The Miami Dolphins (9-5) play a prime time road match against the Las Vegas Raiders (7-7) on Saturday. A win for the Dolphins could force a ‘win-and-in’ playoff scenario as they follow with their final game of the regular season.
Our 305 Sports Dolphins team gave their predictions on if Miami can earn a road victory.
Jamie Bahamas, Dolphins Lead Writer (Season Record: 10-4)
20-17 Miami: The Dolphins versus Raiders all-time series is tied. It’s the last weekend of December and the Dolphins are still alive in the playoff hunt. Lose this game and playoff aspirations may be over and the Dolphins would have a losing record against the Raiders.
This means that this is the biggest game of Miami’s 2020 season so far.
The Raiders have played really good football at times this season, but have also played really bad football. On the other hand, Miami has been steady. The defense has been great all season and the offense has not been spectacular, but it has been disciplined. That formula would lead to wins more often than not.
Miami is getting some of their offensive starters back for this game. That should provide enough of a boost to finish the Raiders.
Michael Yero, Dolphins Writer (Season Record: 12-2)
35-17 Miami: It’s do or die Saturday night for Miami and Las Vegas – two teams chasing a spot in the AFC Wild Card playoffs.
The sole winner of this one will be whoever wants it more. Can coach Brian Flores reach the next step of his ahead of schedule rebuild? Is Tua Tagovailoa the game-on-the-line winning QB we’ve heard of for months on end?
I’m confident the Dolphins can get things done. The Raiders have struggled as of late, and an under pressure game like this could be too much to handle for Derek Carr, who returns from injury. I expect a memorable victory.
Anthony Yero, Dolphins Writer (Season Record: 11-3)
30-13 Miami: The Raiders have regressed in the past weeks, losing four of their last five games. Miami’s run game showed signs of life, and versus a Raider team that gives up 30.1 points per game, the Dolphins should have no trouble scoring through the air or on the ground.
Scott Cusick, Dolphins Writer (Season Record: 9-5)
28-27 Miami: Miami and Vegas both have to win to keep any playoff hopes alive. The Raiders started 2020 off strong and looked to keep pace with the AFC West division after a win vs. the Chiefs early in the season. Now, they seem to have regressed as Miami has remained steady. Miami is playing the better football, but Gruden is still one of the greats.
Kyle Murphy, Dolphins Writer (Season Record: 9-4)
27-17 Miami: It’s not the playoffs, but it’s a must-win game in December for both teams in a prime time Saturday night contest. I expect a grind it out type game coming down to both teams’ running game. The Dolphins have given up an average of 120 yards a game this season but just an average of 83.7 in their last three. The Raiders give up 125.8 yards a game and 171.3 in their last three games – advantage Dolphins.
To further the run game point, Miami will have Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed healthy for the first time this season. The split will definitely be a storyline, but I think the rotation will keep both backs fresh and ultimately more effective.
On the defensive side, If the two games against the New England Patriots are any indication; the Dolphins have improved their run defense tremendously this season. They gave up 217 yards on the ground in Week 1 compared to 117 in Week 15. It seems like the run defense is clamping down for the part of the season when yards get tough. Against a team like the Raiders, this will be crucial.
Gabe Glassman, Dolphins Writer (Season Record: 4-1)
24-20 Miami: Once again, Miami has their back on the wall in a game where the odds are in their favor to win. But, never doubt this Las Vegas Raiders offense, featuring RB Josh Jacobs, TE Darren Waller, WR Henry Ruggs and QB Derek Carr. Some keys to the game for Miami is to take advantage of the Raiders’ recent lacking defense, while Flores’ defense needs to be more than great to handle this “diamond in the ruff” team.
Austin Ramos, Dolphins Writer (Season Record: 7-2)
27-23 Miami: The Dolphins are a win away from reaching 10 wins on the season. The last time Miami had 10 wins was in 2016, a season that featured a postseason appearance. That same goal is on the board for Miami on Saturday.
A focus on stopping the rushing attack for the Raiders starts with their lead back Josh Jacobs. If Miami can slow down Jacobs, getting to the quarterback will be the next defensive key to victory. As for the offense, utilizing Myles Gaskin and Mike Gesiciki – who were both out last week vs. New England – will be vital to get things clicking.