass on 3rd-and-5 brought up a fourth-down play with 2:05 remaining in the game. After trying to draw the Raiders offsides, Miami punted down to the Raiders’ seven-yard line with 1:58 remaining in the game.
This is going to come down to the defense making one more play. Can they do it?
Adams caught the first down pass, picking up six yards and getting out of bounds. O’Connell overthrew Adams on second down, with Ramsey biting on a stutter step from the receiver, but the ball fell to the turf. On 3rd-and-4, O’Connell found Meyers for a five-yard slant route. With the clock running, O’Connell threw deep to Tucker for 19 yards. The Raiders gained five yards on a pass to Ameer Abdullah, but linebacker Jerome Baker made the tackle in bounds and kept the clock running. A pass toward Adams on the sideline fell incomplete. Miami took a timeout with the clock stopped to rotate some players in on defense. On 3rd-and-5 from the Raiders’ 41-yard line and 42 seconds remaining in the game, O’Connell found a wide-open Adams for 20 yards; the receiver got out of bounds to stop the clock. A pass from the Dolphins’ 39-yard line was broken up by Howard, bringing up 2nd-and-10 with 32 seconds remaining. O’Connell looked deep to the endzone, with Ramsey making a leaping interception - his second of the game - to seal the win for Miami.
The defense was incredible on the day.
Tagovailoa knelt to kill the clock and give Miami the win.